Oh, What a Night – Jersey Boys is back!
Jersey Boys, Trafalgar Theatre, 28th July 2021 – 2nd January 2022
The award-winning jukebox musical, which follows the journey of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, doo wops its way into the Trafalgar Theatre.
Unlike most other jukebox musicals, Jersey Boys does not encourage bizarre fantasy tales to incorporate the music of the band. Instead, the trials, tribulations, and slightly twisted events that we see on stage are representational of each person’s story, giving it the stamp of musical authenticity.
Narrating much of the show, the duplicitous and adept Tommy DeVito addresses the audience directly, navigating them through each arrest, hit-song creation, and chart climb, though sometimes he hands over the narrating baton to his colleagues who take on the challenge to tell their version of the story. It’s clear that the recount of events doesn’t always tally but it is safe to say that each member grapples with life throughout the course of their musical success. Benjamin Yates’ (School of Rock, Wicked UK Tour) portrayal of the smooth-talking DeVito is charming and magnetic – the ideal casting in this West End revival.
Karl James Wilson (Dirty Dancing) plays the charismatic and facetious bass singer Nick Massi. Wilson’s comedic timing is impeccable, giving the sometimes-dark story relief when it is called for.
Lead vocalist Frankie Valli’s breathtaking vocal range is the fascination of the band’s fans, and Ben Joyce is unmatched in his West End debut. From Big Girls Don’t Cry to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, each song demonstrates his faultless ability and mirroring voice of the singer that creates his irrefutable stand-out performance; Joyce is Valli.
Last to the group is undeterred writer and singer Bob Gaudio, responsible for taking the bands’ composition to new heights. Gaudio is played by the engaging Adam Bailey (The Book of Mormon), again with exemplary vocals. It is safe to say that the casting for this production is nothing short of perfect.
A special mention goes to Sergio Trujillo for the fluidity of his effortless choreography that transports you from an incomprehensible 2021 to a seemingly easier 1950s with grace – arrangements that call to be recognised.
With notable support from the rest of the cast, and ideal direction from Des McAnuff, the show firmly plants itself into the West End, set to be a hit, and you should be Beggin’ for a ticket!
Words by Lucy Morris.
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