BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
Set in the 1960's, Jersey Boys is presented in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the formation, success and eventual breakup of The Four Seasons. The musical is structured as four "seasons", where each member of the group narrates giving their own perspective on the story.
Jersey Boys which features a book by Tony nominees Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice first made its Broadway debut on November 6th, 2005 after having its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in October 2004. It would go on to break the mold of the jukebox musical by actually telling the true story behind the songs rather than putting them into a shoehorned plot. It also went on to win 4 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, spawned many productions around the world, and a 2014 film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood.
The book for this current national touring production currently playing through April 12th by Brickman & Elice perfectly structures the group's rags-to-riches story into four 'seasons'. Lead guitar player Tommy Devito (played by Matthew Dailey) narrates the 'Spring' of the group; Songwriter Bob Gaudio (played by Drew Seeley) narrates the 'Summer' of the group; Bass player Nick Massi (played by Keith Hines) narrates the 'Fall' of the group; and lead singer Frankie Valli (played by Hayden Milanes) narrates the 'Winter' of the group. At the end of the show, it's all up for the audience to decide which they felt was the 'real' story. Not only do each of the four actors playing The Four Seasons shine in their own light, but when they perform as a group, they really bring the house down.
Jersey Boys is very invently staged by Des McAnuff with some slick choreography by Sergio Trujillo. With a full sound system that includes about 120 speakers, it's thanks to sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy that you really feel the rush like a rolling ball of thunder during the musical sequences. What's also there to offer are about 69 moving lights brilliantly executed by Tony-Winning lighting designer Howell Binkley; and a total of 196 costumes consisting of some vintage suits, ties, and dresses designed by Jess Goldstein.
With a very talented cast of about 19 actors and 10 musicians, as well as so many hits of the era, Jersey Boys will not only keep you tapping in your seats all night long, but the story will also keep you very engaged from start to finish!
For more information regarding the tour: http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/tour/