New Jersey Nights
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Since I can remember my Dad has loved Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I grew up listening to him singing along so I was excited to be invited to New Jersey Nights opening night at the Opera House, Manchester. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately if you didn't want to hear him singing along at the top of his voice!) my Dad couldn't make it, so my mum and I went along.
The show tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their life and music over the years and their rise to fame.
Oh what a night was the opening number and from that moment on it sure was, we were treated to all the hits including Big Girls Don't Cry, Rag Doll. Walk Like a Man, Sherry, and my favourite track Who Loves You? amongst other iconic songs. As they brought to life the sound and the feeling of the era.
Singers Jon Hawkins, Duncan Heather, Ricky Rojas and Damion Scarcella give truly charismatic performances and their harmonies are spot on with tightly choreographed dance routines, authentic dapper suits and greased back hair they certainly looked the part too. When they sang Silence is Golden in acapella it sent shivers down my spine, and Blue Moon with the comedy element showcased just how talented they were.
They are joined on the 60's set stage by 6 dancers, 3 girls who really do add to the nostalgia, and also perform The Ronettes Be My Baby, and The Crystals Da Do Ron Ron exceptionally well, and 3 boys who quite frankly I felt were surplus to requirements. There is also a fantastic live band. We didn't get to see enough of them as they were placed at the back behind scenery in the first act, but were a little more visible and prominent in the second act.
The whole evening was fantastic, we thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I would of been classed as a “spring Chicken” (I'm 46) so yes it was an older audience the whole theatre were on their feet dancing, clapping and singing along for the closing numbers, we were left on a high with the assemble singing the Four Seasons Bye Bye Baby and everybody waving in time to the music.
If I have any negatives they are very small ones… the first verse of My Eyes Adored Her was left off, and Beggin' didn't quite have the oomph I would of expected but apart from this a wonderful trip down memory lane. My mum and I both agreed we would love to see it again!
New Jersey Nights is on tour and showing until Saturday 23rd March in Manchester, try and catch it. You won’t be disappointed!
Tickets cost from £10 to £32.50
For more information or to book tickets click here.