Jersey Boys has been a worldwide musical hit for years and since 2013 Dutch audiences get to enjoy and swing along with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as well. Today I had the pleasure of seeing the musical at the Queen Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht.
I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, but every now and again I’m willing to go along to see one. The deciding factor: the music. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have been incredibly famous and made so many great hits, that I can sing along with most songs. Some songs have been covered a number of times, that it surprised me to find out they were the original artists. As is the case with Beggin’, which was recently covered by Norwegian hip-hop band Madcon.
Frankie Valli in London
Yesterday I was a bit miffed when I was doing some resarch on the internet on the musical and it turned out Tim Driesen, who plays Frankie Valli, is in London the whole week to play in the English version of Jersey Boys. But as luck would have it, guess who’s in London too from Thursday till Sunday! So I might go to see him there and I’ll try to get a short interview before the show.
His understudy, Martijn Vogel, did just fine today. Even though he’s a lot younger than Tim Driesen, he comes across as if he’d been playing the role for ages. Can’t imagine how daunting it must be to take over the lead role of such a popular musical for a few shows, surrounded by an amazing and experienced cast, consisting of René van Kooten, Robbert van den Bergh, Dieter Spileers, Barry Beijer and Hugo Haenen among others.
From the streets of Jersey to world fame
The story (which happened for real I should emphasize) starts in New Jersey, where three of the four band members grew up in a life of petty crime. They eventually got a fourth member, the genius and songwriter of the band, Bob Gaudio to join them. And that’s when the hits started to come. They became famous all over the world, but the money problems in the form of debts made by guitarist Tommy DeVito began to catch up with the band. Eventually it all worked out, but it must’ve been a tough time for all members of the Four Seasons.
Dancing in confined spaces
As I mentioned earlier on, the music is phenomenal and it’s hard to sit still. Unfortunately the audience remained in their seats until the very last song, so I had to move around in my chair to the musical and catchy brilliance of Oh, What A Night, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like A Man. Because sitting still would be absolute torture!
Review of Jersey Boys England will be online later on this week!