This weekend was quite a bit of fun. Friday was the Saint Louis Cardinals vs. Houston (a game that was late, rain ladden and cold), the Lumerier Casino (which I will post in the coming days about the customer service here) and Saturday was Jersey Boys directed by Des McAnuff. It was awesome.
Origianlly I was a bit hesitant. I wasn’t very familiar with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, their music, or their story. I was hoping it wasn’t simply a musical that featured their songs without a story. (I can tell you now, even if it had be just that, a plotless montage of musical numbers, I found I would have been satisfied.) I did, however, find as the show progressed, I knew a lot more of the songs that I realized.
Christopher Kale Jones as Frankie Vallie is a musical treasure. His control of his voice and his ability to breathe fresh life into songs millions have heard before are the consistent powerhouse of the show. If Jones’ performance is the reason to go, then a few others are the reason you’ll leave loving more than just the songs. Eric Bates as Tommy DeVito is the dramatic lead that drives the plot. His vocals are respectable but his acting is superior. The subtle performance of Jamie Karen as Mary Delgado is the best supporting actress role in a musical. Her stage time isn’t as much as the gentlemen, of course, but the timing of her skill is masterful. I feel certain she has a bright future. (Check out her MySpace, I linked it to her name for you.)
The reaction of the audience was easily gauged: they loved it! While the median age was probably 45, everyone in the theatre, from the young couples to the groupies of 50 and 60 year old women, were clapping and, at times, on their feet. The musical powerhouse consistently evoked incredible memories for some and amazed new comers. If your feet were sitting still and you didn’t leave humming a song, you weren’t there.
As I said, I was unaware of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons or their story. And their story, along with the songs “My Eyes Adored You” and “Fallen Angel”, are the best surprises I’ve had in a long time. I would highly recommend this musical to anyone.