March 26, 2009

Jersey Boys Rocks Music City!

March 26th, 2009

Jersey Boys LogoCritics all over Nashville are praising JERSEY BOYS. Below are the latest rave reviews!

Martin Brady, As for Jersey Boys, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be—a mega-hit musical that delivers on all fronts.

The doppelganger Seasons—Josh Franklin as the gifted Gaudio, Joseph Leo Bwarie as iconic lead singer Frankie Valli, Erik Bates as bad-boy Tommy DeVito and Steve Gouveia as the unheralded Nick Massi—offer tremendously committed performances that rise far above mere imitation. Meanwhile, the Marshall Brickman-Rick Elice script is an unapologetically manly piece of writing that maintains its dark edges even as the group soars to fame.

Director Des McAnuff paces the show with such breathless drive that the 75-minute Act 1 seems half that long. His glitzy assault of big sound, bigger lights and nonstop movement is executed with totally entertaining—sometimes downright mesmerizing—results.
Susan Day, “You’re just too good to be true/ Can’t take my eyes off of you” make up the first two lines of one of Frankie Valli’s biggest hits … and it’s funny … at the HCA/Tristar Broadway series production of Jersey Boys, that’s exactly the sensation that rippled through the audience: It was just too good to be true. But it was true. And it is!

While Music City is frequently treated to outstanding performances of all kinds, far more infrequently come Equity-tiered, Broadway-caliber musicals. Jersey Boys marks an infrequency not to be missed. Let a trip to TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Theater shoot right up to the top of your priority list.

Des McAnuff’s clean and expeditious direction adds vision to Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s already audacious book. The audience is driven to happy excess — especially in Act I — thanks to the wit and verve of the book’s narrative, as delivered by Four Seasons’ members one-by-one, season-by-season. These guys appeal enormously: Frankie Valli (Joseph Leo Bwarie), a solid singer who takes the lead masterfully; Tommy DeVito (Erik Bates), the reckless bad boy group leader; Bob Gaudio (Josh Franklin), the wunderkind hit-maker; and Nick Massi (Steve Gouveia) the sweet but OCD-laden fourth man.

Hurry up and book your seat, and get ready to say (I just can’t help myself), “Oh, What a Night!”

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