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'Jersey Boys' An Electric Powerhouse Of Thrills


Jersey Boys is one of those shows that I feared I might not like. This notion was dispelled about sixty seconds into the show when it caused me to have chills in places that I never knew I could have chills before. This musical is a champion from the top to the final curtain call. Jersey Boys packs wallops on many levels and it keeps 'letting the audience have it.'

The Tony winning Best Musical, simply gets everything right. I would never have imagined that the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, would bring together a creative team that would helm a theatrical landmark. After this show, I will certainly never think of juke box musicals as something to fear. Greatness can happen in juke box musicals, and it is on display in Jersey Boys.

Perhaps the most fascinating achievement is how beautifully the book works. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice have pulled off quite a feat here. The book is compelling, and witty and never fails to be a perfect element in framing the next sensational number to take place.

The technical creatives have simply outdone most shows of the past. From the sets and costumes, to the lighting, projections, sound design and other theatrical wizardry, Jersey Boys contains what may be the most inspired and electric theatrical razzle dazzle since DREAMGIRLS.

I was never a real fan of THE FOUR SEASONS, but Jersey Boys has changed that. The songs by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, as presented here, are quite astonishing. The songs and the show build towards its fierce theatrical climax, when the Frankie Valli character performs CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU. It is one of those moments in the theater I shall not soon forget.

The entire ensemble of this show is top notch without a weak leak peeking through. Matt Bailey and Steve Gouveia are simply perfect as THE FOUR SEASON's Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. Creating new levels for that top notch is Josh Franklin as Bob Gaudio. His singing is gorgeous, his looks are gorgeous and his performance is absolutely fetching, charming and engaging. Great, great work, Mr. Franklin.

Last night I fell in love with Joseph Leo Bwarie. I am not positive if I fell in love with Mr. Bwarie as Frankie Vallie or the performer himself. No matter, I can't wait to see what he does next. Of course, this would be after witnessing his glorious achievement in Jersey Boys about a dozen more times. He stopped the show more than once and no one in that theater seemed to be able to get enough of the magical spell he kept drawing us into. Smoothly seductive charisma, handsome to look at and a voice that is impossibly magnificent. What a great singer Joseph Leo Bwarie is and how brilliantly he performs in Jersey Boys. Wow! He is beyond sublime and every home should have a Joseph Leo Bwarie in it.

Yes, in Jersey Boys it all comes together. Fresh and fantastic, this is a musical that will be loved by millions for a long time to come. Congratulations to all on this extraordinary achievement.

The final performance of Jersey Boys at the Broward Center is May 3.


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From This Author Beau Higgins

Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg (read more...)