In 1950’s New Jersey there were “three ways to get out of the neighbourhood, you join the army, you get mobbed up or you get famous”. For Frankie Valli, Tommy De Vito, Nick Massi, and Bob Gaudio only one was an option.
In 2005 Jersey Boys began its life on a Broadway stage, telling audiences the story of four New Jersey boys from the wrong side of the tracks, how they went on to invent their own unique sound, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, and all before they turned 30.
In the 13 years since Jersey Boys first opened the production has played all across America, in London’s West End, in Japan, Sweden, Toronto, Australia and has even received a film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood.
The show is currently on its second UK tour and will be performing at the Bristol Hippodrome till Saturday 17th November.
The best thing about Jersey Boys is without a doubt the music. The classic numbers such as Sherry, Walk Like a Man and Big Girl’s Don’t Cry are fun, feel good and fabulous. Team that with the simple yet iconic dance routines and you cannot help but smile as the instantly recognisable numbers fill the auditorium.
Another thing which makes this production so special is its cast. It’s so nice to see a cast who are absolutely brilliant, but who also make it perfectly clear that they are thoroughly enjoying their time on stage. I honestly don’t think this cast (especially the Four Seasons) could’ve been any more perfect if they tried.
My problem with Jersey Boys is the second act. Act one is bright, colourful and so much fun, but as the second act takes a darker turn it seems to lose some of the magic which radiates through the first. However it does seem to find its sparkle again in perfect time for the finale.
Jersey Boys is an incredibly enjoyable evening which celebrates the fantastic music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons through song, dance and storytelling. This is without a doubt a timeless musical which is accessible to all generations, not just those who originally followed the band in the 60’s.
Jersey Boys will continue playing at the Bristol Hippodrome till 17th November where it will then continue touring the UK. For more information or to purchase tickets head to official Jersey Boys website.
Cast at the performance I attended: Michael Watson, Simon Bailey, Declan Egan, Lewis Griffiths, James Alexander Gibbs, Joel Elferink, Mark Heenehan, Phoebe May Newman, Tara Young and others.
Production images courtesy of the Jersey Boys website.