Jersey Boys at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Oh, what a night it was at Royal & Derngate for the press night of Jersey Boys!

This has been a show high on my bucket list. I’ve not seen the West End production, the only impression of the story I had was from watching the Jersey Boys film in the cinema. But having loved the soundtrack, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and wanting to see this show for a while, I did have high expectations.

JERSEY BOYS UK Tour 22/23

For those unaware, the Jersey Boys Musical is a popular jukebox musical based on the true story of the legendary 1960s rock ‘n’ roll group, The Four Seasons. The show tells the story of four blue-collar kids from New Jersey who become one of the greatest successes in pop music history.

It features hit songs like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” among others.

The show has been a hit on both Broadway and the West End, winning multiple Tony Awards and Olivier Awards, and has been seen by millions of people around the world. Now, the Jersey Boys Musical UK tour is bringing the show to audiences across the UK, including a stop at the Northampton Royal & Derngate Theatre until Saturday 1st April.

This touring production features an all-new cast and crew, and promises to bring the same electrifying energy and excitement to audiences that made the show such a hit on Broadway and the West End – and now it’s certainly become a hit (not a song) in Northampton!

JERSEY BOYS UK Tour 22/23

First things first: you will come out of the theatre with the songs stuck in your head. The soundtrack is every bit as exciting and upbeat as expected. The moment the four seasons finally sung for the first time during “Cry For Me” was a spinetingling moment.

Other stand-out hits for me included “My Eyes Adored You”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and of course, “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)” during and at the end of the finale where everyone was up dancing.

I couldn’t fault the cast; everyone from the principal roles to the ensemble and supporting roles were fantastic. Everyone was a triple threat and gave added value to the storytelling and sparkle on stage.

The four seasons consisted of Blair Gibson, who played Bob Gaudio – gorgeous, funny and talented!

Dalton Wood who played Tommy DeVito – whilst at the start, I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying (maybe the Jersey accent, maybe microphone issues) he commanded the stage and was the light comedy during some of the more intense moments of the show.

Christopher Short who played Nick Massi was light-hearted with great comedic timing and along with his deep baritone voice gave the foursome the cherry on top.

And lastly, the alternate Frankie Valli was played by Ryan Heenan as opposed to Michael Pickering. Either way, Ryan Heenan looked like he had been playing this role for years as he truly captivated the essence and voice of Frankie Valli whilst effortlessly.

JERSEY BOYS UK Tour 22/23

All of the Four Seasons cast had impeccable harmonies and synced together perfectly – no bad note in place and sounded brilliant on stage. It was like watching the real deal and can only imagine if you were a big fan of the Four Seasons back in the day how truly magical it was to see them coming to life again.

Big shout out to Jordan James, my old University of Chichester housemate and fellow musical theatre student. I felt like a proud mum watching him make his theatre debut and I couldn’t believe just how diverse he was with all the different roles he played, including gangster Gyp DeCarlo.

His range of characteristics for each character meant sometimes I didn’t even realise it was him. I hope he goes far after this and it was nice to see a Chichester alumni making waves on stage.

Another shout-out to Damien Winchester for his many roles and what a voice at the end of the finale when he hit that high note! Fabulous!

My only slight criticism is about the stage set and how the stage looked and felt throughout the performance. Whilst the show is meant to be set in New Jersey and is meant to have a dark feel, I felt the lack of set changes and lighting changes meant it lacked a bit of character and vibrancy. However, the smooth movement of the sets and props was really clever.

It was missing something and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it didn’t take away from the performances, music and choreography on stage.

The costumes were aligned with the New Jersey 1960’s era and I got very excited when I saw the four men wear the iconic red jackets and suits when they performed some of their greatest hits.

The atmosphere at the end of the show meant everyone was up on their feet dancing away.

If you’re a fan of classic rock ‘n’ roll and great storytelling, the Jersey Boys Musical is not to be missed.

Find tickets for the Jersey Boys here.

★★★★

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