Review: Jersey Boys

20 March 2019

The world-renowned musical Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the rock and pop band who achieved massive international success during the 1960s and 70s. Since starting in 2005 in La Jolla, California, Jersey Boys has already toured the world in places like Broadway, West End, Japan and Singapore. It was first performed in Melbourne in 2009, and 10 years later it has returned to greet the Melbourne public once again at the Regent Theatre.

With performances like ‘Ces Soirées-La’ and ‘Silhouettes’, the musical started with a bang. The colourful costumes and visually appealing backdrops immediately hooked the audience’s attention. The musical often used attractive and eye-catching images of pop art and comics as their backdrops. Representing the setting and time of Jersey Boys, the costumes, props and set had retro vibes which brought the audience back to the good old days of the 60s and 70s. There was even a live band on stage the whole time which enhanced the musical experience for the audience.

The retro-style stage, set and characters’ outfits definitely matched the groovy music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Many of the hits from these decades that are now considered iconic songs – for example, ‘Oh What a Night’, ‘Sherry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘My Eyes Adored You’ and of course their most famous hit ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ – were performed by the talented cast, and it had the audience singing along. Furthermore, the cast members really showcased their vocal talent through their stunning performances of these legendary songs, as well as their smooth dance moves.

Not only was the music memorable, but the actual story was inspirational. Even though it was mostly humorous, the story was also sentimental and emotional at times. The different moods were portrayed well, particularly the scenes depicting conflict within the group. Jersey Boys tells the tale of how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons discovered themselves and went through an identity crisis in terms of their name and music. Success was not a smooth-sailing journey for the group. There were a lot of obstacles that they had to persevere through and overcome, especially when they first started out. At the beginning, they were struggling to make a name for themselves, but they were persistent in gaining traction in the music scene. This musical proves that hard work really pays off. Frankie Valli in particular was an extraordinary character – he was loyal to his groupmate, even when he was betrayed. The tragic loss of his daughter was an emotional moment that brought tears to people’s eyes.

In the end, the full group had a reunion which brought a sense of closure to the musical. For Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, music and brotherhood was what mattered the most, even more than their success and awards they won. The heartfelt story and memorable performances made Jersey Boys an unforgettable experience that my parents would totally be jealous of.  

Jersey Boys is playing at the Regent Theatre until the 14th of April.

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