Oh What a Night! “Jersey Boys” Brings Classic Songs to Life at the Orpheum

(l to r) Devon Goffman, Eric Chambliss, Jon Hacker and Matt Faucher
Photo: Joan Marcus

Jersey Boys is one of those shows that has somehow always eluded me. Either too busy or too broke when it’s been to the Cities in the past and for some reason I’ve never taken in the Clint Eastwood film. I think I knew I wanted to see it on stage for the first time. I’ve always had an affinity for this music. Maybe it was listening to the oldies station on the car radio with my Dad growing up. Maybe it’s just my kind of music. So for a Jukebox Musical this show was primed to be a favorite. It did not disappoint. Jersey Boys is filled with classic songs, what a period in music to draw from and what a string of great songs The Four Seasons had.

The show was written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music by Bob Gaudio and Lyrics by Bob Crewe, featuring the songs of The Four Seasons and others from the period. It tells the story of the formation of the band, their success, and breakup. The story is told from the points of view of the four men who made up the band. Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and of course Frankie Valli. What’s interesting, and was unexpected, was that the show is divided into four season, beginning with Spring and ending with Winter, each of the season is told from the Point of View of a different one of the guys. While the story always moves forward, they do reference back to bits that happened before and try and set the record straight from their perspective. It’s an interesting story and there were a lot of details I didn’t know anything about. The script does an excellent job of pushing the story along without feeling rushed, never getting bogged down in one section but also you never feel anything was skipped over. Punctuating the story with humor in just the right amount. It’s fun, informative, and filled to overflowing with great songs.

The show is supported by great musicians and supporting performers. A show is only as good as its weakest link. Luckily, this show doesn’t have one that I could identify. Of the leads the stand out is Jon Hacker as Frankie Valli. Does he sound just like Valli? Not quite, but not many people can; however, he comes pretty damn close, which in and of itself is something of a miracle. Hacker along with Eric Chambliss as Bob Gaudio, Matt Faucher as Nick Massi, Devon Goffman as Tommy DeVito are all great on their own, but when they harmonize it’s like a little bit of magic. The four leads do such a great job of recreating the sound of The Four Seasons. I felt if I closed my eyes I would be back in the car and I could hear my Dad next to me, singing along. Oh what a night, and it ended much too soon.

Jersey Boys has played Minneapolis many times already but if you haven’t ever pulled the trigger I encourage you to finally do so. If you’ve seen it before, chances are you already have your tickets to see it again. The show only plays through this Saturday February 5th. To purchase tickets and for more information go to https://hennepintheatretrust.org/events/jersey-boys-broadway-tickets-minneapolis-mn-2022/.