About 8 months ago my Mom came to visit me in Chicago. I held off from buying her a birthday present because when she was going to be in Chicago the touring cast of Jersey Boys was performing at The Oriental Theatre which is an amazing and fabulous old styled theatre right in the heart of the Old Chicago Theatre District.
Anyways, to surprise her for her birthday, I planned an entire fun day out and evening with her all broadway and showtunes related. We started the day shopping on Michigan Avenue and then got in a cab but she had no idea where the cab was taking us. I told her we were heading the next shopping area and since she isn’t from Chicago she didn’t know any different.
On the way from Michigan Avenue to Ford’s Center for Performing arts or The Oriental Theatre in Chicago, we passed by some famous landmarks like the Old Chicago Theatre and some very famous buildings and underpasses from the Chicago Metro Lines. When we turned the corner by Loehman’s (Those of you from NYC know about that store) and then a couple seconds later she saw the billboard and the signs for Jersey Boys.
Not only did my Mom grow up listening to songs by Frankie Valie and The Four Seasons, but she also still listens to Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons on a regular basis. She absolutely loves him and his music so this was the perfect treat for her for her birthday.
Anyways, not onto the actual review of Jersey Boys on Broadway.
Overall, Jersey Boys is exactly what you should expect from it. Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Vallie (Valley actually but in one scene you’ll see where an old Mafia Styled influence on Franky Valley teaches him that if you are a real Italian your lastname has to end in a vowel so he changes the spelling of Valley to Vallie to be more “Italian”) and the Four Seasons.
It starts with them growing up in the New Jersey area, how they started their group, how they got their first contract and all of the trouble they got into as kids trying to make a living singing and performing.
As the show Jersey Boys progresses, you start to see the characters develop and how they all grow up, and some never grow up. You see how they change as they get older, get involved in relationships, make money, lose money, meet new people and overall become the group known as Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons. You watch as they find their new sound and new song and launch their debut with a brand new song and a brand new sound (being Frankie Vallies voice).
You get to see how the Beatles influenced a change in music, you get to relive the experience of seeing Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons perform live on TV for the first time when you watch them re create the show and the taping. You even get to hear people that sound almost exactly like Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons sing their songs pretty much perfectly and from the performance we saw always on key and in tune.
The show overall doesn’t have a serious plot, an emotional ending. It doesn’t make you think or want to start a revolution. Instead, the Musical Jersey Boys is there to entertain you and make you smile. Make you sing some songs you heard on the radio when you were a kid or on your Moms radio when you were a kid if you are my age because she still loved them and listens to them. You get to hear uplifiting songs and get a good feeling all around.
It isn’t serious theatre but it is a great time if you need something to do or just want cheered up. My review of Jersey Boys is a three out of five stars because although it wasn’t supposed to be deep and emotional like I like and prefer, it was fun and entertaining. If it got me to think, sing along after or want to go, “lets see it again” I would have given it 4 stars.
If you want to have something to do and are bored one day, Jersey Boys is a perfect time killer that is fun and entertaining and friendly for a family that doesn’t mind a few swear words and more mature situations. Overall a 3 out of 5 stars show.