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Review: JERSEY BOYS, King's Theatre, Glasgow

The hit show returns to Glasgow!

Jersey Boys

Jersey BoysOh, what a night! The UK tour of Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Balli & The Four Seasons returns to Glasgow. The show first opened on Broadway in 2005, winning four Tony Awards including Best Musical and transferred to the West End in 2008, also picking up the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. This touring version is directed by Des McAnuff.

Michael Pickering gives a soaring vocal performance as Frankie Valli. Lewis Griffiths garners many laughs from the audience as deadpan Nick Massi. Blair Gibson gives an endearing performance as Bob Gaudio, and Dalton Wood is suitably tough and macho as Tommy DeVito. Michael Levi's delightfully camp performance as Bob Crewe (and others) is also a highlight.

The show features more than thirty hits from the band's career and lively choreography (with and without musical instruments!) by Sergio Trujillo. Klara Zieglerova's set design flits smoothly between the Brooklyn streets and recording studios.

Michael Clark's projection design utilises live camera work for the TV segments along with pop art prints to punctuate the scenes. Howell Binkley's lighting design is a little too dazzling for some seated in the dress circle at this performance, but there is a good use of colour change to transition between scenes. Jess Goldstein's costumes and Charles G Lapointe's wig design transport the audience back to a retro age, with the iconic matching jackets centre stage.

The band, while lacking a few of the orchestral instruments from previous productions, is led skilfully by Griff Johnson, delivering the timeless hits, bringing the audience at the Glasgow King's to their feet by the end of the performance.

The transitions and narration between each number, along with incidental music by Ron Melrose, are some of the slickest ever seen, with plenty of jokes to delight the audience as we find out more about the singers behind the microphones. The opening sequence was slightly spoiled by an unbalanced sound mix which seemed to sort itself out, but the grooves.

Whether you've only heard their hits at weddings or are a big fan of the Four Seasons in all its permutations, Jersey Boys is a fun night out and will have you dancing in the aisles.

Jersey Boys at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, until 7 May

Photo credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

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