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December 2, 2012

Jersey Boys Musical in Cincinnati OH – Review

Jersey Boys Musical in Cincinnati OH and is currently performing at Procter & Gamble Hall (Aronoff Center) through December 09, 2012. Jackie Demaline reviewed the musical at communitypress.cincinnati.com. Here is the review:

There are two things that have made bio musical “Jersey Boys” a mega-hit since it opened on Broadway six years ago.

There are the songs, which pushed The Four Seasons to the top of the charts back in the Sixties – “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Oh, What a Night” and many, many more that sold a ka-zillion records.

The other thing? You couldn’t make this story up.

Broadway in Cincinnati presents the smooth-as-silk, entertaining from start-to-finish first national tour at the Aronoff Center through Dec. 9. If you love Sixties music, this is your show.

If you missed “Jersey Boys” in its sold-out Cincinnati debut a couple of years ago, it’s a bio musical that gets everything right in the telling of the rise and falling apart of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Tommy DeVito (John Gardiner), Frankie Valli (Nick Cosgrove), Bob Gaudio ((Miles Jacoby) and Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) each tell a part of the story from their point of view and it’s compelling stuff, interspersed with solid performances of hits, hits, hits – “My Eyes Adored You,” “Stay,” “Let’s Hang On,” “Rag Doll.”

“Jersey Boys” presents the facts of Four Seasons life: playing bowling alleys, brushes with the mob, endless miles on the road, heavy-duty partying, falling in and out of love.

Read the complete review {Via communitypress.cincinnati.com}

Jersey Boys musical tour will be at Procter & Gamble Hall (Aronoff Center) through December 09, 2012. Buy Jersey Boys Cincinnati OH Tickets Online at discounted prices, SAVE $10 when you spend $350+, Use code AFF$10.

July 4, 2012

Jersey Boys Musical at the Jubilee Auditorium – Review

Jersey Boys national tour is currently performing at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and continue through Sunday July 15, 2012. The review of Jersey Boys musical by Louis Hobson at Calgary Sun is presented below:

It’s a big, brassy, crowd-pleaser of a musical about the rags-to-riches story of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi who, as The Four Seasons, were the chart-topping sensation of the 1960s.

From the nightly standing ovations this musical is receiving at the Jubilee Auditorium, their music is every bit as infectious today as it was when it first made history.

The moment Joseph Leo Bwarie (Valli), Preston Truman Boyd (Gaudio), John Gardiner (DeVito) and Michael Lomenda (Massi) belt out such Four Seasons anthems as Sherry, Walk Like a Man and Big Girls Don’t Cry, you can feel the electric charge that surges through the audience.

It takes almost 40 minutes of the first act for this to happen because it took years for DeVito, Valli and Massi to find Gaudio, who was to write the songs that exploited Valli’s incredible falsetto.

Before that they covered other people’s music, but once Gaudio joined the group, the magic happened for The Four Seasons, as it does again for Jersey Boys.

As far as this Jersey Boys goes, Boyd brings as much magic and electricity to the show as Gaudio brought to the music. He is a mesmerizing quadruple threat of a performer who can act, sing, dance and play keyboard. He gives Jersey Boys the boost it needs and his part of the storyline brings some genuine tension and pathos to the musical.

Then there’s Bwarie. Without a ticking time bomb of a performer like Bwarie you simply can’t have a Jersey Boys. Valli had a distinctive sound and an amazing falsetto and Bwarie goes beyond just replicating it. He doesn’t just sing from his diaphragm and voice box. Bwarie’s sound comes from his heart and soul.

Jersey Boys works a bit like a concert inside a musical. When the quartet sings The Four Seasons’ hits and the audience goes wild, it’s near impossible to tell whether Bwarie, Boyd, Gardiner and Lomenda are accepting the applause as their characters or themselves. Either way, it is a love affair between performers and audience.

Jersey Boys is not the kind of musical you analyze. You just sit back and revel in its flash, glitz and pulsating energy.

Read the complete review {Via CalgarySun.com}

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June 23, 2012

Jersey Boys Second National Tour Performance at Winspear Opera House – Review

Jersey Boys second national tour is currently performing at Winspear Opera House and continue through Sunday July 15, 2012. Jersey Boys musical reviewed by Mark Lowry at The the Star-Telegram.

On its second national tour stop in Dallas, this time at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House, Jersey Boys is still too good to be true. The 2006 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, which chronicles the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — and is packed with their unforgettable music — is playing through mid-July in the Lexus Broadway Series.

And there’s good reason to believe that the show will continue packing the houses for its five-week stop here. That’s partially because the show, a jukebox/bio musical, is better put together than any other example of this genre (the book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice; music is by Bob Guadio and Bob Crewe, two of the original Four Seasons).

