The factors that take Jersey Boys above musical revue status, however, are the mini-dramas that pop up-jail time for DeVito early on, Valli's crumbling marriage and his tumultuous relationship with his oldest daughter Francine, the gambling and loose money management by DeVito, which lands the quartet in an Ohio jail. The singers are all solid actors, Jersey accents intact, and they build compelling characterizations.
As crowd-pleasing as the songs are, it's the strong narrative of Jersey Boys that has made it a long-running hit. These actors make us care about these guys, whether it's Gaudio's wide-eyed naiveté, the fastidious Nick driven batty by rooming with sloppy Tommy, the smart-aleck Tommy pushing the band into debt, or the earnest loyalty to his Jersey pals that never deserts Frankie.
You don't have to be from Jersey to love Jersey Boys — though what could be more "Jersey" than Rhode Island? This touring company has tons of talent musically and dramatically — they put their hearts into telling this story, and we're glad we're along for the ride.
, Bob Crewe, Rick Elice, Providence Performing Arts Center, More