“Jersey Boys,” the musical biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is back in town for another run at the Fox Theatre. This is the fourth time the Tony Award-winning show has played at the Fox which means this is my fourth time writing about it. (Granted, one of those times I had HULK write the review, but he’s retired from theater criticism so I’m on my own.)
You may wonder, “What more can you say about ‘Jersey Boys’ that you haven’t said before?” I’m not sure. That’s why I’m stalling. I thought about just rerunning a previous review but the only one I could find online was by the big green guy. Suffice it to say, if I didn’t love the show I wouldn’t come back every time it does. Trust me, I haven’t been to every engagement of “Mamma Mia!”that comes to town.
OK. So. For the “Jersey Boys”-impaired, a recap: This is the story of three guys from New Jersey — Tommy DeVito (Matthew Daily), Nick Massi (Keith Hines) and Bob Gaudio (Drew Seeley) who achieve Rock and Roll Fame and Glory when they team up with The Man with the Amazing Falsetto Voice — Frankie Valli (Aaron De Jesus).
The show plays out like any good “Behind the Music” bio with each of the band members getting their turn at narrating the tale. It’s a familiar story with a Jersey twist: Poor kids make it big and along the way encounter heartache, betrayal, brotherhood, music industry shenanigans, death, drugs, sex, profanity — but most of all — rock and roll. “Jersey Boys” is a high-energy showcase of classic rock featuring such hits as “Rag Doll,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
De Jesus hits all the right notes in the challenging lead role and his companions do fine work as well. As usual, my favorite is the sad-sack Nick, who doesn’t come into his own until the second act.
The only downside to last night’s performance was the woman sitting in the aisle across from me, who proceeded to violate every rule of theater etiquette. If you can’t sing like Frankie Valli, you really shouldn’t try. Especially in public.
She probably won’t be back, so if you’re a fan of the days of early rock and four-part harmonies, or you just want to have a good time, then walk like a man (or woman), fast as you can, to the Fox before “Jersey Boys” is gone.