“JERSEY BOYS:” OH, WHAT A NIGHT

By Bonnie Goldberg

    The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons is a pop phenomenon, an over-the-top success story, a riches from rags tale of blue-collar kids making good, climbing out of the Newark streets, up the rock ‘n roll ladder to stardom.

    Before the age of thirty, these four talented guys - Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi - orchestrating their own songs, inventing their own original sound, abandoning their humble wrong side of the tracks background, sold 175 million records worldwide.

    Garnering a 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Recording, “Jersey Boys” was written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.  The National Tour will rock the Bushnell in Hartford until Sunday, February 22.  Be there or be square!

    Catch the energy of the 1960’s like fire flies in a glass jar as this quartet of rough and tumble, coulda, woulda, hoodlums pull themselves out of the crime laden streets to create a new style.  The show pulls no punches and sugarcoats none of the warts as each member in turn tells their tale.  Lead instigator is clearly Tommy DeVito (Matt Bailey) who teams up with Nick Massi (Steve Gouveia) and then recognizes the angel voice of Frankie Valli (Joseph Leo Bwarie and alternately Graham Fenton).  After several wannabes and a succession of name changes, the group latches onto the song writing talents of Bob Gaudio (Josh Franklin) and history is in the music making.

    The litany of great hits, almost three dozen in all, include “Oh, What a Night,” “Earth Angel,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Working My Way Back to You” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”  You’ll be doo-wooping down the aisles.

    For tickets ($25 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org. ; Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    You don’t have to travel to Newark or Nashville, Edinburgh or Australia, Las Vegas or London.  Just bop over to Hartford for a great time.  Oh, what a night!

This will appear in the Middletown Press on February 12.

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