The Four Seasons story ‘Jersey Boys’ has returned for the third time to Melbourne, 10 years after the initial run in 2009.
‘Jersey Boys’ got its right royal launch at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on Saturday night and by royal, entertainment royalty couple Bert and Patti Newton drew almost as much attention as the show itself.
The only remaining Four Seasons’ member of the 2013 cast in Glaston Toft, who plays Nick Massi. Ryan Gonzalez does a convincing Franki Valli, Cameron MacDonald is Tommy DeVito and Thomas McGuane plays the role of Bob Gaudio, who was also responsible for the creation of this musical and the main writer of the Four Seasons songbook.
What makes ‘Jersey Boys’ so good is that it is a true story. It tells the tale of four boys from New Jersey who form a band, write their own songs, and go on to sell 175 million records, along the way crafting evergreen songs that have become part of our culture for the past 50+ years.
The story has a dark side with Tommy DeVito running up a massive debt that Frankie Valli and the band honour with years of performances.
The other name in The Four Seasons story is their friend Joe Pesci, who would later become a star in his our right as an actor in movies like ‘Home Alone’, ‘Lethal Weapon, ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Goodfellas’.
‘Jersey Boys’ features an incredible number of hit songs, mostly written by Bob Gaudio but in later years Bob with his wife Judy Parker. Judy gave us ‘Who Loves You’ and ‘December 1963 (Oh What A Night)’. Bob and Judy attended the Melbourne opening in 2009. Sadly, Judy passed away in 2017.
‘Jersey Boys’ is an insight into the music industry long gone. The Four Seasons pre-dated The Beatles which meant to survive post-Beatles they had to be great. They did. Gaudio’s songs with Valli’s voice created a soundtrack for a generation. Tommy and Nick lucked out being with these two guys but it also took a genius producer to put it all together. He was Bob Crewe, the ‘George Martin’ of the Four Seasons.
Crewe was also a mastermind of a songwriter going on to pen ‘Lady Marmalade’ for LaBelle, ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ for The Walker Brothers and Valli’s solo ‘My Eyes Adored You’.
Unlike ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the real story of The Four Seasons hasn’t been bastardised in the name of “poetic license”. You will walk away from ‘Jersey Boys’ entertained and informed.