Theater Review: Jersey Boys

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A musically lush theatrical journey of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons' rise to fame.

Broadway at TPAC presents:
Jersey Boys
(Jan. 9 – 14; Ages 12 & older)

TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
615-782-4040 • tpac.org
Show times: Tue – Thu 7:30 p.m., Fri 8 p.m., Sat 2 and 8 p.m., Sun 1 and 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $42.50 – $92.50

Oh, what a night indeed awaits musical theater lovers with the jubilant production of Jersey Boys at TPAC this week. This Tony Award-winning, documentary-style jukebox musical brilliantly features more than 30 outstanding songs made famous by The Four Seasons while telling the story of how Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi became one of the most unforgettable quartets in the 1960s. The story of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons is intriguing, and the fast-paced show is musically lush.

Each of the four main characters takes a turn narrating the story framed within the four seasons of the year, and the audience gets a lot of background elements including mob ties, jail time, failed relationships and Joe Pesci’s role in bringing Gaudio into the mix — the successful turning point for the group.

A SPLENDID CAST

A tight band provides the robust musical backdrop, bringing to life the timeless tunes. Jonny Wexler stars as Valli. Dynamic on stage, Wexler is a vocal powerhouse who perfectly nails Valli’s signature falsetto range.

As bass singer Nick Massi, Chris Stevens is a great casting choice given the manner in which his deadpan humor accentuates the melancholy aspect of his role. Likewise, Corey Greenan is excellent as DeVito, serving up a succinct amount of cockiness. Finally, Tommaso Antico as Gaudio delivers an air of lightheartedness and innocence to his character.

Their four voices blend with outstanding harmony on memorable numbers including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” “Working My Way Back to You” and “Rag Doll.” While all the musical numbers are amazing, there’s no denying that Wexler’s solo, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” is a true standout. This number allows Wexler to demonstrate the full range of his talent, and this one is definitely an audience favorite.

Sergio Trujillo’s choreography adds a lot to the dazzle on stage as does Jess Goldstein’s costume design.

The show provides a fantastic snapshot of the group’s history while recapturing some of the magic that Wexler, as Valli, speaks of while reminiscing back to the days when the young men hung out under a street lamp in their New Jersey hometown with their dreams and lives ahead of them.

While Jersey Boys is one of the best musicals to hit Broadway, take note that it contains mature subject matter and lots of swearing. The authentic Jersey profanity isn’t appropriate for young children. It’s a perfect date night with your significant other and older kids will surely enjoy this grand theatrical experience chock full of magnificent music from beginning to end.

 

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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