Reviewed by Tammy and Anthony Wildblood
As the great group sang ‘Oh What Night’, hypnotised and staggering, it felt like their concert and their life.
Yesterday (7 February 2018) we were asked to go and review the theatre production of Jersey Boys the musical at the Regent Theatre in Stoke, to which we gladly accepted as we both wondered how these great musicians started out and how they became famous on their journey and knowing some of the songs this whet our appetite and was hoping for a great night.
We managed to get the centre of Stoke for around 6pm as living in Derby we knew what traffic could be like getting there, it wasn’t a bad drive and for a first-time traveller to the Regent theatre, it was really well advertised on signs, so you cannot get lost as you just follow signs for the Culture Quarter. There are a few car parks close by which will cost you up to about £3 for 3 hours but if you are lucky like were then you could find some on street parking just around the corner from the theatre and that cost us a minimal £2 which covered us right till 9am the next morning from 6pm which was impressive.
Now if you are like us and you get there early and were a little hungry you won’t be disappointed, there are plenty of eating places around the theatre, this included Italian restaurants, Indian restaurants, Bistros and you can enjoy a nice drink and some nice food. We decided on a quick takeaway further down the road where it wasn’t expensive, and the staff were friendly.
We entered the theatre and there was an amazing vibe and it was buzzing with excitement due to the volume of people who were in there enjoying themselves in this large theatre. The theatre has had a modern revamp but keeping the original features and it looks stunning.
We then took a visit to the Piano Bar which was gorgeous, and everybody was relaxed and clearly enjoying themselves. We then went to take our seats in the theatre which were comfy, and you had a menu of drinks and you could also choose a variety pack which consisted of 4 items for £6 and even better you could order them from your seat and they’d be delivered to your seat. It was time to take in our surroundings and WOW it was stunning and the buzz in the stalls was phenomenal!! The stage was set out like a concert with an all metal back drop and a large TV screen at the back which showed various things on it.
The performance started with Tommy De Vito, who is played by Simon Bailey, and he was given the joy of telling us how he was the founder of group and how the story started with them. As well as his musical talents Simon brought comedy to the performance which gave it a more convincing portrayal of the type of person Tommy De Vito was which I saw him as a little bit arrogant but was a little insecure at times when things got a little heated with other members of the group, Simon Bailey acted very well and we was impressed with him having to go from talking to singing to dancing very quickly. 10/10 for performance.
Now you don’t have to be a fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to understand just what a voice Frankie had and what type of music was being sung. What a performance Michael Watson did, he brought the music to life his voice just sounded like Frankie and when you heard the top songs being song you would have thought it was Frankie that was singing upon stage. Super performance, couldn’t fault it at all. 10/10 performance and his was the star of the show. you could tell every time the audience was enjoying the singing Michael was enjoying himself that just a little bit more on stage.
The other two guys in the group were Bob Gaudio, played by James Winter, and Nick Massi, played by Karl James Wilson. These had slightly smaller parts but were amazing at singing, dancing and acting and they worked well in the group, they got you with every sound they sang and every word they spoke, you just wanted to be up on stage with them. 9/10 for their performances only because of the less amount of part they played.
The storyline is fast paced so blink and you’ll miss it but this makes it worth every penny, the cast truly give you an experience not to be missed and the costume changes are that slick and quick that you won’t even remember what they were wearing a few minutes before. You could tell that a lot of time and effort had gone into this performance and they truly enjoyed what they were doing. The vibe the cast gave off was electric!! This show deserves to be Global.
Now as you know they had well over 35 hits and some of these were sang in this show just for instance “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Beggin” and the most famous one in my eyes “Can’t Take My Eye’s Off You”, when they sang these songs, it was like you were at their concert and it was amazing. We truly felt that we were in the Jersey Boys trance and you had been hypnotised. Everybody was on their feet and not just for the standing ovation but the dancing too! For any musical fan or theatre fan this is a must-see performance and you won’t be disappointed even if you are not a Four Seasons fan, and worth every single penny!
Tickets cost from £14 to £67 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Jersey Boys is at the Regent Theatre in Stoke from 6-17 February 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre or call the box office on 0844 871 7649.
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649