REVIEW: JERSEY BOYS @ TRAFALGAR THEATRE
🎭 Jersey Boys
📍 Trafalgar Theatre, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY
🗓 Sunday 26th March 2023
AN ELECTRIC FAST-PACED MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA
Jersey Boys continues to entertain audiences in London’s West End at the Trafalgar Theatre and it’s no secret how much I love this show.
I last reviewed the show after the cast change last year but have decided to do a review of Sundays performance as it’s the closest I’ve ever been to seeing the full principal company perform (there was only one missing!) and therefore there will be some different cast members to my previous review.
For anyone who doesn’t know what Jersey Boys is about, it follows the rise and fall of 60’s group The Four Seasons who later disband and the group is reinvented as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This show doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of their story and we see hard times, betrayal, bereavement, collapse of relationships, links to the mob and even prison time!
The incredible Luke Suri takes on the role of Frankie Valli. As someone who has seen this show many times over the years and therefore seen many people take on this role, it’s safe to say that Suri has firmly cemented himself as my favourite Frankie ever! He is the whole package. Not only does he deliver flawless incredible vocals night after night, but his portrayal of the character lets you see deep into his soul. His performance of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You brings the house down and he puts so much emotion into Fallen Angel that he rips your heart out.
Production Image: Luke Suri as Frankie Valli
Adam Bailey performs as Bob Gaudio who is the last member to join the group and writes all the hits that you know and love including Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like a Man. Bailey is mesmerising in the role and you really see his character grow up during the performance. He is fantastically expressive throughout and I particularly love how his face portrays how annoyed he is when Tommy lands them all in a jail cell. He also has a beautiful singing voice and takes the lead on December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) and gives a joyous performance of Cry For Me which is probably my favourite moment of the first act.
Peter Nash is a revelation as bad boy Tommy DeVito. He is the first member of the group that the audience meets and is responsible for building the group as well as for its financial downfall! Nash has only recently joined the company and brings a fresh new energy to the role. I adore his different take on the character. His wit and sarcasm are perfect for Tommy and he is another really expressive performer. I love watching him when other characters are speaking and seeing his facial reactions! He also has wonderfully smooth vocals which are shown off beautifully in Silhouettes and Earth Angel.
Completing the line up of The Four Seasons is Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi. Wilson is confident and calming to watch. Nick is perhaps the quietest member of the group who has some family and drink issues. Wilson gives a glorious performance and you really believe every word he is saying. His standout moment comes in the second act when he lets 10 years of frustration out at once! He has a beautiful vocal tone which adds depth to the performance.
Production Image: Four guys under a street lamp
The rest of the cast are the ensemble. They each have one main role and then a number of smaller roles throughout. They also move props around and are an integral part of the smooth running of the show.
Perhaps the most versatile of all is Joseph Peters who is fabulously camp as the groups producer Bob Crewe. He appears as other characters too throughout the show and really embodies each one amazingly well, giving us different accents and physicality each time!
Matthew Goodgame portrays Gyp DeCarlo and you really feel his stature and prominence in the criminal community. There’s something about watching Goodgame perform which makes you feel really comfortable. Although you only really get to hear his vocals in harmonies, he has a wonderful depth to his voice which is captivating to listen to.
Gracie Lai as Lorraine is an absolute joy to watch. She gives off a great energy when she is performing and I am always drawn to her whenever she is on stage.
Image: The stage is set
Tom Oliver is domineering as Norm Waxman and Joey Cornish is cutely excitable as Joe Pesci and has some great comic moments.
Rosie Needham is wonderful as Francine. She is another captivating performer and leads a full-throttle performance of My Boyfriend’s Back.
Carolyn Maitland is breathtaking as Mary Delgado and watching her during My Eyes Adored You breaks your heart a little.
Andy Smith puts in a strong performance throughout as a variety of characters and flawlessly provides the falsetto vocals on December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) as well as opening the show with an electric performance of Ces Soirées-La.
Smith is one of the sensationally talented swings at Jersey Boys London and covers many different roles. Look out for my blog post about theses talented company members coming soon!
Everything in this production from the sound and lighting to the band, props and costumes come together wonderfully to bring audiences a theatrical experience they won't forget and if you're anything like me, you'll be planning your next visit as you're leaving the theatre!
Jersey Boys is an electric fast-paced musical extravaganza which packs in hit after hit and never stops for breath! You’re guaranteed a great night out with this show which is currently booking at the Trafalgar Theatre until October 2023. Head to www.jerseyboysmusical.co.uk to find out show information and book tickets. You’ll also find information about the current UK tour too!
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open, honest and free from influence.
London's Four Seasons: Luke Suri; Adam Bailey; Karl James Wilson: Peter Nash
CAST AT THIS PERFORMANCE:
Luke Suri as Frankie Valli; Adam Bailey as Bob Gaudio; Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi; Peter Nash as Tommy DeVito; Gracie Lai as Lorraine (and others); Carolyn Maitland as Mary Delgado (and others); Tom Oliver as Norm Waxman/Hank Majewski (and others); Joseph Peters as Bob Crewe (and others); Matthew Goodgame as Gyp DeCarlo (and others); Joey Cornish as Joe Pesci (and others); Andy Smith as Barry (and others); Rosie Needham as Francine (and others); Swings - Elliot Allinson, Jack Campbell, Huon Mackley and Bonnie Page
RUN TIME (approx):
2 hours 35 minutes, including 20 minute interval
Bad language throughout and one loud gunshot with some blood. References to criminal activity and addiction