Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
On Thursday evening (11 January 2018) a friend and I headed to the Empire Theatre in Liverpool city centre to watch Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. Despite knowing many of the band’s memorable tunes I knew nothing more about them than songs I’ve heard on the radio, so I was really looking forward to discovering their story.
The show starts in New Jersey with 4 young men singing under a lamppost before telling the audience how they became the soundtrack to a generation. Our first storyteller is Tommy Devito played by Simon Bailey, he tells the audience how he first discovered Frankie Valli, played by Michael Watson, from nowhere and started the band that would on to become The Four Seasons. Very quickly we are also introduced to another original band member, Nick Massi, played by Karl James Wilson. The story goes on to tell how they later added Bob Gaudio, played by James Winter, and went on to record classic hits such as “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Bye Bye Baby”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You”. Throughout the show the entire audience were toe tapping and singing along to these instantly recognisable songs.
I enjoyed this production and I really liked how we as an audience were told the story from each characters different perspective. On the night I went to watch this show two of the main characters, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi, were being depicted by the understudies James Winter and Karl James Wilson but their performances were flawless I can’t imagine them being played by anyone else. All the actors made you truly believe in them as the characters they played and I was totally engrossed in their tale. This was an excellent story full of twists and turns accompanied by fantastic music. I would highly recommend it to anyone even if you have no idea who Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are you will know their story by the end of Jersey Boys!
Tickets cost from £12 to £75.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Jersey Boys is at the Liverpool Empire Theatre from 10-20 January 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017