24 June to 4 July 2015
Reviewed by Susan Trish
We arrived at the lovely Liverpool Empire to find it buzzing with excitement and anticipation! As usual the staff were friendly and extremely helpful, showing people to their seats or directing them to the box office etc… We picked up our tickets and headed up to the bar. There is just something special about this theatre, no matter how many times you have been it is still stunning and the atmosphere is always electric.
The piano bar is beautifully decorated and the service was as always fantastic, even on such a busy night.
Taking our seats we sat and eagerly awaited the start of the show. Opening the show with modern dancing and rapping confused me at first until the brilliant Stephen Webb, playing loveable rogue Tommy DeVito began narrating the ups and downs of their journey and highlighting that even now Four Seasons songs are still being re-released and played on air. I found it a little fast paced at first and was difficult to keep up with the story having no prior knowledge of it. This soon settled down though as we got into it.
I asked my mum “Will I know any of the music?” she laughed loudly and replied “Absolutely”.
Taking the lead as Frankie, Tim Driesen plays it brilliantly. His performance of the hits was exceptional and immediately took me back to sitting in the living room listening to vinyl on a Saturday evening with my parents. I didn’t realise just how many hits they had had! I heard songs I didn’t even know Frankie Valli had released! ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Walk Like a Man’ were just a few of my favourite moments, perfectly performed by Driesen. With the audience cheering and clapping along in appreciation, he really showed just what he could do and it was amazing!!
Telling the story through the eyes of each band member was a brilliant way to describe their journeys, and it captivated the audience who clearly had their individual favourites. I had no idea of how the band had formed or how they had all met and this was portrayed brilliantly. The highs and lows were heartfelt and the performance of each and every cast member reflected this.
Dan Krikler, the stand in Bob Gaudio was brilliant! What a voice!! His performance of Cry For Me was beautiful. Lewis Griffiths, playing the deep voiced Nick Massi, was unexpectedly funny and equally brilliant!
The set was great, fit for purpose, not too complex and delivered flawlessly. It was set in a way that supported the narration perfectly, reflecting the scenes brilliantly and often transporting you right back in time!
I didn’t really know what to expect from the evening – I was 38 not 68, I didn’t know anything about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Did I? I certainly did!! I grew up listening to their timeless tunes and was on my feet in appreciation of last night’s performance.
A definite must see!!
Tickets cost from £12.90 to £53.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Jersey Boys is at the Liverpool Empire until 4 July 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017