REVIEW: Be left spellbound by Jersey Boys at Llandudno

A sell-out audience assembled to see Jersey Boys at Venue Cymru on its opening night and were left spellbound.

The story of the rise of legendary sixties doo wop group The Four Seasons has proved an evergreen hit since its debut on Broadway in 2005.

Now North Wales audiences can sample this smash hit show featuring hits like Oh What a Night, Let’s Hang On, Bye, Bye Baby, Beggin and Big Girls Don’t Cry.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are one of those acts who you don’t know exactly where or when you first heard them, but their songs are somehow etched in your memory.

This is no doubt due to the distinctive falsetto vocal of Franki Valli, lead singer of the Italian American outfit.

Michael Pickering was superlative as Valli. The actor’s vocal range was really tested on some of the group’s biggest hits including Sherry and Walk Like A Man and I’m pleased to say he passed with flying colours.

His resplendent rendition of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You sent shivers down this reviewer’s spine and was greeted with a huge round of applause.

The Four Seasons swapped singing under New Jersey streetlamps for worldwide superstardom thanks not only to Valli’s voice but the song writing abilities of Bob Gaudio, played with warmth by the endearing Blair Gibson.

Dalton Wood was imposing as the group’s self-proclaimed leader and Mr Fixit Tommy Devito.

His many deals would prove the making and almost breaking of the group.

Devito, who passed away in 2020 after contracting Coronavirus, was portrayed with so much blue-collar passion and panache by Wood that for me his performance proved the beating heart of the show.

Lewis Griffiths was marvellous as Nick Massi, the final member of the band. His solid showing and deadpan delivery provided some welcome comic relief.

Another who superbly provided light relief was George Salmon as Goodfellas and Home Alone star Joe Pesci, a friend of the group also raised in the New Jersey housing projects.

Michael Levi also impressed as the band’s producer Bob Crewe while Jordan James was splendid as local mobster and friend of the band Gyp DeCarlo.

Emma Crossley was dazzling as Valli’s first wife Mary along with Daisy Steere as Valli’s daughter Francine providing some memorable moving scenes featuring An Angel Cried.

Sumptuous costumes, stylish set design, seamless scene changes and stellar vocal performances combine in this rapturous standing ovation winning show not to be missed.

Jersey Boys is at Venue Cymru until Saturday June 4. For tickets visit www.venuecymru.co.uk or telephone the Box Office on 01492 872000.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno