October 20, 2013

Jersey Boys Uihlein Hall Marcus Center For The Performing Arts Review

Jersey Boys musical is currently performing at Uihlein Hall Marcus Center For The Performing Arts in Milwaukee, WI through October 27, 2013.

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Jersey Boys sings a definitively American tune – Reviewed BY Mike Fischer, Special to the Journal Sentinel

Late in “Jersey Boys,” the musical about the Four Seasons now back at the Marcus Center, Frankie Valli sums up his life by telling us he’s “still chasing the music, trying to get home.”

The strategic choice to showcase Valli’s disconnect between where he is and the place he’d like to be — in a hard-lived life where music both separates him from home and holds out the promise he’ll get there — tells us a great deal about why “Jersey Boys” has been so successful.

Yes, the harmonies in all those well-loved hits are still amazing and faithfully reproduced here, in a show that satisfies every nostalgic twinge by refusing to tinker with what already works.

Even as Frankie and his mates were reaching for heaven with their distinctive sound, “Jersey Boys” never lets us forget that their personal lives featured jail time, mob ties and broken marriages. Both the songs as well as this show reflect a long string of exits featuring wives, girlfriends and daughters, as well as friends, band mates and business associates.

Hence the decision by book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice to use the four seasons of the year as a frame, with each band member taking one and telling a different version of their collective story. For despite the timeless sound that the Four Seasons achieved together, their history unfolds in time, ruthlessly marching on and running down.

Appropriately, brash Tommy DeVito goes first as “Spring,” when it’s easiest for us to mask what’s selfish and cruel as youthful capers and headstrong pranks. As Tommy, Nicolas Dromard makes clear that if Tommy is a goofy clown, he’s also a bullying lout who struts like a rooster but never learns to walk like a man.

Bob Gaudio — the missing piece this group sorely needed — handles “Summer.” Jason Kappus plays him as a sunnier version of Frankie himself, traveling the same road from innocence to experience without the accompanying heartbreak. Like the season he embodies, Kappus offers light and humor as an antidote to some of this show’s darker moments.

As bassist Nick Massi, Brandon Andrus captures the color and underlying sadness of autumn. Andrus’ quirky, deadpan comedy is already baked into his role. But Andrus also captures the melancholy that’s just beneath the surface, in a man who knows the end is coming and is too tired to stop it.

“Jersey Boys” is a quintessentially American story about a dream we’re all chasing, one song at a time.

Read the complete review {Via JSOnline.com}

Tickets are selling fast for Jersey Boys performances at Marcus Center. Click here to Buy Jersey Boys Milwaukee WI Tickets NOW!

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