I’m not an actress or god knows, a singer, but I do love the theater and musicals. I even interned in the marketing department of a theater in Wisconsin, which means I got to go to many of the shows for free and it was pure heaven.
Since I’ve lived in Chicago though, I haven’t really enjoyed a lot of the theater we have here, outside of a few shows.
So when I was invited to check out a showing of Jersey Boys as part of a Broadway in Chicago blogger night, I was pretty psyched. I grabbed my friend Meg and we headed out into the musical beyond.
My parents saw the show about a year ago and LOVED it. I was a little more skeptical because, well Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons aren’t really the music of my generation. I don’t have the memories of watching them on American Bandstand and the Ed Sullivan Show, but I was still intrigued about how these guys from New Jersey went from everyday guys to superstars.
But I do love oldies and I’ll say, I was really shocked at how many of their songs I recognized, from the more obvious, “Sherry” and “Walk Like A Man” to the surprising “Dawn” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” I heard on the radio so many of these songs but never knew who was behind it!
(image provided by Broadway in Chicago)
So let’s cut to the details:
Summary: The play chronicles the rise of the Four Seasons from New Jersey to stardom and follows part of Frankie Valli’s solo career too. To get the full story, each of the Four Seasons takes turns giving a recount of how they evolved from local artists to national stars. And along with storytelling, there is a good dose of music too. So much in fact that there are four actors that play the role of Frankie Valli because, well, he pretty much performs throughout the entire play! I can’t even imagine one guy doing that every night and twice a week during matinees.
Run time: Two hours and forty minutes (with an intermission)
What I liked about it: It was a good mix of music and talking and again, having each of the main characters narrate the story helped keep my interest too. As I began to connect with them, I was curious to see what happened next and sometimes it was surprising. The acoustics for the musical numbers were amazing and honestly, the Frankie Valli actor for our performance, Dominic Scaglione Jr., was really great. His version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” was really amazing. There were also great staging effects in the play, like pop art on a video screen, and old-school NBC television cameras filming the cast and projecting on the screen as well. Great touch. Staging was simple but effective and I won’t lie, the old-school moves were really cute. I mean, no one dances like that anymore.
Also, Meg and I got candy at intermission and I promised her I’d mention that the Junior Mints were fresh and delicious. Win!
What I didn’t like about it: There was one part before the big finale that didn’t seem to really fit, and then it wasn’t explained before the finale, but otherwise I had no complaints. I was vague here because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else.
And while my friend Rebecca and I disagreed on our thoughts about the play, I still recommend it. I liked it a lot and while it’s not our generation of music, it was still entertaining.
Here is a picture of me in the lobby too!
Has anyone else seen Jersey Boys? If not, what is your favorite musical?