SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Theatregoers in San Francisco were transported to the '60s with the familiar head-bopping tunes of the Four Seasons as the Broadway hit musical Jersey Boys opened on March 12th for its third engagement in the Bay Area.
Jersey Boys presents the true story of how four blue collar teens in New Jersey rose to the top of the billboard charts with hits like Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry, December 1963 (Oh, What A Night), My Eyes Adored You, Stay, and Can't Take My Eyes Off You.
The show, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Nick Cosgrove is impressive as the lead singer Frankie Valli, hitting those high notes with ease. John Gardiner as Tommy DeVito is so likable you want to look right past his gambling debts and other sins and cheer him on as the group's founder. Tommaso Antico, filling in for Miles Jacoby on opening night, played the naive but talented Bob Gaudio very well (hopefully this understudy will get more stage time). Michael Lomenda as bass singer Nick Massi rounds out this talented foursome.
Although the music alone is entertaining enough, the characters are developed well and the personal stories of each "Jersey boy" is touching and heartbreaking. The musical provides just enough historical context, emotional connection, and catchy tunes to create a perfect evening of entertainment. It's a show you wouldn't mind watching over and over again because the songs will always put you in a good mood.
Jersey Boys plays at the SHN Curran Theatre in San Francisco through April 28th.
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