My mum and I were captivated from start to finish and were taken on a nostalgic journey back to New Jersey in the 1960s – a time of the American ‘Doo Wop’ origins.
Although some may argue that the story of the Jersey Boys is a fan favourite, I was walking in to the theatre with no knowledge on the backstory of the show – centred around The Four Seasons – later to be known as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Now prior to the show, I wouldn’t choose to queue a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song on Spotify, but I confess, that may be the only thing I’ll be listening to for the foreseeable future.
We arrived at the newly refurbished Trafalgar Theatre an hour before the show began and enjoyed a glass of wine in the bar, admiring the palpable energy in the historic building whilst watching the room light up with theatre goers.
We soon took to our seats where the curtains shortly opened at 7.30pm and we were transported back to December 1963 and (Oh, What a Night) it was.
The story of the Jersey Boys follows the personal lives of the band members – Tommy Devito, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and of course, Frankie Valli.
The first quarter of the show takes you on a journey of the origin of the Four Seasons – how the group was formed, the struggles and triumphs of youth and young love – narrated by cool-guy Tommy DeVito, played by the brilliant Peter Nash.
Next, Bob Gaudio took over the narrating – played by Declan Egan – as he showed off his incredible song-writing skills, and his brotherly relationship with Mr Valli – it was both entertaining and emotionally moving to see how the four stars worked through life together, despite having completely different lifestyles.
The first half of the production was masterful, the storytelling paired perfectly with the songs and had an admirable balance of humour, drama, and heart.
My mum and I spent the interval laughing and giggling about the show – discussing our personal favourites and subtly humming the tunes of the popular hits.
After the interval, we were welcomed back with the storytelling by Nick Massi, played by Karl James Wilson, who’s passion radiated through every aspect of the narration and brought lots of laughs to the audience.
And last but certainly not least, Frankie Valli, played by the impeccable Luke Suri, took us through the final quarter of the show.
Alike the real Frankie Valli, Luke’s voice was undeniably astonishing, and he hit every high note through the show to which he received a thunderous applause from the audience.
It was evident that the director of the Jersey Boys, Des Mcanuff, and the production team, poured their hearts into the show, and was apparent at the end, when the audience and I gave a standing ovation and joined in for a sing-along to Who Loves You and Beggin’.
In conclusion, the Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre is a triumph and celebrities the musical legacy of the Four Seasons and is a must-see for anyone who loves music, friendship, storytelling, and an outstanding theatrical experience.