Yo! Shut Up and Dance! Jersey Boys (Review)

Now we know you’re not supposed to dance in your seats at the theater but be forewarned, it’s almost impossible not to dance and sing while enjoying the theatrical performance of the Jersey Boys now playing at the Ahmanson Theater.

In fact, expect to be overwhelmed by emotion thanks to this musical narration chronicling the careers of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, four lovable guys from New Jersey who hit the big time with an unparalleled sound that took the world by storm.

In the 60’s and 70’s the Four Seasons delighted audiences with Frankie Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals. With 20 Top Twenty singles, they burst onto the scene and continuously dominated the charts with a sound nobody had ever heard before, reviling the Beach Boys and The Beatles.

A musical adaptation of the book written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice the play is directed by Des McAnuff. 

Jersey Boys isn’t just a theatrical masterpiece worthy of every award it’s been given a little over a decade. It’s also a seamless experience of choreography, sound, projection, costume design, set changes by Klara Zieglerova, and theatrical lighting by Howell Binkley, that set the mood and take you on a roller-coaster ride through the ups and downs of show business, all the while  dousing you in your favorite tunes by the group including, “Big Girls Don’t Cry, Cherry Baby, Walk Like a Man,  Oh, What a Night and Working My Way Back to You Babe”.  All songs that provoke feelings of a more innocent musical time in America, and all carrying the signature sound of harmony perfection and the “soaring falsettos” of Frankie Valli, whom the world still can’t get enough of.

Mark Ballas is reprising his hit Broadway performance as Frankie Valli for the Los Angeles engagement of the tour. Ballas, known for his Emmy-nominated work on “Dancing with the Stars,” made his Broadway debut in the role last fall (October 18, 2016 – January 15, 2017). Critically acclaimed ‘Frankie veterans’ Aaron De Jesus and Miguel Jarquin-Moreland will play Frankie Valli at certain performances during the week. The cast of “Jersey Boys” will also feature Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito), Keith Hines (Nick Massi) and Cory Jeacoma (Bob Gaudio) as The Four Seasons, with Barry Anderson and Thomas Fiscella.

The ensemble of “Jersey Boys” includes Mark Edwards, Corey Greenan, Bryan Hindle, David LaMarr, Austin Owen, Kristen Paulicelli, Leslie Rochette, Andrew Russell, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Dru Serkes, Jonny Wexler and Jesse Wildman.

This Tony Award®-winning musical pulls at your heartstrings and never lets you go for a minute. For the Eastsider, the show is a reminder of home, with actors mimicking thick Jersey accents, shared ambitions, and fearless profanity. For the inspiring musician, dreams, hard work, demands for respect, and the sacrifices that come with the realities of hitting the big time.

But it’s not all elation, the story dips in and out of the darker side of show business, a life away from the wife and kids, losing members, the mob, the unsuspected death of Franki Valli’s estranged daughter, the eventual break-up of the group and Joe Pesci?

Yes, Joe Pesci. It’s revealed that actor Joe Pesci of “GodFellas” fame played an influential role in the success of the group as well.

Jersey Boys reels you in with its remarkable musical performances, topped with comedic timing, moving your body and soul. Not only will you be moved to dance, you’ll find yourself rooting for the fellas from the beginning of this four act play to its finale that allows you to fully share in their success.

Tickets are on sale for Jersey Boys now playing at the Ahmanson Theater. For more information visit www.centertheatergroup.org

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame and are still performing to this day.

KerFree100

Yup, you guessed it. It's me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background...I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I'm the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well....Just remember if its fun...it can't be work....Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!