Jersey Boys is currently playing on tour in Kansas City, MO and the performances at Music Hall Kansas City continue through May 20, 2012.

Jersey Boys Musical Reviewed by Russ Simmons at WDAF TV – FOX 4 – Here is the review:

The term “jukebox musical” is one that makes some Broadway purists cringe. It often refers to shows with weak or non-existent plots that are thrown together from existing music. They’re usually regarded as the poor stepchild of ‘real’ musicals.

The rousing, well-staged and engaging touring production of “Jersey Boys,” now on stage at Kansas City’s Music Hall, goes a long way to dispel the negative connotations usually associated with jukebox musicals.

“Jersey Boys,” the story of the pop music phenomenon The Four Seasons, might be more accurately described as a “musical docudrama.” It traces the history of the rise and fall of the group that achieved its fame and fortune in the time between the formation of rock and roll in 1950s and the British Invasion of the 1960s.

There’s a reason that The Four Seasons sold over 100 million records over the years. Their catchy songs with sophisticated arrangements and soaring falsetto lead vocals by Frankie Valli are considered pop classics. Their arrangements are faithfully replicated in “The Jersey Boys” by a crack band and talented acting ensemble.

The story unfolds in chronological order divided, appropriately, into four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. A different member of the group narrates each segment.

The group’s ascension to the top of the pop music charts was peppered with felonies, jail sentences, mob associations, affairs and divorces. The show’s amusing book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice provides us a sweeping overview of the conflicts that accompanied their artistic and commercial success.

Parents should be warned that the dialogue is filled with f-bombs and frank sexual dialogue. The Four Seasons may have sounded sweet, but they were closer to being ‘goodfellas’ than they were to choirboys. A movie version would, no doubt, garner an “R” rating.

“Jersey Boys” is an energetic crowd pleaser. As the group asks the audience the musical question “Who Loves You?” at the show’s finale, it’s clear that the affection goes both ways.

Read the complete review {Via}

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Des McAnuff directs the successful story of the Four Seasons, but he was initially more than reluctant. His first reaction was: “No thanks” to Jersey Boys.

Jersey Boys Director Des McAnuff
Jersey Boys Director Des McAnuff

Jersey Boys performances begin Wednesday May 02 and run through May 20, 2012 at the Music Hall Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri and reporter Robert Trussell interviewed director Des McAnuff, who states that when it came to directing the show, his first reaction was: No thanks. Here’s a preview:

“I’ve gotten myself into all sorts of trouble over this,” McAnuff said with a laugh by phone during a rehearsal break in Stratford, Ontario. McAnuff is in his final season as artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

“You know, initially I didn’t see it,” he said. “But Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the book (script) writers, were very persistent. There was no book at that point. There was a kind of treatment or an outline. And the way this got resolved was they basically invited me to the party and we came up with an outline together.

“I was so enamored of that treatment that I put ‘Jersey Boys’ into production before we had a script. They were writing the book at the same time I was designing and planning the show. So it was a somewhat eccentric way of launching a new musical.”

McAnuff knew he didn’t want a traditional approach.

“Because it was a musical about a band, I wanted to resist a more conventional approach to musical theater,” he said. “And they (Brickman and Elice) were not resistant to this at all. I think the reason we have such a success has everything to do with the brilliant book that they wrote. And that’s their book. They did the writing. I did not do the writing on this project. I helped in a sense design the superstructure dramaturgically with them, but the writing is very much Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Read the complete interview {Via}

Jersey Boys performances begin Wednesday May 02, 2012 and run through Sunday May 20, 2012 at the Music Hall Kansas City, 301 West 13th St. Get $10 OFF on Jersey Boys Kansas City MO Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout!

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