Jersey Boys is the story – warts and all – of the Four Seasons both with Frankie Valli as a member and later as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Four Seasons’ fans will be thrilled to know that Jersey Boys is back at the Milton Keynes Theatre on its way round the UK. The show did very well in London running for 9 years from 2008 in the West End – and even better on Broadway where it lasted a brilliant 12 years on Broadway.
if you’re expecting a sort of tribute show to the group, forget it because this goes much deeper. The Four Seasons themselves were very harmonious onstage but not so off it. Michael Pickering played Frankie and he and the rest of the cast were all excellent both the sound of the Four Seasons and the arguing off stage were at all times believable and I think the Four Seasons sound was very accurately portrayed. The Frankie Valli voice is quite special as you might remember and quite where Michael Pickerning gets it from I can’t imagine – quite small in stature as was Frankie himself but a breathtaking moment once you hear that voice! We see the life of the group at its best and during it many down times. Co-author of the script Rick Ellis said ” It’s not so much a musical as a play about four guys who wrote music.” It’s about revenge, betrayal, and crime & punishment. We see the effects living for long periods on the road as a busy entertainer has on your life and especially your relationships. But, if you are a fan of the Four Seasons you will get a wonderful recreation of so many of their songs – there’s 34 musical numbers in the show and you’ll know every one of them!! We see the time that Barry Gordie joined the group and his talent for writing perfect songs certainly helped the group’s success but even his joining the group didn’t please everyone! It’s certainly a tough story, but its a real worthwhile thing to go and see! The sets work very well and are managed very smoothly with the lighting team and the stage crew working very much in sync. The sound – especially during the speech, needs to be really crisp or we don’t get every word if the actors are putting on American accents. During the songs all was well.
The show is a delight and received a well deserved standing ovation on the Wednesday night I was there.
Tickets: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or phone 0844 871 7615
The show runs at Milton Keynes Theatre until 5th March.