Newcomer Frank Joyce is just simply amazing as Frankie Valli in the revival of ‘Jersey Boys.’
It’s Joyce’s voice, which sounds just like Valli, that makes this show a hit and must see. Valli was the voice of The Four seasons who had one hit after another after another in the 60’s and 70’s. ‘Jersey Boys’ is about Valli and his friends (including Nick Massi – played by Karl James Wilson) who formed one of the most successful groups of all time. But they were not without their trouble. They were originally known as the Four Lovers; it took them years to have their first hit after years of playing lounges; it was the Oscar-winning actor Joe Pesci (then a youngster) who introduced singer songwriter Bob Gaudio (a very good Adam Bailey) to Valli; the group had money problems – band member Tommy DeVito (Benjamin Yates) owed the mob money – and it took the group years to pay back the debt; and meanwhile Valli had marital problems, and unfortunately he would endure more tragedy in his life. But its the songs, oh the songs, sung by Joyce and his gang, that blow the lid off the roof: ’Sherry,’ ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry,’ ‘December 1963 (O What a Night),’ ‘My Eyes Adored You,’ and the wonderful ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,’ which is probably Valli’s finest song, and Joyce does it justice and then some.
Now playing at the Trafalgar Studios (the theatre is newly restored and looking oh so fancy), ‘Jersey Boys’ – expertly directed by Des Mcanuff, with great choreography by Sergio Trujillo – is ready for it’s re-incarnation and re-introduction into London’s West End. The show originally ran from 2008 until 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre before moving on to the Piccadilly Theatre for another three years. A couple UK tours took place, with a third one set to start later this year. And it’s big welcome back to the West End as the show has been packing in audiences. And it was a real treat for me to see this show for the first time, a story I was not at all familiar with – their trials and tribulations. But the show has one true star, Joyce. Joyce, who just recently graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, is the true star of the show – with the best voice in all of the West End.
London SW1A 2DY
Between now – 11 September:
Monday – Saturday 7.30pm
Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm*
*no matinee 29 July & 5 August
13 September onwards:
Monday – Saturday 7.30pm with no performance on Tuesday evening
Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm
Review by Tim Baros