The lyrics “Oh, what a night!” resonant loudly in the custom built Palazzo Theater and I think, “I couldn’t agree more”. I keep having to remind myself that this is a musical and it’s not okay to sing along with the band. The Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys is so engaging that even someone who has never cared to acquaint themselves with the music and story of The Four Seasons (like myself) cannot escape being sucked into this world.
The musical Jersey Boys is fittingly separated into four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, with each season narrated from the perspective from one of the original Four Seasons members: Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Frankie Valli. Despite the amazing popularity of the band, Jersey Boys is the first time the behind-the-scenes story of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons has been told. This all sounds basic enough, yet somehow watching the plot weave seamlessly through the music of The Four Seasons makes me realize that this is not the “musical review” that I thought I was walking into. No, it’s a fast-paced, lively musical worthy of all the critical acclaim it has received.
The cast consists of seventeen men including a solid performance by Bay Area actor Jeff Leibow as Nick Massi. Most notably, Rick Faugno shines as Frankie Valli, a role so vocally demanding that two people (Rick Faugno and Travis Cloer) must alternate between the eight weekly performances. Also, Deven May does an incredible job as Tommy DeVito, the Italian-bred, Jersey-born leader of the group. There are also three women – Lauren Tartaglia, Carly Thomas and Nikka Wahl – who convincingly play over fifty different roles in the show, all of course to perfection.
The music arrangements are one of the highlights of this show. Vocal arrangements (Ron Melrose) and orchestrations (Steve Orich) stay true to the style of music while filling in the harmonies and textures just enough to give it a little more pizazz. The music of The Four Seasons such as “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Sherry,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is so ingrained in American culture that most people know the music already – even if they aren’t aware that it was The Four Seasons that originally performed them. In fact, I don’t recall a single song in the musical that I hadn’t heard before.
Next time you’re in Vegas, check out the only current West Coast production of Jersey Boys. And make sure you check out all the memorabilia taken from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on your way out of the theatre. It will have more meaning after you’ve seen Jersey Boys. Especially if you knew as little as I did about The Four Seasons.
Jersey Boys at The Palazzo Resort
3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 414-9000 or (866) 641-7469
Group Sales: (702) 785-5394 or email GroupSales@BASEentertainment.com
Tickets: Prices range from $67 – $147 + tax – VIP seating is available
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