Friday, October 9, 2015

The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Opens to Standing Ovations

The audience responded by standing.  They responded by singing along.  They responding by cheers and smiles.

That's the kind of fantastic response Jersey Boys:  The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons has been producing in venues all around the country.

In this two-hour Dodger Theatricals musical, all the famous and fabulous music you have loved for decades is here.  From "Sherry" to "My Eyes Adored You," they are (almost) all there.  (One of the most glaring omissions is "Grease."  How does one leave that iconic movie song out?)  You will be nodding, tapping, and singing along the entire time.  Loads of fun for the music fan in all of us.

If you are a fan of music history, you will love Jersey Boys.  The story of these young men, mostly street corner singers, begins in the early 1950s and ends with one of America's most successful and early boy bands.

The musical takes you through the band's tumultuous formation years (which included, among other things, stints in jail, gambling, and money laundering), their chart-topping success story, and finally to their iconic induction into the Hall of Fame.  We also get a sneak peek into what the surviving members are up to now.

The musical is peppered with some "colorful" language, and for this reason, I would not suggest taking younger children to see the show.  (Maybe one day there will be an edited television showing of the movie version.)

The musical is also more vague (in my opinion) and slower in the first half compared to its big-screen counterpart.  I personally thought the movie did a much better job of filling us in on the relationships of the boys and their history.  I found it a bit hard to follow in the musical, and if I had not seen the film several years ago, I probably would have not understood the true chemistry of the band completely.

The second half of the musical, however, blasts out onto the stage with show-stopping performances, and one thing I enjoyed is that the characters interact on occasion with the audience in front of them in real time.  For example, during a few of the concert scenes or big musical numbers, the audience would cheer and holler,  It was a lot of fun to see the performers step "out of character," so to speak, and make eye contact with the audience and even egg us on for more applause.  It was a great way to blend the musical and audience together and transport us back into their era.

The show winds up, as do most musicals, with a large finale consisting of the entire cast singing a classic Frankie Valli and and The Four Seasons hit.  Our opening night audience was on its feet within seconds, clapping and singing along.  (Video below courtesy of Rachel via YouTube.)

This is a great show to see, and I'm afraid if you don't get to The Fox Theatre to see it, you will wish you had.  (A huge surprise [and bonus] to myself and to my Guest opening evening was that Drew Seeley of Disney fame plays one of the Four Seasons!)  Do yourself a favor and get to the Fox before the weekend is over!

*Photo courtesy of Drew Seeley, facebook.

Tickets are still available.  Visit The Fox Theatre's website for more information and to snag tickets to a toe-tapping good time!

I leave you with one more video of Jersey Boys to whet your appetite, this time from the Tony Awards (via YouTube):

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