BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS is Sensational!

July 24
5:16 PM 2014
BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS is Sensational!

It is way too limiting to categorize Jersey Boys as a jukebox musical, because it is a production that is deeper and richer in story line, texture, and technique than most. It is ultimately a tale of invention, of the creative work-in-progress, the sometimes perilous and sometimes glorious alchemy that, in the case of four young men from the gritty streets of Newark, transforms them into one of America's iconic rock and pop groups.

It is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on multiple levels ~ about friendship and loyalty, ego and betrayal, the costs of success, the roller coaster ride of fame, and redemption. Each character ~ Valli, DeVito, Gaudio, and Massi ~ has a shot at telling his version of their story, and you know, vignette by vignette, that fame doesn't come easy or free, and you realize how fate could as easily have landed all four in jail and deprived us of their genius.

And their story is brilliantly conveyed in perfect harmony by Hayden Milanes (whose tenor falsetto is spot-on Valli), Nicolas Dromard, Quinn VanAntwerp, and Adam Zelasko. Each vocalist is extraordinary, and every song soars, melding with the moments in their lives and the turns in their relationships.

It is as well a uniquely American story about a time of transition in this country when ironically two bands reflected two distinct strains of youthful aspiration ~ where the Beatles' fans were aiming to "levitate the Pentagon" but the Four Seasons were singing for the GIs overseas and the girls and families they left behind.

Close your eyes, and you're sure you're hearing the real thing. Open your eyes and you're watching four virtuoso performances that seem to authentically capture every finger-snapping movement. And there are moments when you're carried back into time with the clever use of Marconi broadcast cameras that project the performers as if they were live on Ed Sullivan's stage.

This show is epic and creative in its artistry ~ from Klara Zieglerova's spare but elegant sets to Michael Clark's stunning production design and especially his use of Roy Lichtenstein pop art-style projections to indicate the seasons and subtexts of the Jersey singers' lives. Ben Hartman conducts a knock-your-bobby-socks-off orchestra. And, oh yes, Mark Papazian's drums rock!

Jersey Boys had the audience at ASU Gammage Auditorium in their hands, and at show's end the audience's hands went up in a rousing standing ovation that proclaimed, "Oh, what a night!"

The show runs through August 3rd and is a must-see!

Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

NationalTours THEATER Stories | Shows



About the Author

Get Author Alerts
Herbert Paine Herb Paine is President of Paine Consulting Services, now in its twenty-sixth year of operation, specializing in organizational development, strategic planning, turnaround management, mergers, and (read more...)

  • BWW Review: Phoenix Theatre's BILLY ELLIOT Is A Soaring Achievement
  • BWW Review: Arizona Theatre Company Presents AN ACT OF GOD
  • BWW Review: An Evening with GARRISON KEILLOR Is A Time To Remember
  • BWW Review: THE TRUMP CARD at Stray Cat Theatre
  • BWW Review: Anne Carrere is Arc De Triumphant in PIAF!
  • BWW Review: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Trades Up And Pays Off

  • BROADWAYWORLD TV

    HAIRSPRAY LIVE! Latest - Forecast for NBC's HAIRSPRAY LIVE!: Sunny & Clear

    Save $$$ on Tickets to:
    Backstage with Richard Ridge
    JERSEY BOYS' Mark Ballas
    Backstage Bite
    Thanksgiving Special!
    Turning the Tables
    BWW TV LAST MINUTE with Randy Rainbow Congas to ON YOUR FEET!
      Chewing the Scenery with Randy Rainbow
    Randy Rainbow Checks in w/ Liza to Chat HAIRSPRAY, Pence & More!
    KID CRITICS
    KID CRITICS at BLUE MAN!
    BROADWAY SESSIONS
    SHUFFLE ALONG Reunites at Broadway Sessions!
    Advertisement AdvertisementAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement