(l to r) Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss, Corey Greenan and Michael Milton
Photo: Joan Marcus
The Four Seasons was (and still is) a beloved musical group that had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. And, despite the time that has passed, the band’s music lives on. Almost anyone can hum at least a little of “Big Girls Don’t Cry” or “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” However, it’s not just the music that’s enduring. The band itself has an interesting history, one that is explored in Jersey Boys, a delightful hit musical directed by Des McAnuff and onstage now at DPAC.
Featuring a heartwarming book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, as well as some of the band’s biggest hits, Jersey Boys is a fun celebration of friendship, life, and, of course, music. It shows the band’s rise to the top . . . as well as all the struggles it took to get there. More importantly, it takes a look at the unique, intense relationships that form between the members and paints a sympathetic, human picture of each one individually.
Understudy Bruno Vida was tasked with playing the legendary Frankie Valli at the opening night performance. But, with his powerhouse voice and buckets of charm, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. In fact, it’s hard to believe Vida isn’t actually a young Frankie Valli in the flesh. Also stepping in on opening night were Sean McGee as Bob Gaudio and Alec Michael Ryan as Nick Massi. McGee plays his character as believably sweet, while Ryan’s Nick adds to the show’s humor. The last leading “boy” is portrayed by Kevin Patrick Martin, also an opening night understudy. He’s got just the right looks and just the right attitude for the role of troubled-but-talented Tommy DeVito, and Martin also knows how to show the softer, more vulnerable side of this flawed character.
The script is full of ups and downs and highs and lows as it follows the band’s long journey, but the one constant? The incredible music! Viewers will be able to sing along with old favorites and maybe even find some new meaning too. Plus, Sergio Trujillo’s lively choreography and the unique staging add to the fun and the aesthetic appeal. Also appealing is the high-tech set, which features a background screen that sets the literal scene and season.
Jersey Boys is a big over-the-top musical that pulls out all the stops. But, underneath all of that, it’s a simple story about friendship and the power of perseverance. Its themes are relatable to everyone- famous rockstar or not. In fact, that’s probably why the production has had such a long life and continues to please viewers, and this latest iteration is no different. It inspires and entertains, much like the music it celebrates. And, whether you’re a long-time Four Seasons fan or just a lover of music, you’ll find something to love here. Don’t miss it!
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