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New Jersey Nights @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 24th Oct 2013 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

When Jersey Boys opened in the West End in 2008, I assumed it was a play about a boys’ school on the island of Jersey!  Hmmm, got that one wrong didn’t I?  As everyone now knows, Jersey Boys is the smash hit musical based on the life and music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  Opening on Broadway in 2005, the show went on to win four Tony awards in 2006, including best musical and in London in 2009 the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.  The show continues to play to packed houses and is transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014.

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Direct from the USA the international smash hit show New Jersey Nights comes to the UK as part of their world tour. The show is a spectacular jukebox celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all times. From the back street studio in New Jersey where it all began, this vibrant production includes all of The Four Seasons greatest hits, including Sherry, Rag Dolls, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Stay and so much more.

The Production features an award winning cast of singers, dancers, unique stage sets and a rockin’ on stage band. New Jersey Nights has smashed box office records right across the USA and UK and is proving to be one of the most successful touring shows of all times.
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New Jersey Nights takes you on a musical journey celebrating the greatest hits of the internationally successful American rock and pop band The Four Seasons, who shot to worldwide fame in the mid 1960s. The incredibly popular group  fronted by Frankie Valli even  enjoyed the accolade of most popular rock band before The Beatles burst on to the music scene.  As one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, The Four Seasons sold over 175 million records worldwide, and were inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999

New Jersey Nights features the perfect harmonies of Damion Scarcella, Simon Scholfield, Jon Hawkins, Ricky Rojas and  Jennifer Harding. With stylized costumes, a rockin’ live band and amazing dancers, they perform all of the Four Seasons hits, including: Sherry, Rag Doll, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Let’s Hang On, Walk Like A Man, Dawn, Silence is Golden, Oh What A Night and many more.

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Damion Scarcella, originally from Australia, Damion trained in classical voice at the prestigious Melba Conservatorium and has appeared in many top Australian and UK productions, including Fame, Mamma Mia, Leader of The Pack, The King and I, Zorro The Musical and The Mikado and Shout for which he received a Green Room nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He has spent the last five years singing and recording with the acapella group The Flying Pickets, and as lead singer of the East Coast Boys - touring the UK, and as a headliner act for Royal Caribbean, both with the group and as a solo performer.

Jon Hawkins trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. His theatre credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Rock Around The Clock, (UK Tour), MAMMA MIA! (International Tour) and the UK tour of Tonight's The Night, Macbeth (Complete Works) and Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC, Barbican).

Ricky Rojas theatre credits include Grease (UK tour & Piccadilly Theatre), Flashdance at Shaftesbury Theatre; Burn The Floor ON Broadway and in the West End, The Buddy Holly Story, Fame  at Aldwych Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Adelphi  theatre) and the Season launch  of Mirvish Productions (Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto).

Simon Schofield’s theatre credits include  Gavroche in Les Miserables,  Oliver!, Twelfth Night, A Slice of Saturday Night, Henshall - Sounds Of Hollywood, Frankie Vallie in Rock Around The Clock, The Sound of Music, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more.


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The Four Seasons
were probably the original boy band, but what made them unique was Frankie Valli’s incredible vocal range reaching to high falsetto.  In this show, there is no lead singer as they all take lead vocals and have amazing vocal dexterity.  When they performed a couple of acapella songs and something went awry on the second one, the audience interaction was great as the guys joked about it and people then realised just how difficult it is to pitch an acapella song when you’re going straight from another one.  Perhaps at this point, the audience realised just how talented this group actually are and how they deliver this night after night.  To compare a musical theatre singer with someone on X-Factor, is a bit like comparing an advanced driver with someone who has just acquired their ‘L’ plates!  A lot of people can sing, but it takes years of hard work to get your vocals up to the standard needed to meet the demands of a musical theatre show and this one in particular.

The guys are ably supported by singer/dancers Bethany Dows, Robyn Ford and Phoebe Henderson who shine as the Ronnettes singing Be My Baby and Da Do Ron Ron.  Backing dancers Jonathan Cook, Simone Cristofaro and Charlie England help to bring the show alive, along with the band Dean Mongerio, Joe Sweeney, Matt Randall and Eddy White.

The set opens in Ruby’s Bar, with some steps leading up to the band and the simple idea of putting twinkly fairy lights on black drapes worked a treat.

It is a lively, fun show and I was very surprised at how many of the songs I actually knew, but realised that a lot of them had been covered by other artists over the years.  For me Can’t Take my Eyes off You will always be an Andy Williams song, but it was written by Frankie Valli and was a big hit for him in 1967 before Andy recorded it in 1968.  If you enjoyed Jersey Boys, you’ll love this show and even if, like me, you’ve not seen the first show and this isn’t your era, there are so many familiar hits to sing along with you’ll enjoy a great night out.

Book your tickets now at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre Box Office 0844 871 7607 (bkg fee) or visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (bkg fee)

Performances:    Tue 22 – Sat 26 Oct  7.30pm, Sat Matinee 2.30pm
Tickets:   £10 - £27.50  
Box Office:   0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking: www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (bkg fee)

The tour continues to:
Cardiff Theatre
5th-9th November 2013
Wolverhampton Theatre
19th-23rd November 2013
Capital FM Arena Nottingham
7th December (2 shows)
More info can be found on www.newjerseynights.co.uk

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye
22.10.13

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    The oldies are the best, Yvonne! Thanks for the review.
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