Jersey Boys (Toronto, 2019 production) Review

The second review for a musical this year (I didn’t review any last year). However, this time I wasn’t planning on going like with Evil Dead. The original ticket buyers couldn’t make it, so I ended up with some tickets without having any idea what Jersey Boys even was. Going into it, I thought it was going to be about gangsters and a life of crime. Turns out, it’s based on a real band called The Four Seasons. Before this show, I had no idea that The Four Seasons even existed and I didn’t recognize a single song that was played during the performance. Cool.

Despite this, I found the musical quite enjoyable. Compared to the Evil Dead musical, production values were high and the atmosphere was a bit richer and more formal in comparison. However, the actual content was less interesting to me in comparison and as a result, the show had to work harder to gain my interest. I would say that during the first half hour or hour, I was not entirely pulled in. I was still enjoying it but I wasn’t in love with it.

Once the plot starts to pick up and once I became a bit more invested in the characters, Jersey Boys revealed itself to be an interesting and informative piece. I have no idea how accurate the events are in their depiction of the band’s history, but everything felt like it was within the realm of reason. There were a few moments that felt like they were a bit exaggerated, either for comedic or dramatic purposes, but they never bogged down the heart and soul of the story.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this show was the alternating narrators. At different points in the show, each of the band members is given their chance to narrate the story. It gave the show a more complete and full feeling since it helped the audience to dive into the psyche of each major character.

In terms of performances, the cast was incredibly solid and seemed to have a lot of synergy. For the most outstanding performance, I would hands down pick Eric Chambliss as Bob Gaudio. Firstly, I loved his character. Gaudio brought an interesting dynamic to the group both musically and inter-personally. Secondly, Eric was charismatic, convincing and confident in his performance.

Overall, an enjoyable experience with some light-hearted music and great fun. There are also moments of great sorrow and sadness. And now I know about The Four Seasons (although I will probably never listen to them again, unless I go see this show again (which I wouldn’t be opposed to (but it would have to be a few years from now))).

8/10 – Great

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