Review: Jersey Boys at Norwich Theatre Royal

The Jersey Boys with cars from the Classic American Car Owners in Norfolk group, at the Assembly Hou

The Jersey Boys with cars from the Classic American Car Owners in Norfolk group, at the Assembly House. From left, Sam Ferriday as Bob Gaudio; Tim Driesen as Frankie Valli; Stephen Webb as Tommy DeVito; and Lewis Griffiths as Nick Massi. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Jersey Boys

Norwich Theatre Royal

It takes a special show to stand out from the crowd of contemporary musicals about great music and musicians of the 1960s and 70s. Well, multi-award winning Jersey Boys stands out big-time!

Blessed with unique harmonies and the unforgettable lead falsetto vocals of Frankie Valli, The Four Seasons were big hit makers, popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Their sound was the backdrop to many teenagers' lives.

From the streets of New Jersey they rose to the dizzy heights of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. This opens the can of worms that was their less harmonious offstage and behind the scenes lives and has real grit.


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As so often in showbiz, fame comes at high cost – usually paid by families. The mob were never far away, wanting their slice of the action as the boys from the wrong side of town got rich.

It's a moving human story told as fast-moving narration on a brilliant set with some very funny moments as their lives unfolded.

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Above all, it's full of truly outstanding pop classics, every one played live and for real.

They included Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don't Cry, Beggin', Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Oh What a Night (December 1963), Let's Hang On, Working My Back to You, C'mon Marianne, Rag Doll, Stay and I've Got You Under My Skin.

Inspired by late 50s' doo-wop, the original 1960s music they created weathered the British invasion of the USA and the hippie era because it was cool, slick, dance music about everyday life and people's loves and passions.

It's still popular today, judging by the sell-out signs at the Theatre Royal all this week.

David Porter

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