Don Reviews "Jersey Boys"
Success can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with the fame and fortuned coming at a price. Whether it is the invasion of privacy, the heightened chance of addiction, or even personal relationships, it seems like the higher the climb, the worse the fall. The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is a great example of this, and the musical based on it, “Jersey Boys,” has returned to the D/FW area at the Winspear Opera House through May 27th.
With the group’s songs as a soundtrack and adapted for the stage by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, it features Johnny Wexler as Valli, Chris Stevens as Nick Massi, Tommaso Antico as Bob Gaudio (who wrote their music), and Corey Greenan as Tommy DeVito. Telling their story from a group of guys formed by DeVito in different combinations until they got the right four through the twist of fate that gave them their name, and their rise to fame and the eventual fall of the group itself, it holds nothing back.
The set design is basic and does not change very much over the duration of the show. With a high platform connected by staircases on both sides, there is a lot of prop use to go from scene to scene, and the transitions used were done very well. The overall presentation did not seem to be as good as the last time I saw it a couple of years ago, but it was still good.
The four leads to a good job here, with Greenan deserving recognition for his work as the Jersey-style tough guy in a manner where so many fall short. Wexler really stands out by really impressing me as Valli himself, especially with his voice, but this entire cast was very good.
This production runs about two and a half hours without the intermission, but it still seems to move at a very quick pace that is hard to keep up with at a few points. The story is told well, but I would have like to have seen it take its time more, which I seemed to notice more than I did the first time we saw it. I will still recommend “Jersey Boys,” but this one would be more of a fit in the second level pricing for me.