Jersey Boys stage musical a brilliant blast from the past

Jersey Boys. Photo by Joan Marcus. (l to r) Corey Greenan, Eric Chambliss, Jonny Wexler and Jonathan Cable

You’ve heard of the musical, and you know the hits, but do you know the story of The Four Seasons?

This musical is a comedic documentary-style stage play, telling the story of four successful boys from New Jersey in their rags-to-riches story. These young men introduced the world to a whole new sound, and broke records in their time. However, their story was never publicized as the boys had criminal records that could have shattered everything for which they’d worked so relentlessly.

The musical was brilliant from start to finish, incorporating The Four Seasons’ greatest hits, from “Ces Soirées-La” (“Oh, What a Night”) to “Who Loves You,” and of course they couldn’t leave out the classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which had the whole crowd singing to their significant other, or the person sitting next to them.

It was a very entertaining musical, with loads of jokes! The script had a bit more “blue language” than I anticipated, but should have expected, considering the boys were from New “Joisey.”

The musical was split up in four parts, representing Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter in two acts. Both acts had an equal amount of smash hits. The story of these Jersey boys included everything from the beginning of their friendship to the end, with a finale that tied everything together.

Different from most other musicals, this one was told through four different perspectives by the prominent group members, including Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli, Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, to depict a non-biased, honest story. The story was raw, and spoke of all the ups and downs endured by each member.

The costume design by Jess Goldstein accurately depicted the fashion of the era. Goldstein made sure that the costumes in the musical took the audience from the ’60s to the present day, from baby doll dresses to short shorts, while the boys’ suits grew shinier and shinier as they became more and more successful.

The chemistry between the four men onstage was like none other. Actors Eric Chambliss, Jonny Wexler, Jonathan Cable and Corey Greenan never missed a beat — they were always on cue and delivered amazing performances. Their dance numbers — and songs — were as if the real Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were onstage, and the live band helped bring the musical to life.

Jonny Wexler as Frankie Valli was outshone by Corey Greenan’s character Tommy DeVito, but of course that was expected, as Tommy’s persona was larger than life. Johnny Wexler’s vocals compensated for Frankie’s shyness — his voice reverberated off the walls, sending waves through the crowd and shivers up my spine. His rendition of “An Angel Cried” left the crowd clapping and whistling in awe.

The stage design was minimal, it was more the actors that made the stage come to life. The backdrops were basic, including a New Jersey sunset, a church cross, and vintage pop art that was relevant to their songs and the different eras.

The sound design was excellent, as each character’s voice projected perfectly throughout the theater. It was never too quiet or too loud; it was the perfect volume that allowed the actors to carry their voices effortlessly.

The story came together seamlessly, which was apparent when the cast received a standing ovation from the audience. This musical is a perfectly crafted work that celebrates The Four Seasons’ success and legacy. ~Emily Chavez

Jersey Boys runs until March 17 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Click here for more information and/or to buy tickets.

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