October 20, 2012

Original Jersey Boy Frankie Valli Shines on Broadway!

October 20th, 2012

Frankie Valli on Broadway
Frankie Valli on Broadway (Photo Credit: David Gordon TheaterMania.com)

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Broadway Theatre (for a limited seven-performance engagement) from last night through Saturday, October 27, 2012! Valli and his group absolutely brought the house down, according to reviewers! Check out a sneak peek of two reviews:

Roger Friedman, ShowBiz411.com: Somehow Frankie keeps the show–which lasts two and a half hours including intermission–from being corny. No Vegas or Branford mishegos. It’s very straight ahead. The large band plays against a plain black backdrop. The lighting direction is very good, but not schmaltzy. There’s no disco ball. Frankie keeps it simple, and let’s the dozen or so hits punctuate two sets. He’s got a new album that includes songs suited for his voice and time: “Call Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” and “Stay” worked the best. He does occasionally remind the audience he’s got “400,000 copies” with him and they’re for sale.

His voice is almost indescribable. Always an exception, Valli was never a crooner. He sings falsetto, but it’s a higher pitch than his natural high-pitched tenor. No one else can do it. He’s lower the keys of the songs and they still sound high. Maybe gets a little help from his backup singers–four young Seasons. But in th end, it’s just him standing on the stage, very much alone, and he does it. His voice is sharp, and reminds you of papers being collated quickly on a copier or a bread slicer as it cuts through the air. It’s full of heartache and singing late nights on the street corner.

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: Though Valli predictably occupied the spotlight for most of the night, he gave gracious acknowledgment and solo turns both to his musicians and his current lineup of supporting vocalists. The latter spent the first half of the concert largely in the background, swaying and gesticulating in a carefully synchronized, old-school style — snapping their fingers here, slicking back their hair in unison there.

But the singers — Landon Beard, Todd Fournier and brothers Brandon and Brian Brigham — later stepped forward, bouncing through an exuberant Who Loves You before each put his own flashy spin on the refrain in December 1963 (Oh, What A Night). Valli, his tenor impressively clean and tangy, held his own, and managed to please the crowd with a few falsetto flights.

The show ended with a steady stream of golden oldies — among them Sherry, Walk Like A Man and Big Girls Don’t Cry– followed by an encore of Rag Doll and Let’s Hang On, ensuring that Valli’s fellow pop preservationists went home happy.

Visit Theatermania.com for more photos & BroadwayWorld.com for opening night reception coverage!

Valli, Gaudio & JB Castt Matt Bogart, Frankie Valli, Jeremy Kushnier, Bob Gaudio, Jarrod Spector and Drew Gehling (Photo Credit: Walter McBride, BroadwayWorld.com)

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