Reviewed by Louise Edwards
Oh, what a night! This Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hit song title fits perfectly to describe the amazing Jersey Boys musical currently showing at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.
From growing up on the streets of New Jersey where crime is part of life, Frankie (played by the incredible Dayle Hodge) is taken under the wings of Tommy Devito (played by Simon Bailey) as he recruits him into his band, along with Nick Massi (played by Lewis Griffiths). DeVito takes on a big brother role introducing Valli to the ways of the world – good and bad – but protecting him and forming a close bond.
Band members come and go but the original members of Frankie, Tommy and Nick Massi stay strong. The trend for four piece bands puts pressure on the boys to look for an additional member and Joe Pesci (played by Dan O’Brien) – yes the same Joe Pesci who later turns to acting – introduces Bob Gaudio (played by Declan Egan) to the boys. Tommy is not keen on this new talent and starts to feel threatened as his role as manager of the group is shaken and he senses he is losing his grip of control over Frankie.
Gaudio’s key passion is in song writing and he is behind so many of the songs you will Instantly recognise. Working together with Valli they form a close relationship that survives the test of time.
The band struggle with egos and tension is high trying to get a record deal. As things are at breaking point Gaudio writes their first big hit “Sherry” on his way to rehearsals and the band instantly know they have struck gold. Many more hits follow, and things are riding high.
Meanwhile at home, family life is falling apart and Frankie’s relationship with his wife and daughter are feeling the strain of many months away on tour. As DeVito’s dodgy past comes back to haunt him the band again are pulled apart as Valli takes the centre stage and leads the troupe onto new heights.
Directly by Des McAnuff, Tony award winning director, the show is fast paced and uplifting with astounding sound quality and spine tingling moments a plenty. The story is gritty and heartfelt and most of all really interesting and the songs fit in with the highs and lows of the group’s career.
Jersey Boys the musical is infectious feel good theatre – it really doesn’t get any better than this!
Tickets cost from £20 to £54.50 (booking fees may apply).
Jersey Boys is at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham from 9-19 May 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND | 0115 989 5555