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  • Oh, what a night. Jersey Boys musical provides an evening to remember

    Henry James

    THE musical Jersey Boys has worked its way back to the Liverpool Empire with its second UK tour.

    It tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and looks at how the band was created, the huge success it had despite coming from the wrong side of the tracks and the eventual break-up of the original members.

    The show, which can be seen at the Empire until Saturday, January 20, mixes music from the band with action sequences to tell their story in a documentary-style format. The first part of the musical is narrated by Tommy DeVito (Simon Bailey). Simon is perfect in the part and portrays Tommy with plenty of swagger.

    Tommy then discovers a teenage Frankie Castelluccio (Michael Watson), who goes on to change his last name to Valli, and looks out for him. Michael has appeared in the show in the West End and it shows. He is able to sing Valli's famous falsetto voice well and he looks at ease in the part.

    The production shows that it is Joe Pesci (Stephen O’Riain) who tells Tommy about Bob Gaudio (James Winter). James brings plenty of humour to the role and gives some good asides to the audience.

    Nick Massi (Karl James Wilson) was the fourth member of the band and it was Nick who helped train Frankie to sing in the early years.

    The story is told in an entertaining way through the action sequences. It is the music which really stands out here and some of the band's biggest hits are played towards the end of the first half and they include: Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man, December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night), and My Eyes Adored You. The four actors perform well and they are accompanied by some excellent drumming.

    The second half highlights the difficult times the band had. It also shows the induction of The Four Seasons' into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. There are some moving scenes towards the end of the evening which Frankie narrates, which tells of the highs and lows he has had in his life.

    Jersey Boys does not disappoint and is an interesting look at the lives of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. 9/10

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