REVIEW: 'Jersey Boys' at The Muny

It is the songs everybody is really anticipating, and I suspect no one will be disappointed.

Harry Hamm
July 11, 2018 - 3:00 pm

Photo courtesy of The Muny

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I always enjoy watching the faces of Muny patrons during the shows, and I've never seen as many smiles as I did Monday evening at “Jersey Boys.”

The music of The Four Seasons and their lead singer, the legendary Frankie Valli, are best described as contemporary timeless - the kind of music you hold in your heart for a lifetime.

Mark Ballas in the role of Frankie Valli nearly stopped the show twice. While the story of how the group game together, stumbled upon their name at a bowling alley, and survived many challenges is interesting enough - especially in Act II when it delves deeply into a tragedy for Valli and his family - it is the overall performance of Ballas as Valli throughout the evening that is the centerpiece of this production’s triumph.

The front line supporting cast of Bobby Conte Thornton, Nicolas Dromard and Keith Hines all lend a flavor of realism and credibility that is very Jersey. Each gives their character a distinctively entertaining turn.

But make no mistake about it -- it is the songs everybody is really anticipating, and I suspect no one will be disappointed.

Each Four Seasons hit takes you back to a time and place you hold as nearly perfect, and satisfies a musical hunger that knows no season. In Act I, there’s a three-number set that includes "Sherry," "Big Girls Don’t Cry," and "Walk Like a Man." It practically had the audience on its feet. It is a show-stopping moment, and not the only one.

“Jersey Boys” runs until July 16. If I were you, I’d 'walk like a man' to the ticket office and prepare to fall in love again. To paraphrase a number in Act II, this show really gives you a chance to hang on to what we’ve got.

4 1/2 Stars