Oh What A Night! Jersey Boys in Adelaide

Jersey Boys 2012 Image by Jeff Busby
Jersey Boys. Image by Jeff Busby

The wait is finally over! Jersey Boys, the Tony Award winning musical, has finally made it to Adelaide. Following extended seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, the curtains were raised on Jersey Boys’ Adelaide chapter on Saturday night at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. And the wait was definitely worth it.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are a unique assortment of individuals. Their sound was, and is, unmistakable. Their music transcends generations but their story, it turns out, is even more intriguing!

Singing the story from their humble beginnings, through the glitter of stardom, and the long years of debt collection, the boys from Jersey evolve from delinquents to household names. After sorting out their identity crisis (The Four Lovers, come The Royal Teens, come The Romans, come The Four Seasons) the group could concentrate on their sound – oh, that wonderful three octave Frankie Valli sound!

This ‘jukebox’ musical is a perfect balance of documentary, concert and musical theatre. It follows the parallel lives of the groups founding members – Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio – and their individual interpretations of events are effortlessly intertwined. As Tommy DeVito knowingly points out – “you ask four guys how it happened, you get four different version”.

[pull_left]If there is only one show that you see this year, it has to be Jersey Boys.[/pull_left]

While the audience is eventually well acquainted with each band member, it is Anthony Harkin’s streetwise Tommy DeVito who we meet first. His charm and passion for the group is uplifting, but when something goes up… it inevitably comes down. The interaction of the group when faced with adversity (they had their fair share) was most fascinating. Frankie Valli (Jeff Madden) not only has a formidable voice but is also honest, loyal, and caring. His transformation from awkward teenager to kickass front-man was remarkable. And seriously, that voice!

Bob Gaudio (Declan Egan) was a solid songwriter who ended up being anything but a one-hit-wonder. Egan’s performance of Oh What a Night was outstanding. Glaston Toft’s Nick Massi was a personal highlight. Not only was his beautiful bass tones the perfect counterpoint for Valli’s falsetto, but his dry wit and one-liners were guaranteed a laugh.

Sergio Trujillo’s choreography is nostalgic, and Klara Zeiglerova’s set design is simple but effective. The use of levels is dynamic, and the constantly changing set (aided but the slickest of scene changes) provides a theatrical fluidity which is surely difficult to match. The three large screens provide outstanding multimedia, with the bandstand filming an excellent innovation.

The music, written by Bob Guadio, is wonderfully tied with Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s book. There is a wonderful balance between utilising music to tell the story versus music to highlight the story. The harmonies are obviously superb, the band is faultless, and well, who doesn’t love a bit of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?

It is very rare for an opening night performance to be so faultless, but the recently opened Adelaide season of Jersey Boys has managed it. If there is only one show that you see this year, it has to be Jersey Boys.


2 thoughts on “Oh What A Night! Jersey Boys in Adelaide

  • Looking forward to it next Saturday night!

  • We went to opening night in Adelaide and were a bit disappointed with the show. We saw the show last year in Sydney and thought the Sydney cast was a better performance. Still a good show in Adelaide, but the first half seem’d to drag along and just didn’t have the excitement that Sydney had.


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