It is all about the music at Jersey Boys, on now at Oxford’s New Theatre until Saturday.
Giving us the story of the making and breaking of American rock band The Four Seasons, who became internationally successful in the 1960s and 1970s, audiences new and old were swept up in their rags to riches tale last night.
The shape-shifting group who made it into the American Hall of Fame – made up of song-writer Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi and fronted by Frankie Valli, treat us to a selection of their enduring hits, from ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’ and so many more, a snapshot of some 34 songs in all from this impressive quartet.
And while it’s hard to match Frankie Valli’s famously powerful falsetto, by the time we get to the showstopper “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” played and sung by the amazing Michael Pickering, his voice has completely won the audience over.
The narrative revolves around the recollections of the four members of the group, played so effortlessly by Dalton Wood, Michael Pickering, Blair Gibson, Lewis Griffiths, whose memories don’t always match up, but what they all agree on is their background of small-time crime, the revolving jail-house door, gambling, the Mob and broken relationships, followed by alcoholism and suicide. Perfect musical material!
However, the more chaotic the lives off-stage, the more stylish the costumes and fabulous the choreography. Beautifully staged, lit and played, the leads certainly manage the elusive “triple threat” of singing, dancing and acting with great aplomb.
It’s a brilliant night out – go and have a great time!