Jersey Boys in LA Review - They're Back and Better than Ever

The music of the Four Seasons and lead singer Frankie Valli, teen heart-throb in the 60’s, has returned to Los Angeles with gusto and verve. The four JERSEY BOYS sing their hearts out to an audience of seniors – who remember what that music meant to them way back when – and millennials – their newest and totally enthusiastic fans. The younger crowd may not have history with the Four Seasons – but they surely have affinity. From a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, JERSEY BOYS rings with songs that will never grow old. “Sherry,” “Walk like a Man,” and “I Can’t Take my Eyes off of You” still delight and excite.

Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Mark Ballas, and Keith Hines as the Four Seasons - Photo by Jim Carmody

JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli (Mark Ballas) and his three good friends and fellow artists Nick Massi (Keith Hines), Tommy DeVito (Matthew Dailey), and Bob Gaudio (Cory Jeacoma). These four simple Italian-American Jersey guys kept plugging away – and finally hit it big with their special sound. JERSEY BOYS depicts their ups and downs in a refreshing and entertaining way. The cherry on top? As the cast was taking their well-deserved bows at the end of the show, the real-life Frankie Valli came onstage to thank them for a job well done. Was it a moment of déjà vu?

Keith Hines, Mark Ballas, Cory Jeacoma, and Matthew Dailey - Photo by Jim Carmody

These four characters look and act their roles to a T, four Jersey kids who made the Big Time. But they remained Jersey boys in their hearts - the Old Neighborhood always mattered. The Four Seasons toured the country far and wide, and they left an impression that eventually led to their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. JERSEY BOYS hits the highs and lows, but all the back stories play second fiddle to the real star of the play – the music that made them. 

The Four Seasons "Walk like a Man" - Photo by Jim Carmody

Director Des McAnuff obviously recognizes this and makes sure to showcase those terrific numbers which brought the house down. Klara Zieglerova’s scenic design also serves to focus on what these four accomplished. The entire production team has molded a great piece. And let’s not forget the splendid job done by music director Taylor Peckham, who captures that famous sound with authenticity – and Mark Ballas, who has the special voice which makes Valli live. 

Kristen Paulicelli, Leslie Rochette, and Jesse Wildman - Photo by Jeremy Daniel

JERSEY BOYS demonstrates that – even if from a past era – music transcends time and place and remains forever young. Even if you’ve seen JERSEY BOYS before, you can’t go wrong hearing those favorites again. And you’ll surely be tapping your foot and humming along as you recall something in your own past while the melodies nudge your memory.   

Jersey Boys Finale - Photo by Jim Carmody

JERSEY BOYS runs through June 24, 2017, with performances at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. Performances have been added at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 19, and at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 22.  Tickets range from $25 to $125. The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For information and reservations, call 213-972-4400 or online.   

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