Jersey Boys, the musical based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice tells the story of the the formation, rise, fall, and eventual break up of the popular 1960′s “boy band” The Four Seasons. The show takes the audience on a emotional journey from the earliest beginnings of the band when they were just a trio started by Tommy Devito’, continues through the obstacles the band faced during the height of their popularity and commences with the 1990 induction of the group to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The musical is divided into four seasons; as the seasons change the four band members take turns narrating the story and sharing their personal insight and feelings about what was happening to the group. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as it gave a us chance to get to know each member on a more personal level and gave each actor a chance to show their understanding and passion for their characters.
The Pittsburgh cast consisted of 4 fantastic lead characters who were amazing look a likes of the original Four Seasons and they were supported by a very talented cast including 3 amazing “Jersey Girls” who I swear played at least 10 different characters each throughout the show.
Colby Foytik plays Tommy DeVito, the boy with a dream of starting in a successful singing group and doing whatever he finds necessary to succeed. In the beginning they have a hard time finding a core group who can manage to stay out of jail and be together long enough to succeed. Tommy discovers teenager Frankie Castelluccio (later know as Frankie Valli), played by Brad Weinstock, and takes him under his wing and teaches him everything he knows as they continue to try to make their big break into the music industry. During this time original member Nick Massi, played by Brandon Andrus, also helps to refine and develop Frankie’s unique voice.
As the trio are struggling with who they are, who they want to be and where they are going, Tommy decides trios are old news and they need to be a quartet. They begin to seek a fourth member for the band. Enter a young, annoying, determined, and outspoken Joe Pesci, played by Christopher Messina, who insits to Tommy that he has the perfect fourth for them, a songwriter named Bob Gaudio, played by Jason Kappus, best known up to that point for his hit “Short Shorts.” As soon as Bob hears Frankie’s voice he knows he has to write for him and is confident it will be the start of something big.
The boys spend quite some time singing back up on records for producer Bob Crewe, played by Barry Anderson, until he finally tells them that if they want to succeed they need to solve their identity crisis and figure out exactly who they are. As they wander out of the studio they see a big neon sign for a bowling alley, The Four Seasons Bowling Alley and the Four Seasons are born.
Jersey Boys is a delightful show perfect for anyone who loves the toe tapping, hand clapping catchy tunes from the 60′s. Some of the songs performed in the musical are “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Oh What A Night” ”Working My Way Back To You” among many many more all sung in perfect harmony.
Each of the 4 lead performers not only looked like but also sounded like the characters they were portraying and really drew the audience into their personal story when it was their turn to narriate. I was really impressed by Brad Weinstock’s portrayal of Frankie Valli, my favorite song of the show was when he sang “My Eyes Adored You”
You still have time to catch this awesome show in Pittsburgh, presented by PNC Broadway Across America Series, now through September 23, 2012. The performance schedule is Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for Jersey Boys begin at $29.00 and can be purchased at trustarts.org, the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue) and by calling 412-456-4800. Groups 10+ are available by calling 412-471-6930. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit www.JerseyBoysTour.com or www.trustarts.org.
Disclosure ~ I received complementary tickets to this performance courtesy of pgharts