Acclaimed musical Jersey Boys returned to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) this month, telling the true-life story of four guys from the wrong side of the tracks, and the rise to stardom of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons who became one of the most successful bands in pop music history.
After auditioning 450 artists nationwide, the dynamic cast is a combination of exciting and emerging Australian talent. Stepping into the shoes of the charismatic singer Frankie Valli is Bernard Angel, who played Joe Pesci in the original Australian production. He is joined by Thomas McGuane as Bob Gaudio, who makes his career debut after graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts. McGuane’s performance is confident and lively, a successful portrayal for his first professional theatre credit.
Glaston Togt reprises his celebrated portrayal of the band’s musical marvel Nick Massi. Togt’s spot on bass stylings add depth to the musical harmonies, a counterpoint to Angel’s Frankie Valli style twang. Rounding out the main cast is Cameron MacDonald as Tommy DeVito, who acts the villain throughout the story. All members of the cast have been well chosen, the blend of voices and on stage chemistry just right. The individual characteristics of the people they are portraying are manifest in the cast, and it is easy to believe you are watching the real Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons perform the iconic hits.
As for the music, you will be hard pressed to not be dancing in your seat. Iconic hit after hit is performed throughout the show, many of which are easily recognisable. The music of The Four Seasons has been part of the world’s soundtrack for many years, and is an excellent backdrop upon which this story unfolds. Credit too must be given the the musicians in the pit, without whom a musical is just a play. All members of the musical ensemble performed well and did justice to the hits they were entrusted with performing.
Director of Jersey Boys Des McAnuff was very excited to see the musical open in Brisbane. “I’m thrilled to be coming back with our glistening new production. We have now taken The Four Seasons around the world but all of us involved in the show regard Australia as our favourite destination,” he said.
The Four Seasons sold more than 175 million records and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their worldwide hits including Can’t Take My Eyes off You, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby, Sherry and Big Girls Don’t Cry, which all feature in the musical.
Jersey Boys is now playing at The Lyric Theatre, QPAC, until 17 February. Tickets can be purchase here.
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