7 September 2016
Reviewed by Louise Watts
I took my mother to The Hawth theatre in Crawley for her birthday to see “Bye Bye Baby – The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons”.
I thought it would be her kind of show as the music is from the 1960’s when she would have been in her teens and would possibly bring back some good memories. I was unsure as to how much I would enjoy it but it was her birthday and so I decided to give it a go! The show tells the story of how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were created and their rise to success.
From the second the show started, I knew I was in for a fantastic evening. The opening song “Who loves you” had everybody toe tapping within the first 30 seconds! The foursome looked fabulous in their matching red jackets and black patent shoes and they had my full attention immediately!
Frankie Valli was played by the incredibly talented Jamie Ledwith whose falsetto would send anybody weak at the knees!!
His partners on stage were Tim Kay (Tommy DeVito), Dan Goddard (Nick Massi) and Richard Campbell (Bob Gaudio). The quality of the singing and overall performance was way beyond any of my expectations and after hearing them perform some of the best 60’s songs ever written including Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, December ’63 (one of personal favourites) and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You to name just a few I was completely in the zone! I was amazed by how many of the songs I knew, which shows what a wonderful success they were as I wasn’t born until the late 1970’s! I am sure my children would know most of them too.
They were accompanied on stage by their band, who were incredible. Gary Mullins on guitar, Dan Giles on Bass, Henry Burnett on keys and Steve Fawbert on drums. The music was wonderful and cemented the show. I particularly enjoy seeing the musicians on stage as I think they are often under acknowledged when in the “pit”. They are a crucial part of the performance and without them there would be no show!
Sadly, the evening had to come to an end eventually, but not before a crowd pulling finale which had the audience dancing, clapping and singing … and culminated in a thoroughly deserved standing ovation. I went to bed with the songs still going around and around in my head … a truly wonderful evening was had by both myself and my mother and I know I will be streaming their music on the way to work in my car later today!!
The Hawth theatre is my local theatre and is only 5 minutes from my house so we were able to walk. If you were to drive however, there is ample parking on site which is free of charge. I have used it previously on numerous occasions and have always found there to be more than enough spaces even at very busy occasions.
Inside it is light and spacious. There is a bar and the chance to buy snacks to have during the performance. The staff were all polite and eager to please.
The theatre itself is big enough to give you the feeling that you are at a big show but small enough so that (in my opinion), there are no “bad seats”. The view of the stage is very good wherever you are seated.
To summarise, this was an amazingly vibrant, happy feel good show with some of the best music from the 1960’s. I would thoroughly recommend this to people of all ages and guarantee you will have an enjoyable evening.
If I could rate it 6 out of 5, I would!
Bye Bye Baby is currently on tour around the UK, for more information or to book tickets at a venue near you visit www.byebyebabylive.co.uk.
For other shows at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley visit www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636