Jenna Glazier ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Jersey Boys is a fun, upbeat musical about the trials and tribulations of the classic quartet the Four Seasons. The show alternately follows group members Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio, and Frankie Valli’s points of view. Jersey Boys presents its audience with two and a half hours of brilliant music and a story of determination, friendship, and the costs of fame.
The musical is wonderfully packed with the colorful, groovy vibes of the 1960s. The lighting is constantly full of color and pizzazz, totally encompassing the excitement of the era. In addition to the lighting, the show features brilliant projections that embody 1960s era comic books and other images, adding to the high energy of the scenes. A notable instance of this feature is during the performance of the song “Sherry.” Using projection and video modification, the production incorporates footage from the original performances and blends it with the updated performance on the stage.
The tactic of projection gives the show an even more historical and documentary-like feel, only enhancing the production’s vivacious tone. Each musical number contributes immense color to the overall performance, endowing the show with nonstop energy. Regardless of what is happening in the plot, the set remains a brilliantly designed sight of attraction.
The first thirty minutes of Jersey Boys are highly expositional, making it a bit difficult to be truly immersed in the depth of the show and the story; the first half hour could be trimmed to only the essential background information. Due to the immense amount of exposition, the songs performed by character Tommy DeVito suffer somewhat in their artistic value. As with any musical, there are obvious moments of forced ensemble interaction, but there seemed to be more than standard in the beginning of this performance. However, once the expositional stage passes, Jersey Boys hits the ground running.
When the audience is introduced to Frankie Valli, played by Aaron De Jesus, the show begins to truly take its proper form. De Jesus blows the audience away with his voice, his presence, and his uncanny resemblance to the Frankie Valli fans of the musical know and love. His performance makes the audience grateful for the privilege to experience his life story, his discovery of his passions, and his tales of failure and wild success. De Jesus’ performance only strengthens throughout the production, and there is not a single dry eye in the house after his performance of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” one of the show’s final numbers.
Alongside cast member De Jesus, Cory Jeacoma portrays Bobby Gaudio, the brains behind the group, and receives the better end of the musical’s monologues. Jeacoma’s delivery is consistently captivating each time he addresses the audience, who his retelling truly transports. Every time Jeacoma has the spotlight, he takes the production to an entirely new level of enjoyment.
Towards the end of the show, Nick Massi, played by Keith Hines, takes over the role of comedic relief and does so phenomenally. His Jersey accent is exceptionally accurate and adds a little humor into what becomes a dark point in the musical. Nick develops into a truly lovable character, one people won’t forget. The entire cast of Jersey Boys brings a specific energy to the show, never missing a beat and constantly keeping the audience compelled and on their toes. This company is indubitably the heart and soul of the production.
The final number of the show is a compilation of songs, farewell monologues from the members of the group, and a reunion of the original Four Seasons. Everything about the end of Jersey Boys fills the audience with the warmth and enthusiasm only theater can provide. As each character tells what became of him, the audience continues to yearn for their story, their music, and their lives as a whole. All in all, Jersey Boys is a feel-good, passionate, and astounding piece of theater.