Review: Jersey Boys
The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
The Capitol Theatre
Oh What a Night!
If the story of four Italians from Jersey, set to their music, told by a Jew, starring an Illawarra boy from a Spanish family (Ryan Gonzalez), sounds like it could be a winning combination – you won’t be surprised that it is.
The leads played by Ryan Gonzalez (Frankie), Cameron MacDonald (Tommy), Thomas McGuane (Bob), and Glaston Toft (Nick) were spot on. I remember thinking the same when I saw it in its first trip to Australia in 2009.
Gonzalez was mesmerising and his voice beautiful in reaching the Frankie Valli high notes. His rendition of My Eyes Adored you is heartbreaking.
There is a build up to the story which shows the harshness of Jersey and the alternate lives they could have had – in and out of jail for break-and-enters, drugs and other mob-related activities, they operated on the edge of the law and it was only when the band started to become successful that they seemed to leave that life behind. Well, three of them at least.This wasn’t my first time seeing Jersey Boys and it’s unlikely to be my last. It’s a consistent, solid musical – every song is a hit. The delivery is filled with passion and pizazz.
The musical is enjoying its second visit to Sydney after opening here in 2010. It was a success then and it will be again now. The string of hits that binds the musical together is the main reason, and then there is the honest storyline involving love, crime, family, the mob, and Joe Pesci. It contains something we can all relate to.
Similarly to Beautiful – the Carole King Musical – for first timers, there’s the dawning realisation that all the songs were Four Seasons hits. For me a surprise was that even the Bay City Rollers hit ,Bye Bye Baby, was first a hit for this smooth foursome.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is the hit that really spurred the audience into bursting into spontaneous applause. Sherry, Rag Doll, and Big Girls Don’t Cry were also all big audience favourites.
For a high energy, feel-good, sends-you-home-singing night out – see Jersey Boys if you haven’t already, and see it again if you have.