The award-winning hit musical “Jersey Boys,” based on the meteoric rise to stardom of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, has returned to the Kennedy Center in northwest D.C. — much to the delight of fans young and old, including this reporter.
It’s a nonstop celebration — from the opening notes of the orchestra to the electrifying conclusion — with a talented cast led by Jon Hacker (Frankie Valli), Eric Chambliss (Bob Gaudio), Matt Faucher (Nick Massi) and Devon Goffman (Tommy DeVito) as The Four Seasons.
Now on its 15th touring season, “Jersey Boys” has been featured on stages in Canada, Mexico and throughout the U.S. with more than 5,000 performances under its belt. When the musical debuted in New York City in November 2005 and by the time it closed in January 2017, it counted as the 12th-longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing productions that included “42nd Street,” “Grease” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
And while this reporter has seen this musical at least four or five times, both here in the District and in several other U.S. cities, each featuring a different assortment of performers, it’s the kind of show that never gets old.
After all, how can anyone not be moved to sing and dance along with the quartet as they take the audience down memory lane, belting out golden oldies that include “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back to You”?
As for those who have never experienced this musical, put on your safety belt and be prepared to enjoy the spectacular harmonies that made The Four Seasons an international sensation while also witnessing the story which details the highs and lows that marked the formation and evolution of the group.
The ensemble of “Jersey Boys” also includes a superb crew of singers, dancers and actors who complement the four members of The Four Seasons with great accord.
However, the best thing about this show, no matter how many times it’s performed, remains the music.
And with veteran actor Jon Hacker tackling the job of lead vocals as the enigmatic Frankie Valli and delivering an outstanding performance, he easily hits those falsetto notes that distinguished the real Valli from his contemporaries.
Indeed, during their heyday, only the very best singers, like those who teamed up to form The Four Seasons, could reasonably hope to one day make it to the big time.
From striking up a tune with four-part harmony on the street corners of their blue-collar neighborhood in New Jersey to starring on stages around the globe, The Four Seasons, as this musical reveals, secured their place in history by delivering an attitude and a sound that had never been seen or heard before.
If you’re looking for an evening of fun and an opportunity to lift your voice in songs that shaped and dominated the American musical scene throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, then you don’t want to miss seeing “Jersey Boys.”