We round up the reviews for the return of this popular musical to the West End.
London Theatre1: ★★★★ “In an era of ‘fake news’ and much distrust, it’s refreshing to come across a story that doesn’t sugar-coat the failures and shortcomings of the show’s characters. Jersey Boys has an enduring appeal, with an accessible plotline, a decent amount of humour, and an array of familiar songs.”
The Guardian: ★★★★ “The momentum is all in the music, pushed hard in the band’s charge towards fame and beyond. Jersey Boys is a musical that efficiently delivers a cracking story and a seemingly endless catalogue of hit songs.”
Pocketsize Theatre: ★★★★ “As an audience you never lose focus on the story, the narrative of the Four Seasons is at the centre of this show and nothing ever comes in the way of the storytelling. It’s a masterpiece in getting someone’s whole life and career into a two-act musical.”
West End Best Friend: ★★★ “What this revival unfortunately lacks as a whole is clear direction. Emotional beats sometimes fail to land properly and the stakes often don’t feel high enough. Our overall experience of this production leads us to wonder if there is really a need or place for a Jersey Boys revival in 2021? The show also notably lacks diversity and, paired with the treatment of its female characters, makes for quite an uncomfortable watch in today’s theatre landscape.”
Broadway World: ★★★★★ “Jersey Boys may be the story of a band whose music sounds distinctly of its time, but thanks to brilliant writing and standout performances, this fresh and vibrant production is a feel-good hit that everyone will adore.”
Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “Playing Valli, Ben Joyce, fresh out of graduating from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, makes a stunning West End debut, a real triple-threat performance and, boy, does he work hard on that Valli trademark falsetto.”
The Reviews Hub: ★★★★ “Des McAnuff’s production has plenty of story to fit in, covering the rise and fall of the Four Seasons as well as the lives, loves and losses of its members. But the show is nothing if not slick, using a rolling backdrop, indicative furniture and hanging signs designed by Klara Zieglerova to transport the audience swiftly between locations and down the years.”
Showcall: ★★★★ “With a mix of drama and music, it is a slick and compelling piece of theatre under director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, who created the original Broadway production in 2005. Jess Goldstein’s costumes and Klara Zieglerova’s set nostalgically summon up the ’60s, with dynamic lighting design by Howell Binkley.”
The Times: ★★★ “All those hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers can’t be wrong, can they? This jukebox musical, telling the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, has swept the globe since it first arrived on Broadway a decade and a half ago. So to point out that it’s an oddly clunky piece of storytelling interspersed with songs that are seldom given room to spread their wings might seem perverse. But it’s true.”
Theatre Weekly: ★★★★★ “With a soundtrack that sold a hundred million records, a sensational principle cast plus perhaps one of the greatest, most diverse ensembles (with members embodying a rotating cast of characters) I have ever seen and a fast paced story with sensational highs but also hard-hitting and devastating lows and high intensity drama in between, the much anticipated revival of Jersey Boys is definitely a hot ticket right now and a show people truly must see!”
London Theatre Reviews.co.uk: ★★★★ “The show flows seamlessly, thanks also to the sleek direction of Des McAnuff and the choreography of Sergio Turjillo, and, of course, the great ensemble. Maybe 34 songs in two hours might seem excessive, but it’s amazing to realise how many hits the band released, and no song misses the mark in the context of the story, especially with these flawless performances.”
The Stage: ★★ “Lively but uninspired revival that falters despite a string of pop hits.”
The Telegraph: ★★★★ ” The Trafalgar Theatre has reopened with what, for London, is yet another jukebox musical – but the beautifully sung songs are irresistible”
British Theatre Guide: “What is so stimulating is the never-faltering synchronicity of the dance moves (choreographer Sergio Trujillo). For two and a half hours, it never lets up. It may be a Rashomon style structure according to the writers, but the four dance as one. Music and dance and a true story with four variations knit so completely that there is barely time to take a breath.”
Jersey Boys is now playing at London’s Trafalgar Studios.