January 10, 2010

'Jersey Boys' captures the essence of the Four Seasons

“Jersey Boys,” the 2006 Tony winner for best musical, has been a long time coming to Detroit. The phenomenal production at the Fisher Theatre proves it was more than worth the wait.

The show charts the meteoric rise of the Four Seasons, the 1960s chart toppers known for their soaring harmonies and working class roots.

More than a greatest hits collection, the play recounts the compelling story of the group’s ups and downs, including repeated brushes with the Mafia.

What makes “Jersey Boys” a winner is the care that has gone into every aspect of its production. The clever script (by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice) uses the seasons to take the audience through the different phases of the quartet’s career. In spring, we learn how musician/wiseguy Tommy DeVito (Matt Bailey) launched the group in between prison stints. We also see how he nearly scuttled it with a half-million dollars in gambling and tax debts.

Bob Gaudio (Josh Franklin), the Seasons member that wrote most of its hits, represents Summer. He talks about the salad days of the group, which scored its first big hit with “Sherry” in 1962 and successfully staved off the British Invasion with “Let’s Hang On!” and “C’mon Marianne” in the mid-’60s. Bass man Nick Massi (Steve Gouveia), who describes himself as the group’s Ringo, adds a welcome note of self-deprecating humor.

Buy Jersey Boys Broadway Tickets Online.

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