Venue: Capitol Theatre (Sydney NSW), from Aug 29
Music: Bob Gaudio
Lyrics: Bob Crewe
Book: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice
Director: Des McAnuff
Cast: Ryan Gonzalez, Cameron MacDonald, Thomas McGuane, Glaston Toft, Mia Dabkowski-Chandler, Cristina D’Agostino, Sage Douglas, Mackenzie Dunn, Glenn Hill, Luigi Lucente, Enrico Mammarella, Scott McConnell, Joshua Mulheran, Jack O’Riley, Matthew Prime, Daniel Raso, Rutene Spooner
Images by Jeff Busby
The Four Seasons have sold an estimated 100 million records, a figure virtually unheard of in the industry today. Jersey Boys takes place in the 1960s, when young American talents were able to think of the music industry as a realistic means of striking rich. A highly effective jukebox musical, filled with colourful characters and an infallible inventory of songs, the show is the proverbial, and predictable, rollicking ride, designed for sheer entertainment.
This Australian revival features an exceptional cast, with Ryan Gonzalez particularly mesmerising as Frankie Valli, complete with that trademark falsetto, celestial and ineffable. Gonzalez’s vocal abilities are a sublime joy from start to end, and his stage presence proves astonishingly compelling, despite his slight stature. He gives his all to the performance, leaving us thrilled and wanting more.
Cameron MacDonald too, is wonderful as Tommy DeVito, founding member of the group and charming villain of the piece. Brilliantly wicked, and quite alluring, MacDonald impresses with flawless timing, proving himself indispensable to the production’s dramatic effectiveness. Also noteworthy is supporting player Rutene Spooner, who sparkles in all his guises, and has us flummoxed by the incredibly nimble athleticism of his voice, whenever he is given an opportunity to sing.
We can easily tire of rags to riches stories; they rarely deviate from structures that are rigidly conventional. The magic of live musical performance however, is boundlessly and fantastically uplifting. Singers and musicians have the potential to move us in profound ways, and on this occasion, their renditions of these half-century old songs, have certainly hit the mark.