Although Jersey Boys on Broadway opened way back in November 2005, Between the Lines columnist Winchester just got around to seeing it and was thrilled with the performance!
I just saw Broadway’s Jersey Boys for the first time. Yeah, know I am remiss, especially since it opened Nov. 6, 2005, but, it totally lived up to its advance billing. It tells the uncanny and unique story of four fellows from Belleville, N.J., who went onto conquer the music world some 43 years ago. Sure, their music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but, the pacing and structure of the play, literally from start to finish, was inescapably good, and continued to draw you in.
In fact, when the strong first act finished, I wondered how they’d keep the pacing together for Act 2, and you know what, the second act was even better than the first. One interesting side-note is that fact that actor Joe Pesci was a neighborhood friend back then and in fact introduced Tommy, to the rest of the group. Pesci was even a first-class wise-acre back then; who knew he make it to Hollywood and make a million bucks or two! The story of them all, writer/producer Bob Gaudio and singer Frankie (nee Castellucio) Valli is pure gold. I’m surprised a full-length film hasn’t been commissioned yet. But, this play is the real deal and from what I’ve been told, spot-on. Michael Longoria and Sebastian Arcelus (as ‘Valli’ and ‘Gaudio’) were absolutely terrific. In fact, Longoria gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on the Great White Way; essentially he becomes Valli. It is nothing short of brilliant. Great show!