Touring – reviewed at New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Jersey Boys is one of those musicals that pretty much everyone has heard of, it needs little marketing and has a bit of a cult status after is various runs around the world. For that reason and the fact that the music of the Four Seasons is so well known, the packed New Victoria Theatre was a hub of excitement as people bopped in their seats and enjoyed this lively, moving musical.
The cast is led by Dayle Hodge (Frankie Valli), Simon Bailey (Tommy DeVito), Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi) and Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio). Each performer is vocally fabulous individually, but when they come together, they create absolute vocal magic and a harmonious, chemistry-filled team. Hodge is absolutely brilliant as Valli as he performs the classic falsetto sounds with vocal ease and evidently strong technique. Mention must also go to Tara Young who is fiery and vulnerable as Mary Delgado and Mark Heenehan who is extremely versatile and strong in the various roles he plays.
The musical tells the story of how four friends from Jersey united to form one of the most unique and successful music groups of their time. The series of ups and downs, including grief, time in prison and romantic failures, make a great storyline which shows the rollercoaster of life in a natural and well-constructed way. Alongside the popular music and continuous humour, a strong and enjoyable show has been formed which is sure to continue thrilling audiences.
Musically this production is outstanding. The fast pace of the show means we are dragged through a maelstrom of music which is performed well not only by the leads but supported brilliantly by the ensemble and band led by Francis Goodhand. Alongside smooth set design from Klara Zieglerova and sound design from Steve Canyon Kennedy, we are transported not only on the journey of the group but feel as though we really are at a concert, which brings a lovely energy to the theatre. Jeff Goldstein’s costumes also bring an authentic touch to the show.
Overall this is a superbly slick production that long time fans and newbies are sure to enjoy. For a night of carefree fun, join the Four Seasons and experience the happiness their music brings.
Jersey Boys runs at the New Victoria Theatre until 20th October before continuing its tour.
photo credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg