Jersey has come to be known for many things, obnoxious twenty somethings, a mob family, and great music. One of the greatest acts in rock and roll history is told in “Jersey Boys” It is the musical tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The musical has won the Tony, the Grammy award and a few other honors. This particular production directed by Des McAnuff is the national tour and comes to the Windy City for nine weeks. Opening night was a theatre full of baby boomers and their kids enjoying the timeless tunes.
From “Sherry” to “Who Loves You” , they are all here. The talented quartet is portrayed by four incredible young men. Preston Truman Boyd plays tune master Bob Gaudio. John Gardiner adds a Jersey flavor to the show as Tommy DeVito, Michall Lomenda shines as Nick Massi and the very heart and soul of the show is Joseph Leo Bwarie as Frankie Valli. Each musical and acting performance from this quartet is extraordinary . The voices blend together in perfect harmony. Each instrumental part was excellent. Joseph’s rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” brought this musician to tears with its tenderness and emotion. Bwarie can certainly emote a song and this is shown time after time in the course of the show Another time was in the duet when Frankie was realizing that his marriage to Mary was ending with the beautiful “My Eyes Adored You.” Kara Tremel can also be noted as she played the woman behind the man, Mary.
Other members of the cast that should be noted are Jonathan Hadley. His Bob Crewe had almost a Brian Epstein quality . He showed his love for these boys in realizing their gifts. Joseph Siravo played the hood with a heart , Gyp , with a Soprano-esque quality. It also should be noted that Siravo played Johnny Boy, the father of Tony Soprano , on the Emmy winning show “The Sopranos” This gave the show that Jersey flavor that was needed in the story. Valli’s daughter Francine was played by Denise Payne. Payne gave an innocence to the troubled teen who met a tragic ending. Chicago native , Lauren Decierdo added with her portrayal of Valli’s girlfriend, Lorraine. The supporting player that gets my vote as best actor is Frankie J Galasso. His Joe Pesci was right on the money and had me in stitches. Actually the whole ensemble should be applauded for their ability to perform and portray such colorful characters.
“Jersey Boys” will be at the Bank of America Theatre until June 3. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.BroadwayinChicago.com or any of the many Ticketmaster locations as well as all Broadway in Chicago box offices and kiosks.