November 19, 2016

Jersey Boys Natl Tour Red Hot in Houston; Plays Hobby Center Through Tomorrow!

November 19th, 2016
JB national tour Four Seasons on stage (Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel)

JB national tour Four Seasons on stage (Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel) Jersey mob complications arise from some loan shark arrangements that endanger the group, and Thomas Fiscella is convincing as the crime boss, Gyp DeCarlo, who has an amusing sentimental breakdown when Valli sings the poignant, “My Mother’s Eyes.” Speaking of amusing, Johnny Wexler does a comic turn as the recording studio engineer, and there is a terrific cast of supporting players that excel in multiple roles. The action moves smoothly with the attractive gliding sets (scenic designer, Klara Zieglerova) and colorful lighting (designer Howell Binkley). For all the ups and downs of their journey, it’s the boys themselves who hold the show’s heart and our enjoyment. We like them all, root for them, even prickly Tommy (Matthew Dailey), who forms the quartet and is the questionable glue that keeps them together. Little Frankie (Aaron De Jesus with ethereal pipes) may be the star, but he’s surrounded by fully-drawn supporting characters who also get to tell the quartet’s story: Nick Massi (Keith Hines), who always threatens to leave the group but never does; songwriter deluxe Bob Gaudio (a delightfully spry Cory Jeacoma); lyricist Bob Crewe (Barry Anderson in urban fey mode); even a teen Joe Pesci (Jonny Wexler, all nerve endings). Directed by Des McAnuff, JERSEY BOYS is a well-oiled machine, with high production values that put a much-appreciated gloss to the show. McAnuff keeps the pacing up, which is a blessing in light of the uninspiring script. Lighting design by Howell Binkley is a huge hit, especially in the scene at the end of the first act (“Walk Like A Man” reprise) when we see a performance from the perspective of being behind the band. Klara Zieglerova’s sleek set is fluid and unobtrusive for the show’s many scene changes. Michael Clark’s projection design adds a fun visual to the production, with filming of the actors performing “for TV” and vintage pop art pieces add interest to the storyline. Jess Goldstein’s costumes are spot-on and pop under the lighting.

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