Jersey Boys

25 11 2007

V and I caught a special festive encore of the Jersey Boys at the Curran today. Festive and special.

Jersey Boys is a shrink wrapped documentary style musical based on the lives of the Four Seasons, a rather successful rock and roll group from the sixties; it plays like an overlong episode of VH1 Behind The Music. The musical opened on Broadway on November 6, 2005 and is part concert, part jukebox musical (like Mamma Mia) and an inexplicable hit among women of a certain age. Its national tour began on December 10, 2006 at the Curran and is back for a festive special holiday run until December 30 when the new cast moves to  Chicago. Jeff Liebow who plays Nick Massi is a Pleasanton native. Rick Faugno is no John Lloyd Young (start turn originating the role of lead singer Frankie Valli) whose after-shave soaked lounge ballad “Can’t Take My Eyes off Of You” hits the stage around a quarter hour before the musical ends, but he has the karaoke voice between effigy impersonation and exact mimicry. The package is curiously a mix between Dreamgirls and Goodfellas, enhanced by an invisible technologically enhanced electronic band that approximates vocals and instrumentals to an inordinate degree. The musical works where Good Vibrations (Beach Boys), All Shook Up (Billy Joel) and Lennon (guess – this one premiered in SF) did not, by using the clunky storyline inspires soundtrack fantasy made innovatively insane by Mamma Mia (Abba). Except for the expectation-thwarting opening French rap single (Ces Soirees La), the sound is remarkably clean in the standard-issue industrial set arch.