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.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Bob Crewe, Rick Elice, Providence Performing Arts Center,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GENDER BENDERS  |  September 17, 2014
    Gender confusion has probably been around for as long as gender conflicts.
  •   SIMONE'S  |  September 17, 2014
    In the Rhode Island tradition of giving directions like “it’s where the coffee milk factory used to be,” Simone’s is located where Not Your Average Bar & Grille and the ice cream shop Supreme Dairy used to be.
    From 'Eleemosynary' to 'Hype Hero.'
  •   THE WAR WITHIN  |  September 10, 2014
    A compelling combination of intelligent text and thoroughly inhabited performance.
  •   A MOST MISERABLE MAN  |  September 10, 2014
    There is a good reason that Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov isn’t staged often.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