March 25, 2012

Jersey Boys Perfection at Paris Las Vegas!

March 25th, 2012

Truth be told, we didn’t think it would be possible to adore the JERSEY BOYS Las Vegas production any more than we did during their phenomenal three-and-a-half-year run at The Palazzo, but it could happen. It did happen–at their new home at Paris Las Vegas!

We had the privilege of attending the Opening Night/Media Night celebration on Friday, March 16 at Paris Las Vegas, an evening that began with surprise Jersey-Style SWAG gift bags in the lobby! Although the theatre itself is large (approx. 1,300 seats) with a wider stage, it appears to be a slightly more intimate venue, with no balcony. As we were heading to our seats, I wondered how many people in the audience were first-timers, and how many were repeat visitors counting down to this amazing evening!? :)

Sitting down a few minutes before showtime, we had a little small talk with people sitting nearby. One lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Oh, My! Is it true that tonight is OPENING NIGHT?!” Asking the gentleman next to me if he had seen JERSEY BOYS before, he noted that he had always wanted to see it at The Palazzo, but never found the time. Okay, I couldn’t help myself, so I asked him if he was a fan of The Four Seasons’ music. He looked over at his wife and said, “Of course, this was OUR era!” Then, he began to tell me about being stationed in Crete back in 1968 and ‘69, and how he and his buddies would crank the Four Seasons’ music up on their HUGE speakers, back in the day. (Bells were going off big time, wondering what this guy’s reaction would be when Bob says, “Our people were the guys who were shipped overseas…”).

The lights dimmed slightly and the audience received a warm welcome message from Paris Las Vegas President David Hoenemeyer, followed, of course, by “Ces Soirees-La”! The crowd immediately cheered as the hip hop version began, and became even louder as Tommy and the two Nicks began “Silhouettes”!

The Opening Night Four Seasons were beyond magnificent! It’s unbelievable to think that Deven May has been portraying “Tommy DeVito” in two JB companies for nearly five years and is still so on top of his game, from the moment he tells the audience, “…this whole thing started with me…” His fast-talking, take-charge attitude, his dance moves, and his fall from being the “leader” of the group to being shipped off to Vegas were all in top form!

As “Frankie Valli,” Travis Cloer’s vocals have never sounded more stunning! His young, rather shy Frankie took the stage, and that spotlight definitely “heated him right up”! As the hitmaker who sings like an angel, Travis’s falsetto soared on the Big 3 and his “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” was definitely one of the evening’s show-stopping moments. When Frankie got his horns, the whole place came apart! As an actor, Travis keeps growing into the Frankie role, as the young, driven recording artist in search of his big break, as the conflicted husband and father on the road, and as the maturing superstar who keeps chasing the music.

As the enigmatic “Nick Massi,” Jeff Leibow embodied the “Ringo” of the group even moreso in the new venue. His mannerisms, idiosyncrasies, and his many lines had the audience cracking up, especially when he takes young Bobby under his wing after that night in Chicago, and tells the young songwriter in the Cadillac showroom, “And this baby gets almost 8 miles a gallon.’ In the sit-down scene, Nicky’s “ten year sentence” was even more explosive than ever before!

As the last piece of the puzzle, Rob Marnell shines as the new Bob Gaudio, with a youthful exuberance, curiosity, and naivety that is ripe for Tommy’s and Nick’s tutelage! At the same time, as the young musical genius and “Bobby Businessman,” he is obviously the more practical group member who’s looking into the future, knowing he needs to “write for that voice.” When Rob plays the “new one,” and the group comes together in “Cry For Me,” it was magical!

Each and every ensemble cast member gave 150% at the Opening Night performance–in their multiple roles, their perfect timing, and singing their hearts out! Honestly, we need a two-part recap, just for them!

How can such a great show get any better than it was at its fantastic finale performance at The Palazzo? Well, the Paris JERSEY BOYS production seemed even more crisp and fresh than it did eight weeks ago! How can the same wonderful lines, choreography, vocals, and arrangements seem even more powerful? Was it the cast and band members’ restful time away? Was it the new venue with the wider stage that makes the show feel more like a true rock concert?

In the new venue at Paris, The Four Seasons’ hits and their climb to the top are more exciting; the comic moments receive louder laughs; the moving moments are more intense and more poignant; and the audience’s ride is even more emotional as they experience the Jersey journey on the Paris Theatre stage!

1 Comment »

  1. Hi,
    Seeing your show on Sunday the 22nd…what time should we get there and what time is the show over?…want to make dinner reservations.
    Thank you!

    Comment by robin schneider — July 11, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

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