5 Reasons to See ‘Jersey Boys’ on Broadway

Jersey Boys, the hit musical charting the tumultuous lives and careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is currently celebrating eight years and more than 3,500 performances at the August Wilson Theatre. In addition, the film version directed by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood and starring Tony winner John Lloyd Young, repeating his Broadway performance as Valli, has just opened to rave reviews. The show won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Tony winner Des MacAnuff (Big River) directs and Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo provides the choreography. The score is composed of hits from the group (with lyrics by Bob Crewe and music by Bob Gaudio). The book, written by Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall) and Rick Elice (Peter and the Starcatcher), follows Frankie as he rises from teenaged crooner in the bowling alleys and lounges of New Jersey to become, along with Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Gaudio, one of the top acts in show business. Here are five reasons to walk like a man to Jersey Boys.

 

Drew Gehling, Joseph Leo Bwarie, Richard H. Blake, and Matt Bohart in Jersey Boys (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Drew Gehling, Joseph Leo Bwarie, Richard H. Blake and Matt Bohart in ‘Jersey Boys’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Those hits will get you up and dancing
The score will bring back memories for the baby boomers and get the younger folks grooving as well. “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh, What a Night” and “My Eyes Adored You” are a few of the chart-toppers you’ll hear.

A sound-alike for Frankie
The current Frankie Valli, Joseph Leo Bwarie, has played the role more than 1700 times including Las Vegas, the first national tour, and in his 2013 Broadway debut. “Bwarie, whose fine performance is enough to merit a return for fans of this show… doesn’t rely on tricks so much as, simply put, a beautifully clear and pure voice,” cheered the Chicago Tribune.

It’s like The Sopranos on stage
In their early career, the group had numerous ties to the New Jersey underworld and the script is full of dark and fascinating scenes involving this connection.

The staging and script
Brickman and Elice’s book is like a documentary, revealing the backstory of the foursome as well as the entire recording industry from various points of view, all in rich detail. Des MacAnuff’s expert staging lets it flow as smoothly as one of Valli’s ballads.

The dancing is divine
Unlike the movie version, which doesn’t really cut loose with a big musical number until the closing credits, the show is full of dancing. Sergio Trujillo’s choreography is like a catalogue of hip moves from the 1950s into the ’70s.