October 7, 2009

Jersey Boys in DC–One Show That Shouldn’t Be Missed!

October 7th, 2009

The rave reviews keep popping up online! The latest is from Ben Demers of the DCTheatreScene.com, who states that he is almost embarrassed to admit how much he enjoyed the National Tour of Jersey Boys. In particular, Demers gives high praise to the top-notch supporting cast and orchestra, Des McAnuff’s direction, the incredible scenic and lighting design, and of course, the music!

What about the actors who are portraying The Four Seasons? According to Demers:

I cannot praise Joseph Leo Bwarie enough. As Frankie, the musical and dramatic nexus of the production, he puts on a dynamite show. He possesses an incredible vocal range that allows him to produce spot on recreations of the real Valli’s many hits. His tone is clear and pleasing, and his sky-high falsetto seems utterly effortless. His quiet offstage manner belies a set of lithe, graceful dance moves on par with those of Elvis or even James Brown. In addition, Bwarie exhibits the greatest emotional complexity of any of the characters. This is perhaps an unfair statement, given the greater stage time and overall attention afforded him, but nonetheless by the end his dramatic range had me duly impressed. As Frankie, Bwarie emerges as a supremely talented, compassionate figure constantly torn between the celebrity lifestyle and the rough and tumble ways of his New Jersey hometown. Without giving away any details, his devotion to the old neighborhood quickly reveals itself to be both his greatest strength and his Achilles heel.

The other three band members bring an entertaining mix of personalities and raw talent to the table. Josh Franklin proves an affable and engaging narrator in the role of Bob Gaudio, the group’s keyboardist and main songwriter. Through Bob’s comparatively inexperienced eyes, the events of the Four Seasons’ meteoric rise to fame are framed with a sense of wonder and naïve excitement, which keeps the play light on its feet even during scenes of professional and personal strife. Matt Bailey plays the hard nosed Tommy DeVito, the band’s guitarist and longtime manager. Bailey does an admirable job keeping Tommy a somewhat sympathetic character, which proves an increasingly difficult task as his bad habits gradually threaten to ruin the whole band. My favorite of the bunch is droll bassist Nick Massi, played to the hilt by Steve Gouveia. While he has by far the least stage time, Gouveia squeezes every line for maximum effect, delivering the show’s funniest moments during a hilarious rant late in the middle of Act Two. All three men are superb vocalists, delivering powerful solos and precise harmonies with equal skill and flourish.


  1. Great review! Glad to see Steve Gouveia getting some prime attention. Love this tour group!

    Comment by Gladys — October 8, 2009 @ 7:27 am

  2. Can’t wait till the tour comes to Indy, where I can finally take a road trip.

    Comment by Rose — October 8, 2009 @ 8:46 am

  3. Kudos to the national tour! Can’t wait to see them!

    Comment by Amy — October 8, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment