Jersey Boys Review: A Hit Down Under

Jersey Boys recently opened at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre to thundering applause. Following the lead of the show’s massive success on Broadway, where it grosses over a million dollars every week in box office sales, Jersey Boys is set to be a sure-fire hit Down Under as well.

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The musical, about a group of 60s New York teenagers who went on to form the singing sensation Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, belongs to a relatively recent and oft-criticised genre of popular theatre shows known as the Jukebox Musical. Typically, a string of well-known tunes by a group or solo artist are strung together by a thin plot, ultimately showcasing the songs, but not necessarily the plot and characterisation.

Undoubtedly the most successful example of the form is the hit stage musical Mamma Mia, with its long line of Abba songs making up the fabric of the show. Jersey Boys succeeds with the addition of an interesting plot concerning various members of the group being in trouble with the law and popping in and out of jail on an all-too-regular basis.

Bobby Fox is fabulous as Frankie Valli, with a falsetto voice that will make you close your eyes and imagine you were there (or sing along in the audience just a little too loud like I did!). The supporting roles of Tommy de Vito (Scott Johnson), Bob Gaudio (Stephen Mahy) and Glaston Toft (Nick Massi) all get plenty of action.

With hit songs like My Eyes Adored You, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, December 1963 (Oh What A Night) and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, just to name a few, Jersey Boys is an absolute winner.

The true story of the boys from Jersey is engaging, making this show so much more than the wonderful tunes, alone. Having said that, Bobby Fox’s voice is so close to the sound of Frankie Valli, the band so tight and the moves of the four leads so engrossing, for a while I was more than happy believing I was at a concert, instead.

As musical theatre goes, Jersey Boys is thoroughly entertaining and a great night out.


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3 Responses

  1. Steve Holden says:

    Thanks for the mention about the podcast. There is a big archive of interviews with original Four Seasons members and cast members from other productions in the archive. We look forward to a long run in Melbourne and a chance to hopefully get the perspectives of Boys Down Under.

  2. Gladys says:

    Seen the show 13 times now. 12 in the States and once in London. Going to see the show again in NYC in October. Sure wish I could afford to see the show in Melbourne but I am not surprised that it is a hit. The writers, etc only give “Jersey Boys” casts, crews and fans the cream of the crop. Good luck to the Melbourne “Jersey Boys” for a phenomenal run.

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