A feel-good extravaganza: Theatre Review

Jersey Boys

“Why don’t you come out to my twist party?”

I love me some Broadway musicals. I love them big, bold and happy. I love strobe lights, fabulous singing and fabulous dancing. I love standing ovations and production number finales. Jersey Boys has just joined my short list of all-time faves.

This true story follows the Italian-American kings of doowop as they move from playing dives for mafiosos in the old neighborhood to national tours and American Bandstand gigs. Tommy is the founding papa, a street smart local with big dreams and a knack for recognizing talent. Along with buddy Nick, he takes little Frankie Castaluccio under his wing as Frankie’s falsetto wins them more fans. They are joined by teen songwriting sensation Bob Gaudio and become the Four Seasons. The road to fame is crooked as ever as the boys become men and face issues with drinking, gambling, petty crime, betrayal, and bad relationships. But they have heart through it all and end up Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members.

Jersey Boys is unique in its grittiness and in its genuine affection for the blue-collar roots of its subjects. The music is magical, the show full of Frankie Valli and the Four Season’s greatest hits including crowd faves “Sherri”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man,” “Too Good to Be True” and my personal fave, “Dawn(Go Away.)” I have rediscovered one of my dad’s favorite groups and enjoyed a show I won’t soon forget.

Jersey Boys closes in San Francisco on September 30
Jersey Boys continues to play on Broadway

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