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New Jersey Nights (Plymouth - tour)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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If you like the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, you will love this show.

Or at least that is the tag line of the international hit show New Jersey Nights. But I’m afraid I didn’t.

The music is pretty much all there with at least 27 songs plus, oddly, a couple of Phil Spectre hits (seemingly mimed by the three female dancers) but the story isn’t.

Basically this is a tribute show with four personable lads – Jon Hawkins, Duncan Heather, Ricky Rojas and Damion Scarcella – singing, explaining background or exhorting the audience to clap along.

And as for applause: as is usual in this sort of entertainment, no one quite knows when to clap to start with and once the habit is formed for the end of each song, there are several false ends rendering us uncertain again of whether we should or not.

Voices are OK, a bit nasal, except when the quartet sings a delightful a cappella double: Silence Is Golden and Blue Moon. Excellent but let down by the sound being a tad wet so reverb cutting across the beautiful harmonies.

Emma Rogers both directs and is responsible for choreography. Hmmm. The boys are spot-on with the feel of the 60s in their moves – perhaps carefully copied from tapes of the time? – but the dancers are clunky and hammy, and the ‘acting’ distractions in the background of many songs are irritating. All in all perhaps without the Valli story and characters, this would be better as a pure tribute concert.

All that said, there was a standing ovation from a good handful of the au.dience, plenty of cheers and almost everyone got to their feet for the finale.


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