OH, WHAT A NIGHT! WITH THE "JERSEY BOYS"
By Bonnie Goldberg
Four young guys from the land of opportunity known as New Jersey could easily have been incarcerated for a life of crime. Instead by the age of 30, they had carved a name for themselves, after a number of iterations, as rock and roll super stars. You know them better as the Four Seasons in general and Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, in particular.
Their intoxicating music is heaven sent, especially if you call the 1950’s and 1960’s your type of sound. Their harmonizing is the best. Who could have predicted that a quartet of lads from the wrong side of the silver spoon could succeed like a meteor shower, writing their own music and creating their own unique sounds. The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts will be ready to open its rafters for the boys from Wednesday, March 22 to Sunday, March 26 for another night of their magic as the 2006 Tony Award winning show rocks into Hartford.
With book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, come and learn how a fresh faced kid rises like cream to the top of the milk bottle as Frankie Valli become lead singer of The Four Seasons. The road to fame and fortune is not smooth and the boys flirt with crime before they set their dreams on a straight path to the top. Their first hurdle was finding the right combination of voices and the second was settling on a name for their group. Staying out of jail, balancing family life with the rigors of life on the road, a gambling addiction and a huge burden of debt almost defeat them.
But Frank, Bob, Tommy and Nick persevere and go on to sell 175 million records before they hit the big 3-0, including five number one hits and 11 that made the Billboard’s top ten, all among the show’s incredible thirty-three songs. Dividing their tale into seasons, we become privy to the twists and turns that drove them to the top of their game and then, ironically, almost destroyed them. And along the way, there is their music. Songs like “Oh, What a Night, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Ragdoll,” “Working My Way Back To You,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Walk Like a Man" and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” will have you levitating in your seats.
For tickets ($25,50 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org. Performances are Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
These guys were not choir boys and their gritty story will amaze you. Catch the beat and hang on tight for oh, what a night!