The musical follows four boys on their journey from the wrong side of the tracks in the state of New Jersey to international success as pop music sensation The Four Seasons. The band wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30.
Amongst their many hits included in the show are “Sherry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, “Working My Way Back to You” and “Who Loves You”. The musical has been written by Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman and uses the original music written by band member Bob Gaudio.
Following a four month try-out run in La Jolla, California, Jersey Boys opened in November 2005 at Broadway’s August Wilson Theater, where it continues to sell out. In 2006 it won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The West End production reunites the Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff. Choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and design by Klara Zieglerova.
First night critics agreed that this “no-frills production” absolutely “deserves to thrive”, though some worried that some questioned its long-term resonance for British audiences and one feared it “may be an American import too many”. Of the cast, Ryan Molloy was repeatedly singled out for his “powerhouse of a voice”, which makes him “sing like a man possessed” as Valli. Nevertheless, it was the myriad Four Seasons hits - “sheer joy from start to finish” - which really had the critics dancing in the aisles despite some “clunkingly awful lines” of dialogue.
- by Melissa Rynn & Kate Jackson