The Broadway tour of 'JERSEY BOYS' has reached its final performance week here in New Orleans. The documentary musical highlights the origin of popular '60s group, The Four Seasons. Much like the name of the group, the musical is divided into four “seasons,” each of which is narrated in turn by the band members.
At the start of the musical (Spring), Tommy DeVito recounts his early career working with Frankie Valli, whose trademark falsetto drove the style of music eventually written for the group. After many failed attempts to gain fame, DeVito, Valli, and Nick Massi bring in Bob Gaudio (Summer) as their fourth member and lead songwriter. Even after Gaudio's arrival, the group faces a continued period of identity crisis until inspiration hits for a song that goes on to define their style. By the end of Act I, The Four Seasons become a national hit, maintaining an Average Joe connexion to their fans despite the British Invasion.
Act II begins with Nick Massi's perspective (Fall) on the crumbling friendship between Frankie and Tommy. The latter, portrayed as the stereotypical “bad guy” of the group, built up an incredible amount of debt which had yet to be repaid. When he's exiled to Las Vegas, the band, too, starts to crumble. Massi decides he'd rather spend time with his family than be on the road constantly touring. Gaudio steps back from the limelight, suggesting that Frankie (Winter) pursue his career as a solo vocalist.
The musical ends with the Four Seasons' induction into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and a brief “Where Are They Now” summation.
Authentic Jersey language is used throughout the production, deeming it not recommended for younger audiences or those easily offended by excessive cursing. However, for fans of the group, or oldies music in general, the jukebox show gives the aura of a long-awaited reunion concert.
Mahalia Jackson Theatre hosts 'JERSEY BOYS' through Sunday, 27 January. It is the third musical to visit New Orleans for the 2012-2013 Broadway season. Upcoming Broadway tours include: Flashback (February/March), Million Dollar Quartet (April), and seasonal special WICKED (May).