Now showing at the Wales Millennium Centre (16-26 January 2019) is the famous and much lauded (having won numerous awards) show that is Jersey Boys.
The show is the life story of how The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli came to be. The story is told about how they were formed, the issues they had trying to make a career in the music industry, and the hardships they faced. There were plenty of money worries such as the non-paying of taxes or the loans taken from the Mafia, albeit all the (non-elected) responsibility and doing of Tommy Devito, after all, it was he who created the band, and it was he who wanted to make a success of them all. The story reveals that even though the music they produced was so good, their lives on the way up to and at their peak, was not so. At times dark, yet at most, really funny. The cast all played their parts with such intensity and gusto. The Four Seasons cast of Frankie Valli (Michael Watson), Tommy Devito (Simon Bailey), Bob Gaudio (Declan Egan) and Nick Massi (Lewis Griffiths), all did it with such enthusiasm, you could see it meant so much to them when the audience in the Wales Millennium Centre applauded during the performances.
Stand out moments for me were:
Michael Watson’s voice, where the hell did that come from! I was expecting it to sound a little like Frankie Valli but wow! It was scary how close it seemed like him!
Declan Egan played his part of Bob Gaudio with such innocence; it made you want to rush on the stage and wrap him in cotton wool.
Lewis Griffiths, he played Nick Massi to a tee! Moreover, his comedy timing was nothing short of a Saturday Night Live performance, and his singing just like that of Nick Massi.
Simon Bailey played the role of Tommy Devito with such passion, fun, dedication and judging by the smile on his face during the show; this was seeing an actor definitely at home on the stage.
They had some of the greatest hits to come out of the USA in the 1960s, and 1970s, songs that even I didn’t realise were all their music. The audience is treated to foot-tapping classics such as “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “Working My Way Back to You”, “Bye Bye Baby”, and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”. I know that every song they sang was one that I knew of which took me back to my childhood! It is a show to be praised and appreciated, reminding and educating you of a time where hard work did pay off but didn’t exactly pay as much as it should have.
A must see show, see it, NOW!
Reviewed by Carl Marsh