June 12, 2008

Jersey Boys Rocks West End!

June 12th, 2008

Bexley Times reviewer Marina Soteriou raves about Jersey Boys; however, she needs a refresher course in The Four Seasons vs. The Four Tops!

She begins by telling readers that Jersey Boys tells the story of one of pop’s most successful bands, Frankie Valli and the Four Tops. Then, she ends the review by stating “but you realize just how important the Four Tops were when you read the list of other hits the producers had to leave out.”

Even though the critic needs a lesson in 4 Seasons history, she gives the show some great praise: “The moment Ryan Molloy who plays Frankie Valli opens his mouth to sing, you know you are in for a treat. His piercing tones and wide range leave you wondering if he is better than the real thing. The singing bits are where the show really works. All performers playing the Tops are brilliant and when they perform those magical hits, it leaves you in awe.”


  1. Oops! Uh, she meant well, I guess… ;)

    Comment by Leanna — June 12, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  2. Some airheaded TV newsreader interviewing the cast when the tour passed thru LA referred to one of the big hits as “Boys Don’t Cry.” Oy vey.

    Comment by stubbleyou — June 13, 2008 @ 1:01 am

  3. At least it wasn’t “Frankie Valli and the Box Tops!”

    Comment by Ray Ricci — June 13, 2008 @ 5:43 am

  4. Mistakes like this are an ever increasing part of Journalism as it relates to recent (and not so recent) history. Don’t even get me started on the reporting of even mildly technical subjects. Someone once said “youth is wasted on the young”, and I suspect this is a young Journalist.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — June 13, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  5. Didn’t Frankie Valli and the Four Tops do “C’mon Bernadette?”

    Wo oh oh, here I long
    For that same old song
    Reach out I’ll be there
    Cos I know you care
    Ain’t too proud to beg*
    On my bended leg
    C’mon Bernadette
    * I know, I know: Though “Ain’t too Proud To Beg” was a Temptations title, this is a reference to the Four Tops’ line, “Some say it’s a sign of weakness for a man to beg,” from “Baby, I Need Your Lovin’,” and of course, to “Beggin’.” Ha ha ha.

    Comment by stubbleyou — June 13, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  6. That’s funny. The first time I saw Frankie Valli in person years ago he was the opening act and The Four Tops performed after him.

    Comment by LindaL — June 13, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  7. I had to send a reply along to Marina. Here it is:

    “The old saying is that any publicity is good, as long as they spell your name right. In this case, it’s not that good.

    Hopefully, others have already alerted you to the fact that you, your proofreaders and your editors all missed the error in your piece about “Jersey Boys”: It’s about Frankie Valli and THE FOUR SEASONS. Not the Four Tops!

    Nothing against the Tops; they were great. They even performed with Frankie and the Seasons on occasion. But this Broadway (and soon worldwide) monster hit is about THE greatest pop success to come out of New Jersey in the 1960s. In the future, please look at what you’ve written before sending it on for publication. That’s what good journalists do.

    A published correction would be a nice touch, if it hasn’t already been done.”

    PS: Stubbleyou – Your site and your very creative parodies (even your singing) are fantastic! I wanted to be the next Allan Sherman when I grew up. Never happened, then Weird Al made it on to Dr. Demento and the rest is history. But if you can play the accordian…you could be next!! Best regards, George

    Comment by George O'Brien — June 13, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  8. George, thanks for writing that to Marina.

    Every Journalist should have a collection of reference books on the subjects they write about. Using Google or Wikipedia to look up everything often leads to incomplete information and isn’t always efficient. If I were writing about popular recorded music and musicians, the single most useful book I would have in my reference library would be “Top Pop Singles” by Joel Whitburn. He also has many related publications. I often use it to reference things I post here. For digging into rare uncharted recordings like “My Mother’s Eyes”, Goldmine record collectors’ publications are a good choice.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — June 13, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

  9. George, thank you for those kind words. Are you a regular around here?

    Actually I have been brushing up on my accordion. I wanna be ready to audition when Elice and Brickman come out with their next project, JERRY’S BOYS – The Story of Gary Lewis and the Playboys. ;-)

    Comment by stubbleyou — June 15, 2008 @ 3:48 am

  10. Stubbleyou-
    I’m active on the Yahoo Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons message group, and check in here regularly.
    Your proposal for “Jerry’s Boys” is one that I could have included in a piece I wrote on 4/1/2007:

    Mega-Success of Jersey Boys Spawns New Tuners

    Here it is:

    New York – With Jersey Boys currently selling out nightly on both
    coasts, and plans for the show to tour this country and open in
    London by this time next year, rival producers are beginning to mine
    the show’s formula to showcase other behind the scenes stories in
    hopes of striking pay dirt. Some examples of productions currently
    in development:

    Mersey Boys – The clubs of Hamburg, Germany and the gritty landscape
    surrounding the Mersey River in Liverpool provide the backdrop as the
    Mersey Beat comes to life in the swinging 60s. Represented in this
    musical tale are, among others, Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas,
    Cilla Black, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fourmost and, of course,
    The Beatles.

    Scene highlights:
    • Young Gerry Marsden (Gerry and The Pacemakers) sneaks into St.
    Luke’s Church with his pals, claiming he’s “ready to play a bigger
    room.” Song: “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

    • After a performance one night, all four guys are caught with their
    girl friends on the fourteenth green at Bootle Golf Course and are
    hauled before the magistrate. To prove they are really
    professionals, he gives them fifteen minutes to come up with a song
    about the incident. They write two.
    Songs: “I Don’t Play Golf, But Tonight I Got A Hole In
    One” “(Ain’t That) Par For The Course”

    Audience members in the orchestra section are encouraged to rattle
    their jewelry. All others may applaud.

    Circe Boys – Brought to exuberant life is the ancient tale of sailors
    who were lured in and drugged by the beautiful daughter of Helios
    (The Sun).

    Featured role is that of Odysseus, the leader of the crew. He
    obtains a special medicine from Hermes, the fleet messenger of the
    gods, which wards off the effects of Circe’s potions. He then frees
    his men, who had been turned into pigs to be fattened for slaughter.

    Song highlights:
    “The Other White Meat” – Circe
    “Shakin’ My Bacon Bits” – The Crew
    “Speedo” – Hermes
    “Walking On Sunshine” – All

    Hershey Boys – Details the hard times and multiple business failures
    of Lancaster, PA’s own Milton Hershey, who would eventually find the
    recipe for sweet success at age 45 after standing up to “Gyp” Zook,
    the boss of the Amish mob. Wanting to give back to his community,
    and believing that good works are also good business, in 1909 he
    founds The Milton Hershey School to help unfortunate boys (and

    Song highlights:
    “It’s In His Kiss” – Mrs. Hershey
    “Where Else Does The Air Smell This Sweet?” – Milton and the Hershey-
    “I’m Nuts About You” – Milton Hershey School Boys Choir
    Regards, George

    Comment by George O'Brien — June 15, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  11. I have a feeling the hits (or emails?) from the JB Blog may have killed the Bexley Times. Oops! LOL.

    Comment by Leanna — June 15, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  12. Dear Ted

    Thanks for your comments. Are you, in fact, the bar owner from Cheers.

    The phrase ‘youth is wasted on the young’ was in fact delivered by George Bernard Shaw….when he was seven.

    Don’t be such a snob. Surely, even if Marina is a young journalist, it’s good that we have such ‘young’ people still trying to get ‘cultural’ pursuits (albeit the Jersey Boys) out into the public domain.

    Comment by StuRox — October 8, 2008 @ 10:50 am

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