Previewed 28 February 2008, Opened 18 March 2008, Closed 9 March 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre
Transferred 14 March 2014, Closed 26 March 2017 at the Piccadilly Theatre
The 'Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons' musical Jersey Boys in London - MUST CLOSE 26 MARCH 2017!
Discover the legendary story of a group of working class boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the biggest pop music phenomenons of all time - Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Follow the rags to rock to riches tale of four blue collar kids working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom. Featuring such hits as Big Girls Don't Cry; Sherry; Oh, What a Night; Can't Take My Eyes Off of You; and many more. This West End production originally opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in March 2008 before transfering here to its current home at the Piccadilly Theatre from March 2014.
Jersey Boys features the songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Please Note: Due to strong language this show may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12.
The original cast featured Ryan Molloy as 'Frankie Valli', Stephen Ashfield as 'Bob Gaudio', Philip Bulcock as 'Nick Massi', Glenn Carter as 'Tommy De Vito', and Scott Monello as alternate 'Frankie Valli', with Simon Adkins as 'Bob Crewe', Suzy Bastone as 'Mary Delgado', Michelle Francis as 'Francine', Jye Frasca as 'Joe Pesci', Tee Jaye as 'Barry', Tom Lorean as 'Donnie' / 'Knuckles', Stuart Milligan as 'Gyp DeCarlo', Amy Pemberton as 'Lorraine', Joseph Prouse as 'Norm Waxman', and Griffin Stevens as 'Hank Majewski', along with Paul Ayres, Laura Brydon, Lucinda Gill, Mark Isherwood, Kieran Jae, Graham Vick and Ben Wheeler. Directed by Des McAnuff with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, set designs by Klara Zieglerova, costume designs by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy.
When this production opened Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph wrote that "Jersey Boys superbly captures the thrills and tensions of four testosterone-charged young men discovering fame and fortune after years of dogged failure. It is excellent, too, on the pressures of life on the road, and the abiding strength of male friendships," adding that "Des McAnuff's strong, no-frills production... it will, I suspect, be some time before London says Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye) to the phenomenal Jersey Boys." Paul Callan in the Daily Express explained that "the show, with its sharp edge and documentary style, stunned Broadway - and it did just that again last night in London... The whole show recreates the atmosphere of the times when the Four Seasons were at the height of their fame... This is an utterly wonderful show full of vitality, pace and power... And it is one of those shows which, as you go home, still has your head filled with its magical songs." Paul Taylor in the Independent commented that "the book by Woody Allen collaborator, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice has a terse, savvy wit," while "Des McAnuff's vigorous production flows slickly on its rudimentary industrial-scaffolding set." In the Times Benedict Nightingale thought that the 'jukebox' musical "has the character, the narrative interest and the sense of place to rise way above its genre." while Lyn Gardner in the Guardian highlighted that "its appeal entirely depends on a well-developed affection for the state of New Jersey and old hits such as Big Girls Don't Cry, My Eyes Adored You and Bye, Bye, Baby. If you are happy to pay to see an ace tribute act with a few biographical facts and a slick design, then go." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times explained how "the performance really lifts off when the boys hit the big time and the show hits the songs: every number is a toe-tapping hit and delivered superbly in Des McAnuff's production." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail hailed it as being "a big thumper of a show with fantastic songs."
"[The Jersey Boys] is directed with good-natured charm by Des McAnuff. There's the usual climbing frame of a set and a lot of women who look like Dewsbury housewives - de rigueur for every musical these days - but from the moment when Ryan Molloy, playing Frankie Valli, opens his mouth and begins to sing it is clear that this production is in a class of its own. Diminutive though he is, Molloy is a great big star. One had expected no more than a middling take-off of Valli, but this man is jaw-droppingly good. I mean amazingly, staggeringly so. He has a falsetto that is as every bit as strong as his full voice, which was very much Valli's trademark." The Sunday Telegraph
"As musicals-by-numbers go, Jersey Boys is blessed with some of the best. But it does keep us waiting 45 minutes while Tommy DeVito meanders down memory lane, mapping the humble petty-criminal beginnings of the Italian-American group from New Jersey who eventually make it as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. With the groups first smash single, Sherry, the tribute show finally gets going, with the bits in between the greatest hits charting the cliched route to the Hall of Fame via alcohol, marriage bust-ups, make-ups, drugs and debt... While Des McAnuffs production is drilled to perfection, it remains mechanical. You can't resist the music, but the show won't make your spirit soar." The Mail on Sunday
Frankie Valli, one of the original Four Seasons said: "Never having had any musical training, I just thought everybody could sing. I had no idea till much later on in life that not everybody had that wide range. And Bob Gaudio in fact was very quick to push me up to higher and higher notes when we were recording. It's rather difficult to cover all the music [in Jersey Boys] since we've been so fortunate to have so many hits. But there was a story to tell, and the decision on which to include was up to Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman, the writers, and Des McAnuff, the director. They had a free hand at what would work for what they were writing. Not being a playwright myself and being so intricately involved in the music for all these years, I just didn't know - it was a totally different situation to be in. There was an appreciation about our music that I didn't expect from the theatre world. We really found ourselves in the right circle of people and talent. I don't think anybody ever imagined it would be as big as it is. The creative team have had to work hard to keep the integrity of the piece, and be sure that the companies that have come after the original one were all as good and as talented. Creating one company is difficult, but to keep doing it over and over again is even harder. It takes a lot of hands-on work, and Bob is always going to visit the various companies to see how they are doing."
Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre in London previewed from 28 February 2008 and opened on 18 March 2008 and closed on 9 March 2014, transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre from 14 March 2014 and closed on 26 March 2017