Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

On stage for a limited time until February 11, 2024!

By: Feb. 08, 2024
Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre
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 ​Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Before there was Beggin' by Måneskin and Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You by Andy Williams, there was Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, which is the source for the hit Jukebox Musical: Jersey Boys!

Produced by QPAC and Prospero Arts, Jersey Boys is the inspiring rags-to-riches tale of The Four Seasons. When Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi met, they were just four New Jersey teens singing together under street lamps, scraping for gigs and money in their working-class neighborhood. As the quartet rises to international stardom, they celebrate the highs and endure the lows that go hand-in-hand with fame. Each member of the group takes a turn narrating events, illustrating how a ragtag group of guys from New Jersey -- and their decades-long friendships -- became music history.

Directed by Martin Croft, this semi staged concert was stunning. Croft's ingenious talent shines through this this stellar production; the design and blocking was simple and natural throughout the entire production. Despite its pulled back aesthetic, Croft has created a slice of heaven at QPAC. The performers clearly worked with Croft to develop their characterisation which was impeccable throughout. Music Direction by James Dobinson was spot-on, the music of The Four Seasons is catchy, and every single person in the auditorium knew the songs so Dobinson has their work cut out. However they rose to the challenge extremely well. Every musical element was sharp, crisp and effortless. From the rocking band (with horn line!) to the vocal harmonies and the gobsmacking voice of Frankie Valli. Choreography by Dan Venz was era appropriate and suavy, Venz perfectly captured the boy band aesthetic of the production and created some purely magical moments of dance.

Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

The set featured 10 LED screens upon which videos, designed by Craig Wilkinson, were shown. This provided the audience with a glimpse into time and setting without the need for extravagant set pieces. Lighting by Ben Hughes was emotional and beautiful, Hughes created some truly magnificent visual states which fantastically portrayed this production. Sound Design by Geoff McGahan was interesting, McGahan created some interesting reverb and vocal sound throughout the production to emulate recording studios and olden radios. This really helped to bring the audience into the time of the musical. At time a few vocal mics were turned on late and on occasion the mixing of the band vs vocals was off, however this did not detract from the over all sound quality of the production. Costumes by Penny Challen were exquisite, the female flapper dresses and male coloured suits were wonderful to behold and really showed off the talent of Challen as a designer.

Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Jersey Boys is spoken through monologue narrative of the four leads, the absolute powerhouses of the production.

Connor Crawford played the hard hitting, law breaking guitarist. Crawford is a stunning actor whom gave us a character who, while did some pretty bad things, we absolutely fell in love with. At times it was difficult to understand the lines from Crawford due to the accent, it would be imperative to maintain annunciation of words whilst keeping the thick New Jersey accent.

Glaston Toft played the 'off with the fairies' Bassist, Nick Massi. Toft has an interesting voice being able to sing in a large range whilst maintaining character. Toft played the lovable idiot with poise and grandeur, their vocals and physicality was fantastic.

Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Jack Saunders was the songwriting genius, Bob Gaudio. Saunders was the stand out actor in this production, the way they commanded the stage with elegance should be something all performers aspire to. It was difficult to take your eyes away from Saunders during his monologues as he just drew you in.

The highlight of this production is of course Josh Mulheran as Frankie Valli. Mulheran is an incredible vocalist who shines in this production, from the first note Mulheran sings we knew we were in for a fantastic show. It is absolutely impressive and hair raising how Mulheran can sing so high for the entire production, the vocal technique and production Mulheran uses must be right on point otherwise they would damage their voice with the squirrelly notes they must sing. Mulheran definitely rivals their character Frankie Valli, just superb.

Review: JERSEY BOYS at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Rounding out this cast is a bunch of Australian talent who take on the ensemble roles but also supporting characters. These stunning performers include: Matthew Casamento, Emma Hawthorne, Loren Hunter, Oliver Lacey, AJ Pate, Dale Pengelly, Sophie Perkins, Maxwell Simon and Emma Wilby. Special mention to Glenn Hill who played Bob Crew, the flamboyant music producer, their physicality and characterisation was uncanny, unmatched and flawless.

Overall this semi staged production of Jersey Boys is immaculate, every single fine detail has been thought of by the production team and brought to life by this incredible cast. This production is a must see for anyone looking for a good night out with even better music. However! This production closes February 11, 2024 so get in quick before it leaves the stage!

Photos By Joel Devereux