Jersey Boys was one of the musicals I’d pinpointed as my favourite before I’d even seen it. “I just know it’s for me,” I once declared confidently to a friend. As it turns out, I was right all along.
There’s a huge sense of relief when you realise Des McAnuff’s West End production has far from exaggerated its plot lines. There’s no over-working of hits, no enhancing of characters, or song and dance for the sake of it. Instead, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ back-catalogue shines in the most natural way possible.
Michael Watson (Frankie Valli), Edd Post (Bob Gaudio), Jon Boydon (Tommy De Vito) and Gary Watson (Nick Massi) star as the lead four; all with their own moments of spotlight, just as it would have been back in the swinging ’60s.
Sherry is the obvious mood lifter, as the storyline sees the iconic band finally catch their big break. From there, My Eyes Adored You, Walk Like A Man and Big Girls Don’t Cry make busy work of flipping your emotions on their head.
Those that have seen the Clint Eastwood-directed film will feel an instant connection to the New Jersey foursome, and the cast pay the perfect tribute here. In contrast to the film, this stage adaptation spends more time retelling the group’s journey through fame; instead of how they got there.
Casting added detail on their subsequent downfall tells us more about their lives in the limelight, and the brilliant support characters who fall in and out of the picture.
Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a dud song in the entire show, with each solo matching the groups’ biggest hits in flawlessness.
As the words “Oh, What A Night” ring out through the Piccadilly Theatre, you’ll be swinging on the banisters like you’re auditioning to be Tommy De Vito’s replacement.
Jersey Boys is now booking at London’s Piccadilly Theatre until February 2016, secure your seats now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.