Wednesday September 20th 2017

“Jersey Boys”

jersey-boys-chicagoOften, I am asked, “how can you see the same show over and over?”. I always explain to those who ask, every LIVE performance is in fact a different show, not the same show!. I am not only talking about from touring company to touring company, but in fact, each performance is unique which is why LIVE theater is a special experience. Tonight was the opening of “Jersey Boys”, winner of the Best Musical Tony Award way back in 2006. During the 9 years that have passed, I have probably seen 6 or more productions. As I said, each one unique unto itself and its cast.jersey0

The play, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with the music of Bob Gaudio (one of the Seasons) and lyrics by Bob Crewe, has not changed much. They still work with the original direction (Des McAnuff) and choreography (Sergio Trujillo), and while the set has been increased a bit to fit the larger stage at The Cadillac Palace Theatre, what makes this play work is the four key men who play these characters who open up their lives to us with very little left to our imaginations.

The key to making this show work is the four men in the key roles, Matthew Dailey as Tommy DeVito, the mastermind of the group who brought “little Frankie” into the fold, Keith Hines as Nick Massi, Drew Seeley as song writer extraordinaire Bob Gaudio and the incredible Hayden Milanes as Frankie Valli (there is a second actor for this role as it is a very demanding role, so on matinees, you will see Miguel Jarquin-Moreland). These are amazingly strong performers who spend a great deal of stage time making us see the life that came along with the fame. We also get into the inner struggles that each of these men faced during their climb out from under the lamppost of New Jersey, a very well told tale indeed!

The ensemble is even more important in a show like this as each member must take on many roles and endure lots of costume changes along the way. Hats off to Barry Anderson, Tommaso Antico, Jaycie Dotin, Marlana Dunn, Leslie Rochette (these ladies play all of the female parts, young and old, and do so with style and grace),Thomas Fiscella, De’Lon Grant, John Rochette, Jonny Wexler, Austen Owen, Wes Hart, Bryan Hindle and Keith White.Jersey Boys

I will tell you that the opening sequence where “What a Night” is done as it would be in Paris of 2000 as a rap song caught me off guard as I did not recall that from the original. Or maybe it was there and I wiped it off my memory. This was not needed to set the tone. It is the story and the music that carries the weight for the audience, both young and old- songs like; “Walk Like a man”, “Dawn”, “My Eyes Adored You”, “Big Girls, Don’t Cry”, “Let’s Hang On To What We Got”, “Rag Doll” and much more! Two hours and  thirty minutes of magical story telling through the music that people of my generation know every word of. Again, the only drawbacks are the opening number and the fact that they selected the larger venue (the Bank of America Theatre is perfect),Cadillac Palace located at 151 West Randolph Street (between LaSalle and Wells).jersey2

“Jersey Boys” is only here through May 24th with performances as follows:

Thu, May 14: 7:30pm
Fri, May 15: 7:30pm
Sat, May 16: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sun, May 17: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Tue, May 19: 7:30pm
Wed, May 20: 7:30pm
Thu, May 21: 7:30pm
Fri, May 22: 7:30pm
Sat, May 23: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sun, May 24: 1:00pm

 

To order tickets, which are priced from $35-$115, visit any Broadway In Chicago box office, call 1-800-775-2000 or visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com

Day of show RUSH seats at $25, subject to availability.

To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “Jersey Boys” and ENJOY!!

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