June 20, 2010

Jersey Boys Toronto Rave Review Round-up from Bloggers!

June 20th, 2010

Three bloggers have recently posted some fabulous JERSEY BOYS Toronto reviews! Check out the preview:

Twistedtheatreblog.com: What distinctly elevates Jersey Boys as something of more substance than the average Jukebox musical is its four specific, vivid and strong lead characters. It is in the portrayal of these four men that the musical is entirely hinged and Toronto’s cast is absolutely exquisite. Michael Lomenda plays Nick Massi, the self described Ringo Starr of the group, with a unique combination of quiet gruffness and a sullenness akin to Brad Garrett’s constantly overlooked Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond. Lomenda’s Nick transitions nicely between seizing specific moments in the spotlight and then fading entirely into the background. Quinn VanAntwerp is boyish charm personified as the modest pillar of decency and musical genius Bob Gaudio. His voice is absolutely delicious and his beautifully nuanced portrayal of Gaudio pulls the audience resolutely to his side. Daniel Robert Sullivan is pure magic as Tommy DeVito. Truly, he is New Jersey incarnate in this role, with an incredible accent and this unmistakably American command of not only himself, but of the three other boys and the American language itself. It is fascinating to watch this character evolve and how brilliantly Sullivan is able to convey such subtlety, and even traces of vulnerability, in a character with such a larger than life intensity that is so reliant on a reputation for toughness to survive. Jeff Madden is utterly delightful as the charismatic Frankie Valli who grows from a bashful boy with the voice of an angel to the self possessed and fiercely loyal singing sensation who would emerge as a successful solo star with Gaudio’s hit tune “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in 1967. Madden is truly a revelation in this role. He has perfectly captured Valli’s unique voice and his falsetto is simply to die for as it soars dreamily through the theatre for the entire show. Together, Lomenda, VanAntwerp, Sullivan and Madden’s voices unite in musical bliss that induce genuine goosebumps.

Panicreviewmanual.com: So the obvious question stands – how was it? I found it to be quite enjoyable. I had no idea about this man and it turns out he had quite a past growing up in the suburbs of Jersey, with mafia tie-in and all. The plot moved along at an extremely nice pace so that your attention never wandered and the music was fine. After all, this was music that sold over 175 million records world wide. To put that into comparison, that’s probably 175 million times more records then Broken Social Scene has sold ever. The musical numbers were performed as if you were at an actual show, complete with synchro dance moves and microphone stands. The stage setup was incredible and it was definitely one of those high quality, costly production musicals that are so famous on Broadway.

Sasha James, Finalgirlproject.com: Waiting in the lobby of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, I met a lady who has seen “Jersey Boys” six times. Yes, you have read that correctly. She and her husband adored the musical’s first year in Toronto so much, that she is determined to round out the number to an even ten during Jersey Boys’ second year.

After the first twenty minutes of the musical, I didn’t quite understand where she was coming from. I was somewhat shocked at the French/Hip-Hop number at the beginning, and cringed slightly at the young Frankie Valli’s faltering falsetto. I gave the Boys the benefit of the doubt, however. The beginning of the musical focuses on the early years, and the fact that they’re not that great is understandable.

But everything changed when Bobby showed his handsome, amiable face.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Bob Gaudio (Quinn Vanantwerp), the Four Seasons’ composer and de-facto Number Two. “Cry For Me” introduced Bobby to the group and it’s then — as each of the Boys added their own voice to Bobby’s — that I understood what the lady in the foyer was talking about.

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