Jersey Boys Review, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys

So here we are. And audience of at least 90% a certain age lapping up the Four Seasons songbook like Spring chickens at a midsummer party. But this is much more than a nostalgia-fest of Frankie Valli greatest hits. The everyday story of a dysfunctional foursome is told retrospectively from four different points of view and often emphasising a dark side away from the spotlight of glitz and glamour.

Inevitably the story has a slow start detailing the creation of the personas but it comes alive mid-way through act one when the iconic red jackets are donned and Sherry Baby tests the amp to the limit.

The show needs, and has, four special actor/singers and all deserve praise. Michael Watson recreates Valli’s head singing/falsetto with unerring accuracy; Lewis Griffith’s bass profundo has astonishing depth; and Simon Bailey gives the role of slippery Tommy DeVito an allsorts mixture of charm and menace. Add in the voice and glinting smile of Declan Egan and the authenticity of the Seasons’ sound is complete.

The ensemble behind them play a multiplicity of roles on a versatile set and the small band has a big, big sound.

And Oh What a Night for a standing ovation by those who could - in gratitude for reminding an Autumn generation of times gone by when songs had tunes and singers could harmonise. Big Girls Don’t Cry but there were tears of joy in the audience on opening night.

(Continues to June 30)

Alan Powell (72)