But more to the point, it’s because the music is so impeccably performed by the foursome in this case, not least of which is Brad Weinstock nailing the booming falsetto voice of Valli.

When they start such songs as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Dawn (Go Away) and Walk Like a Man, the crowd goes wild.

You might be a little confused in the opening number, though, which shows a contemporary French hip-hop version of Oh, What a Night. That’s to set up the idea that the Seasons’ music has transcended time, geography and style. From there, we get a somewhat chronological look at this story, from the formation of the band in the 1960s, to rising and then wild stardom, and, of course, the fall as members are released (some by their own choice), and then it fast-forwards to a performance at the group’s 1990 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Read the complete review {Via Star-Telegram.com}

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May 7, 2012

Jersey Boys Playing at Music Hall Kansas City – Review

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 fox4kc.com}

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April 12, 2012

Jersey Boys Back in Chicago Illinois – Bank Of America Theatre Review

Jersey Boys, the musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is back in Chicago at the Bank of America Theatre.

Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, young blue-collar gentlemen of the Garden State, working their way back to you, have returned to Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre for a nine-week stand.

Jersey Boys, coming on top of the initial Chicago run of a mere two-and-half years. And when you’re running that long in Chicago, where international tourists are thinner on the ground, you’re reaching a pretty hefty percentage of the local population.

So if you were one of the 1.3 million people who saw the theatrical story of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi during that 2007-10 engagement, and I bet you are, and you are contemplating another go-around with the sweetie who loves you, a big juicy steak on the town, and some bonding time with the big-ticket “Bye Bye Baby” boys, you’ll want to know if the national tour compares sufficiently favorably with the dedicated Chicago company not to let you and yours down.

Joseph Leo Bwarie, the current Frankie, is one of the premiere Frankies of the franchise, for this show, soon to also be a movie, is most certainly now a franchise. Especially when you see Bwarie alongside the apple-cheeked Preston Truman Boyd, who plays Gaudio, you think at first that you’re suddenly watching “Sons of Jersey Boys,” but baby-faced Bwarie is deceptive in the early scenes, because he knows how to show some steel and take command of the show. Bwarie, whose fine performance is enough to merit a return for fans of this show (note that he does not perform matinees), doesn’t rely on tricks so much as, simply put, a beautifully clear and pure voice. I was struck by how many people around me were closing their eyes when he sung, even though he is very easy on the eyes. Not all Frankies have provoked that desire to lose oneself in the vocals.

Other notable performances here include John Gardiner as an especially irritating DeVito, which I intend as a compliment, and Michael Lomenda as an especially strange Massi, ditto. The tempestuous scenes between Valli and his first wife, Mary Delgado (scenes that terrified the creators of this show) pop better here than I’ve ever seen them, thanks to a very shrewd and concise performance from Kara Tremel, a Jersey girl of distinction, even though it’s tough for a girl to get a look-in with this gig.

Read the complete review by Chris Jones, Theater critic {Via WGNRadio.com}

Jersey Boys performances at Bank Of America Theatre (formerly Lasalle Bank Theatre) continue through Sunday June 03, 2012. Buy Jersey Boys Chicago IL Tickets, Get $10 OFF on Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout!

March 2, 2012

Jersey Boys Musical Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Belk Theater Review

Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons now playing at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Belk Theater through March 11, 2012.

Here is the sneak review of the Jersey Boys musical by Mark Wineka:

Charlotte’s “Jersey Boys” brings all the talent and production qualities you’d find in New York — the kind that make theater-goers come back every time to see the 2006 “Best Musical.”

The performances of the Four Seasons singers themselves — Preston Truman Boyd as Bob Gaudio, Joseph Leo Bwarie as Frankie Valli, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi and John Gardiner as Tommy DeVito — make it impossible to choose a favorite.

They all stand out, and the story smartly gives each “Season” his showcase moments.

Jonathan Hadley, as lyricist-producer Bob Crewe, and Joseph Siravo, as mobster Gyp DeCarlo, also give outstanding performances in tying the narrative together.

The good news is, of course, that you can love the fast-paced “Jersey Boys” and its lightning set changes, even if you’ve never heard the music.

And you’ll learn some things. Who knew the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry” sprang from a slapping scene in a John Payne-Rhonda Fleming movie of the 1950s?

Or who could have guessed that actor Joe Pesci, a Jersey boy himself, deserves the credit for introducing Gaudio to the group — a meeting that changed the course of music history?

In “Jersey Boys” you gain an appreciation for what an important figure composer Gaudio was to pop music of his day. You also see how Gaudio’s friendship with Valli made their business partnership survive more than four decades on only a handshake.

But it comes down to the music — the live music — that consistently reminds you that these guys, these boys from Jersey, were good.

Read the complete review {Via Salisburypost.com}

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