February 11, 2011

Jersey Boys in Hippodrome is a Big Hit – Another Baltimore Review

Jersey Boys, the 2005 Broadway musical history of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons makes a crowd-pleasing winter booking at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre. Much of this show’s appeal is due to its generous selection of songs that dwell in our collective unconscious. The moment you hear such pop hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Working My Way Back to You”; it’s like listening to a vintage jukebox that just won’t quit.

The show literally does not miss a beat in adhering to that inspirational narrative structure. But the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice is so smartly crafted to blend music and melodrama that it ensures “Jersey Boys” will play well in states other than New Jersey.

The story of young Italian-American guys from Jersey crooning their way to success in the early ’60s obviously includes such stereotypical figures as meddling mobsters, predatory floozies and slimy record company types. But Brickman and Elice supply their book with enough clever banter and good-natured spoofing to keep that story merrily chugging along.

The overall set design readily facilitates the use of video screens because it does not consist of much more than metal platforms, stairs and fencing that easily adapt to passing as everything from a family home to a concert hall. The musicians and vocalists are free to roam the mostly empty stage, with those overhead video screens providing colorful visual accents.

In a lesser show, the other members of the group might be bland and nearly anonymous. “Jersey Boys,” fortunately, provides fully realized characterizations for Nick Massi (Steve Gouveia), Tommy DeVito (Matt Bailey) and Bob Gaudio (Quinn VanAntwerp). This gives dramatic heft to the show when the chart-topping pop group threatens to implode owing to long-simmering disputes.

Many minor roles are played by cast members constantly called upon to change identities from one scene to the next. Even though many of these roles are cartoonishly scripted, they’re enacted with lively good humor.

The dozens of characters collectively take us from Jersey to Vegas and back again. There may not be any great surprises on this biographical trip, but there is a lot to enjoy along the way.

Hippodrome Performing Arts Center Review by Mike Giuliano – Via ExploreHoward.com

Jersey Boys runs through Feb. 27 at the Hippodrome Theatre, at 12 N. Eutaw St., in Baltimore. Hurry Up for Jersey Boys Baltimore MD Tickets Online.

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  1. [...] Jersey Boys in Hippodrome is a Big Hit – Another Baltimore Review … Jersey Boys News – Cast, Tour Dates 2011, Resources Your Source for Jersey Boys Tickets, Tour dates – Info. Twitter. Twitter Updates. Jersey Boys Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis, MN Tickets | //bit.ly/g2Iw05 3 weeks ago; Cheap Jersey . [...]

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