Review Roundup: Mark Ballas, Bobby Conte Thornton and More Star in JERSEY BOYS at the Muny
Jersey Boys, winner of the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical, is the authentic biographic story of the magic behind the music of worldwide megahit group, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Featuring over 30 chart-topping hits, including fan favorites "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," this Muny premiere is almost too good to be true, and will leave audiences saying, "Oh, What a Night!"
The wonderfully-talented cast includes Mark Ballas (Frankie Valli), Bobby Conte Thornton (Bob Gaudio), Nicolas Dromard (Tommy DeVito), Keith Hines (Nick Massi), Neal Benari (Gyp DeCarlo and others) and Nicholas Rodriguez (Bob Crewe and others). A marvelous ensemble completes this cast, including Michelle Aravena, Candi Boyd, Tommy Martinez, Carissa Massaro, Harris Milgrim, Trina Mills, Dakota Mullins, Ben Nordstrom, Michael Seltzer, Gabi Stapula, Daryl Tofa, and Victor Wisehart. The company is also joined by the Muny Teen youth ensembles.
A tremendous creative team leads this production with direction and choreography by Josh Rhodes, music direction by Rick Bertone, scenic design by Paul Tate DePoo III, costume design by Andrea Lauer, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, video design by Matthew Young, wig design by Robert Pickens and production stage management by J. Jason Daunter.
The seven shows in the 2018 Muny season are: Jerome Robbins' Broadway (June 11-17), The Wiz (June 19-25), Singin' in the Rain (June 27-July 3), Jersey Boys (July 9-16), Annie (July 18-25), Gypsy (July 27-August 2) and Meet Me In St. Louis (August 4-12). For more information, visit muny.org.
Tickets are currently on sale for this historic season. In addition, Muny gift cards for the 100th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Mark Bretz, Ladue News: Ballas made his Broadway debut as Valli, and while he can't strike the high notes as consistently as Valli's legendary falsetto he hits his stride during the performance, which is highlighted by his polished dance moves and effective acting portrayal of the blue-collar singer.
Gabe Hartwig, St. Louis Post Dispatch: Bobby Conte Thornton is a standout as Bob, the Four Seasons' songwriting prodigy. His big voice shines in "Cry for Me," Bob's first song with The New Group. Muny favorite Nicholas Rodriguez sparkles as the Four Seasons' eccentric producer, Bob Crewe. Rodriguez plays multiple roles - but perhaps too many, given how recognizable he has become.
Tanya Seale, BroadwayWorld: There are more than 30 energy-loaded hits in this show. There are matters of friendship, aspirations, disappointment, and the will to overcome their Italian American working-class crassness - yeah, these guys are the real deal. There are many comical laugh-out-loud moments, and moments when the audience can't help but burst into applause in early recognition of a fan-favorite song. In fact, when the band first played American Bandstand, the audience roared with approval. We were so invested in the triumph of this band of rebels, that it almost felt real.
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