December 11, 2005

At Last, A Good “Jukebox Musical”

December 11th, 2005

Although some critics have lumped Jersey Boys into the “jukebox musical” genre, many point out what makes this musical a smash hit:

In today’s issue of the Seattle Times, Misha Berson addresses some interesting points about what makes Jersey Boys stand out as a really good musical:

    In part because their back story is more obscure than that of, say, the Beatles or Beach Boys, the band’s ascent from a tough section of Newark to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has the makings of a vivacious tale.
    And the show’s book, by Marshall Brickman (co-screenwriter of Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan”) and Rick Elice peppers the typical rise-and-fall music-biz stuff, with sharp, “Sopranos”-style wisecracking and Italian-American, working-class grit.
    Yup, this is a jukebox musical. But a deluxe model that makes you want to get up and dance.

In today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Christopher Rawson states:

    “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night),” “Working My Way Back to You” — they still work, for which we can credit the chops of the main performers, John Lloyd Young as boy wonder Valli, Daniel Reichard as composing genius Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer as lanky Nick Massi and Hoff — in addition to a small, dynamite on-stage band, with drummer Kevin Dow in propulsive central place.

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