Review Roundup: The National Tour of JERSEY BOYS
The national tour of Jersey Boys is currently making its way around the country with tour stops in Washington, DC, Ohio, Florida, Texas and more!
Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard... and the radio just couldn't get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story -- a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. The show features all their hits including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Oh What A Night," "Walk Like A Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Working My Way Back To You."
The national tour features Eric Chambliss as Bob Gaudio, Corey Greenan as Tommy DeVito, Jon Hacker as Frankie Valli, and Michael Milton as Nick Massi. The tour also features Andrés Acosta, Justin Albinder, Ashley Bruce, Kenneth Quinney Francoeur, Katie Goffman, Connor Lyon, Kevin Patrick Martin, Sean McGee, Hamilton Moore, Bruno Vida and Amy Weaver.
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Lee Jeffreys, MD Theatre Guide: Director McAnuff and his excellent choreographer Sergio Trujillo keeps the entire production flowing and moving seamlessly on the unit set designed by Kiara Zieglerova, enhanced by pop-art-inspired projections and background which punctuate the scenes. The small buy versatile ensemble executes the exciting choreography with skill and pizzazz. I also admired that not only was the story told from four different perspectives, but the director and choreographer varied the staging so that Frankie and company performed to different angles with the use of video and other techniques.
Hannah Wing, BroadwayWorld: The cast is always in sync whether its with the tight choreography, harmonizing, or coordinating scene changes. Jersey Boys wouldn't be much of a show without its supporting cast. Many of them juggle multiple roles with ease. With the help of costumes, designed by Jess Goldstein and wigs, designed by Charles G. LaPointe, you wouldn't even know that it was the same person who had been on stage before. Overall, it isn't the cast nor the production quality which holds Jersey Boys back, it is how the story is told.
Jill Kyle-Keith, DC Theatre Scene: The production now at the National is a highly polished one. The simple set, (Scenic Designer Klara Zieglerova) with its circular iron stairway and second story balcony, becomes a multitude of locations: recording booth, bowling alley, dinner clubs. While lighting (Howell Binkley) is done as you'd expect, the board op for the spotlight the evening I viewed it had trouble finding the actors on occasion. A real highlight, though, is the band. Musical Director Michael Kaish squeezes every ounce of talent from the small group of musicians. It's a delight to hear music that is so obviously loved by the folks in the pit.
Roy Berko, BroadwayWorld: The cast is strong. Jon Hacker stars as Frankie Valli. He creates a real Valli, well-duplicating the singer's famed falsetto. Corey Greenan is the sleazy Joisy-bred and neighborhood-loyal Tommy DeVito. Handsome Eric Chambliss is character-right as the prolific, clean-scrubbed, creative, Bob Gaudio. Michael Milton gives fidelity to Nick Massi, the reluctant performer. Though he over-does the fay illusion, Sean McGee is a crowd-pleaser as the effervescent Bob Crewe.
When it comes to Frankie Valli, there is one thing you absolutely must get right: the voice. In the show, several people talk about how they've never heard a voice like his - which was true based on the other lead singers of the time. And Hacker sounds fantastic hitting those high notes. Frankie's falsetto in this show is pitch-perfect and sure to impress. Chambliss makes a great addition to the cast, playing the youngest and last founding member - Bob Gaudio. Not entirely plucked from obscurity, he was a one-hit wonder with writing "Short Shorts" in 1958. But it was the teaming of Gaudio and Valli that made the group famous. Always believable, the chemistry between Hacker and Chambliss is quickly apparent on-stage. The character is also the first person to stand up to DeVito, as he and Greenan also play well opposite one another.
Brett Cullum, BroadwayWorld: Jon Hacker leads this tour as Frankie Valli, and the performer has solid connections to the original Broadway run as a cast member. He does an amazing job recreating Valli's signature powerful tenor, and he sets the energetic fast moving pace with zippy delivery and impressive acting. He is supported by Corey Greenan who brings a surprising amount of machismo married with grace as the gambling addict Tommy DeVito. Hamilton Moore subbed in for Friday's performance as Nick Massi, and he didn't miss a beat or a moment. He provided a stoic base for the rest of the guys. The fourth member of the Four Seasons Bob Gaudio is played by Eric Chambliss who brings a charming nerdiness to the group's main composer and ultimate architect of their careers. The rest of the ensemble does double and triple duty fleshing out wives, daughters, and nefarious mob types effectively throughout the two acts. This is a strong cast, and the tour represents the show extremely well.