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Jersey Boys, the Broadway National Tour, is back in Southern California and making quite a splash at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza with their limited six day run (23-28 February 2016).
As Drew Seeley (Bob Gaudio) said in my recent interview, “Jersey Boys is like an episode of THE SOPRANOS with great music thrown in!” And he is absolutely right. The show is the perfect option to bring friends and family (especially men!) who would not otherwise feel comfortable spending a night at the theatre. But Oh, What a Night.
The show tells the story of Frankie Valli and The (Original) Four Seasons in four parts (Spring, Summer, etc.) and each part is in turn narrated by one member of the original Four Seasons: Tommy DeVito (Matthew Dailey), Bob Gaudio (Seeley), Nick Massi (Keith Hines) and Frankie Valli (Aaron De Jesus). What is so perfect about the show’s narration is that it allows the audience to truly engage and get to know the men and for each of the actors to truly shine with quick one-liners, brilliant solo pieces and likable moments. Even DeVito, who might be considered the show’s least likable character, gets his moment to shine and win over the audience with his narration of Spring.
|Aaron De Jesus, Drew Seeley, Matthew Dailey and Keith Hines|
Photo: Jeremy Daniel
The show amazingly enough incorporates 34 of The Four Seasons’ best known numbers in the two and a half hour show. Thanks to a excellent orchestra (conducted by Taylor Peckham) AND talented cast musicians, you will without a doubt be tapping your foot to the music the entire time and standing in amazement at how that was the quickest and one of the most pleasant two and a half hours you’ve spent in the theatre. Stand out numbers include everything from the first time the four sing together (Cry for Me) to their launch to fame with Sherry to the song that almost never made it (Can’t Take My Eyes Off You) and the surprisingly sentimental and gorgeous Fallen Angel. But truly all the numbers were delightful and because of the way the show runs seamlessly together, you hardly know where some end and others begin.
This particular touring cast are all aces with great charisma, personality and musicality. Matthew Dailey will have you smiling at his charismatic smooth-talking tough guy act, Drew Seeley is the boy next door with a beautiful tenor voice, Keith Hines has you sitting up and laughing with his deadpan humor, and leading man Aaron De Jesus kills the falsetto vocally. They are well supported by Thomas Fiscella as the Jersey mobster, Gyp DeCarlo, Lauren Tartaglia as Mary Delgado, Jonny Wexler as Joe Pesci, and Barry Anderson as Bob Crewe.
Tuesday night’s opening night audience absolutely loved the show giving the cast and band a standing ovation from the first bows. So if you want to snag a ticket to the show’s remaining 7 performances in Thousand Oaks, act now! If Tuesday’s audience was any indication, tickets are going fast.
FYI: Aaron De Jesus’ alternate, Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, will be performing at the Saturday and Sunday matinees.
|Photo by Jeremy Daniel.|
Disclaimer: I had my ticket comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.