“Jersey Boys” Jives

The hit musical based on the iconic quartet The Four Seasons shines at the Fox Theater


Photo Courtesy of the Fabulous Fox Theater

The story of the band behind hits such as “Walk Like A Man’ and “Who Loves You”.

Walking into the beautifully ornate house of the Fabulous Fox Theater, the simplistic set seemed situationally ironic. Just a couple of poles, wooden boards and the background of a sunset coming up over the dark silhouette of a small town made up the set of what was one of the most renowned musicals in Broadway history. 

I had always wanted to see “Jersey Boys”. I had had something of a girl-like crush on the rough-and-tough men who sang like such angels when I had first heard their song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” I had also seen the trailer for the movie when I was 12 and wanted to see it (not realizing until watching the musical I was probably much too young to watch it). The lyrics they sang drew me back to a time long before my own, a time that sometimes I wish I could have experienced. 

In the musical, each member of the Four Seasons gets a chance to tell their side of the story of how the band came to fame and how they fell apart. It told the full story, a story I did not realize it would tell; not only the story of these four boys growing into men, and how where they grew up made them a family, but also the harsher side; it does not shy away from the adultery, gambling, and just all-around corruption. I’ll admit, the young girl who had listened to their lyrics and marveled at the chivalry and innocence of their kind adoration of the women in their lives was a little crushed upon realizing the way they actually treated many of the people in their lives. 

Despite this, it did well to convey the message that, I believe is at the heart of the show: nothing is more important than family. Watching the struggles Tommy DeVito put them through, and how they came back and allowed him to lean so heavily upon them, made me realize that even when they mess up, push you away and push you to the dirt, family is family; there is no limit to what one should do for that bond. 

Even though the subject matter is quite dirty, there is only one word I can use to describe the performance: clean. The choreography was executed to perfection, highlighted by the original video clips of the Four Seasons performing behind the actors on stage. Though I am no expert dancer or choreographer, I could see practically no difference in the movements between the onstage performers and those in the videos. 

The performance was just overall astounding, start to finish. Not just because the story was told wonderfully, never shying away from the dark subject matter, but also in the lighting and the subtle changes that really added that extra bit of sparkle to the show. Most importantly though, the show enabled me to go back to that time that I have on occasion wished to harken back to; when I listened to the actor playing Franki Valli hit the high notes “Sherry,” I was in the Fox no longer; I was in a soda shop or the drive-in on a Saturday night, listening to the radio and hoping one day a boy loves me like Valli loves Sherry.

Click here to go to the trailer for the 2014 Clint Eastwood movie adaptation.