Newest Review: ... = Where to get tickets and how much = Tickets can be bought in all the usual ways; Seetickets, Ticketmaster and on the Jersey Boys Lo... more
My Eyes Adored You (Ryan Molloy *drooool*)
Member Name: malteser1987
Advantages: Exceptional acting, Ryan Malloy's Franki Valli - just incredible
Disadvantages: Ryan Malloy didn't ask me to marry him :(
Jersey Boys...oh dear. Sorry folks - I couldn't be left out of the search for a 'Franki Valli and the Four Seasons' song related title. They have a ridiculous amount of songs which lend themselves to topping off a Dooyoo review and mine will be no exception. I think my title also has more resonance due to my dribbly fascination with Ryan Molloy (the guy playing Franki Valli in London).
I wouldn't have chosen to see it myself because I didn't realise I knew quite so many Franki Valli songs and I was worried it would be some sort of tribute act where I'm usually squat between my aunt happy clapping and blaring out to every track and my mother using my knee to clap on. But I said to my mother dearest she could choose any show for her birthday and come to stay in London with me and this is the one she wanted. I was obviously in an exceptional mood because low and behold I went one better and said she could sit anywhere. SO that's how I parted with £104.00 + admin charges for 2 seats just 2 rows from the front stage. Ouch you say? I would part with it again in a second. Well...maybe not RIGHT now but ya know what I mean.
***The Theatre - Where is it showing?***
From its debut on Broadway, Jersey Boys has shimmied over to the UK and can be seen at the Prince Edward Theatre (part of the Delfont Mackintosh theatre group) which is conveniently near a few tubes - Tottenham Court Road probably proving to be the most accessible. It's fairly easy to find and is surrounded by tons of places to eat pre-show and drink afterwards. The theatre itself is decorated in accordance with the 1960's decor - predominantly red from what I can recall although I'm happy to be corrected.
We were led down to the stalls, and for some reason they were not using the front row so, being second row we were actually the first row there. There are cheaper or matched seats in the Dress Circle and Grand Circle above. Although I can see the benefit of sitting up and being able to look down on the set, there were very few instances where I felt like I was disadvantaged by being so close. I would only opt in future to be a few rows back as I quite liked the intimacy (and Ryan Molloy was obviously singing to me once he saw my beaming grin and puppy dog eyes staring adoringly up at him...he mouthed 'I love you' and the spot light focused on us both...oh wait - sorry!)
***The Jersey Boys***
So for those also under the illusion it might be some poor imitation group just milking the Four Seasons and Franki's success...you're wrong. I was wrong - we are so wrong. It is actually the telling of the story of their rise to fame from their roots in New Jersey. If you get the programme you are progressively told the story through quotations which are directly lifted from the performance. I love this because I then click at different points and tune in because I glimpsed the programme and wanted to know more.
The story is told through the eyes of all five main characters and their impact and inclusion into the trials and tribulations of the group. You also gain insight into the relationships that develop and some of the really exceptional circumstances that this group found themselves in and the amount of debt which Franki fairly independently lifted the group out of. I really don't want to give too much away concerning the plot because that's not the point of the review, but I want to give you an overarching view! Each character takes on different points of the narrative, essentially when they each had to come into their own throughout the group's development.
There was never a dull moment, never a moment where I thought "God this is dragging" - I just loved it. The set was fairly straightforward but so versatile and used really well. The gorgeous girls done up in 1960's dress with gorgeous hair styles and outfits as well as the men in their dapper suits and slacks with those slicked back hair styles. Yum. I was born 40 years too late!!
The actors were awesome, all carrying accents well although towards the end the accent of one of the characters did wane a tad...he sounded sort of Arnold Schwartanegger at times...just me? Ok! There are two original cast members who have stayed with the show since it started in London; Ryan Molloy playing an exceptional Franki Valli with that high pitch tone, just incredible, and also Stephen Ashfield playing Bob Gaudio. Despite being some swapping and changing of the other two characters, there was a natural chemistry between the whole cast. Tommy DeVito was played by Jon Boydon and Nick Massi (the one whose accent wasn't totally consistent but in no way hindered the performance!) played by Eugene McCoy. None of the cast are 'well known' but they were moulding their names in the bright lights by being just that - they were exceptional, all British born with authentic New Jersey accents.
For those committed fans, you will want to know a handful of the tracks that you will definitely want to hear. My favourite currently being 'My Eyes Adored You', you will also hear 'Sherrie', 'Fallen Angel', 'Walk Like A Man', 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and 'Who Loves You'. I was pleasantly surprised by 'Beggin' being there as obviously the association with this track is with the modern track by Madcon. The songs were seamlessly included, moving in with the action - never being dubbed in at the last minute or seemingly unfitting. One of the funnier tracks being 'December 1963 (Oh What A Night)' relating to the awakening of Bob Gaudio from his prior innocence...!
I LOVED JERSEY BOYS. There was the perfect mix of humour; the songs were well placed and sung perfectly. Just today my mother and I ran December 1963 the original and the cast version after each other and the impression was so authentic it would take an avid fan to really tell the difference. The wonderful, colourful story, the quick set changes utilising the different cast members to create different diners and performance areas, the massive signs suspending from the ceiling and suddenly illuminating as they played different shows. The use of a metal staircase and walkway which represented a number of things; frequent visits to jail, the meeting of prominent figures and the heartbreaking deaths which knocked Franki for six, as well as the death of relationships; lovers and friends. The one that really got me was Nick Massi's exit. A stunningly well made musical - I couldn't rate it more highly. I grinned from ear to ear - and not just because Ryan Malloy had me enchanted. My eyes adored it.
***Check out the website too!! Well worth a peek! Also Ryan Malloy has released an album 'Ryan sings Franki'! I definitely prefer the original cast recording but still - check it out!!***
Summary: An amazing night out I will definitely be repeating once I muster the dosh!
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