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Jersey Boys @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 5th Jul 2018 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

Jersey Boys tickets

Jersey Boys is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.  These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30.  The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got), Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You.

Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people worldwide.  Jersey Boys can currently be seen across the United States on its US National Tour.  The BROADWAY production closed on 15 January 2017 as the 12th longest running show in Broadway history.  Jersey Boys will return to New York City in a new production in November 2017 at New World Stages.

Jersey Boys is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.  The UK & Ireland Tour production is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projection design by Michael Clark.  The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose. 

Until I saw Jersey Nights a few years ago, I knew very little about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but I was amazed by the sheer volume of hits that I knew.  For example, I didn’t know that Can’t Take My Eyes Off You was one of their songs, as I’d always associated it with Andy Williams.  Likewise I’d thought My Eyes Adored You was a Barry Manilow song.  If the songs are good, they’ll continue to be recorded by other artists through the decades and so the legacy continues.

The story of how these Jersey Boys formed and became so successful is astounding and this musical portrays the twists and turns of their incredible journey.  Tommy Devito (Simon Bailey) has been in and out of jail, along with Nick Massi (Lewis Griffiths), but hearing a young Frankie Castelluccio (later to become Valli) sing with his unusually high falsetto, Tommy realised that there may be a way out of his life of crime by forming a band. 

After a few unsuccessful attempts, it was a teenager called Joe Pesci (James Alexander Gibbs) who introduced singer/songwriter Bob Gaudio (Declan Egan) to the band.  Gaudio had one big hit under his belt, Who Wears Short Shorts, before writing the hit Sherry that was to set Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on their path to international success. Joe Pesci went on to become an actor and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Goodfellas, for playing a character called Tommy Devito (a coincidence I wonder?) who was allegedly based on Thomas DeSimone.

Connections with the Mob, spells in jail, women, drugs, failed marriages, family tragedies, debts, this story has them all and it’s a fascinating insight into the real lives of this iconic group.  Frankie Valli is now 84 years old and continues to tour.

The show moves along at a pace with hit after hit to sing along to, lightening the darkness of their gruelling journey to stardom.

The show runs at The Waterside Theatre until Saturday 14th July, with tickets available from www.atgtickets.com.  Then the tour continues with tour dates until March 2019, which can be seen on www.jerseyboysuktour.com

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

4/7/18

@yvonnedelahaye

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