June 11, 2012

Jersey Boys Playing at Tulsa Performing Arts Center – Review

Jersey Boys is currently playing on first national tour in Tulsa, OK for a three-week run through June 24, 2012.

Here is the glimpse of the Musical review by James D. Watts Jr at tulsaworld.com

There is a lot more reason why “Jersey Boys,” which opened a three-week run Wednesday at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, has become such a phenomenon.

That last course is the one Tommy’s been pursuing without too much success, until he finds a kid who “sings like an angel” named Francis Castelluccio — who soon changes his name to Frankie Valli (Joseph Leo Bwarie). Once Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), a bass guitar-playing man of few words, gets out of prison, he joins DeVito and Valli in the group. But it isn’t until the trio is introduced to a songwriter named Bob Gaudio (Preston Truman Boyd) that all the pieces come together for what will become the Four Seasons.

Des McAnuff staged the action with all the kinetic energy of a Martin Scorsese gangster movie, with scenes changing with cinematic speed and fluidity. The book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice compresses a good 40 years of history into a fast-moving, often sharply funny, and surprisingly rich story that gives each main character a “season” in which to tell his version of the story. And while Brickman and Elice may have taken a few liberties with the facts, as Tommy DeVito says, “You ask four guys how it happened, you get four different versions.”

The four guys telling those stories in this production are top-notch. I’ve heard other actors in the role of Frankie Valli who do a more exact job of recreating Valli’s distinctive falsetto, but I haven’t seen anyone give a more deeply felt, more finely nuanced performance than Bwarie, whether it’s as the wide-eyed young Frankie at the start or a grieving father at the end.

He’s also the most physically active Frankie, dropping into the splits in some of the dance moments. And Bwarie’s singing has great energy and passion, especially in the second act, when each performance is Frankie Valli basically singing to save his life — for example, in a bravura performance of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” where all the desperation turns into triumph.

Gardiner is just about perfect as DeVito — a tight, compact bundle of single-minded ambition and potential violence, the sort of guy who always talks about getting out of “the neighborhood” but can never leave it behind. He delivers DeVito’s wiseguy patter so naturally you would think Gardiner had just stepped off the red-eye from Newark.

Boyd has a singing voice about as strong and wide-ranging as Bwarie’s, as he demonstrates in “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” And he has a fine sense of comic timing makes his delivery of Gaudio’s droll one-liners crackle with dry wit. And Boyd projects so confident a presence that, even when Gaudio begins to move out of the spotlight, Boyd continues to make him fascinating to watch. Lomenda makes the most of Massi’s relatively few lines, so that just about everything he says comes as a surprise, like his hilarious outburst about DeVito’s personal habits in the midst of a tense scene involving a couple of mobsters.

Read the complete review {Via Tulsaworld.com}

Jersey Boys at Tulsa Performing Arts Center will perform through June 24, 2012. Buy Jersey Boys Tulsa OK Tickets online today for best seat locations at the best prices. Save $10 by using the Code SUMMERFUNTN at Checkout on Orders of $250 or more!

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