The following review contains excerpts from my upcoming Live Active Cultures column in the 4/23/2014 issue of Orlando Weekly, and my 5/14/2009 review of a prior production. The newly-released trailer for director Clint Eastwood’s cinematic take on Jersey Boys looks solid, but it’s hard to imagine any film having the dramatic theatrical impact of Des McAnuff’s 2006 Tony-winning musical, whose tour is back at Bob Carr through this weekend for another welcome bow. This road company of the multi-award-winning 2005 Broadway musical travels with all the elements that have made Jersey Boys a worldwide hit fully intact. First, the songs: Even if you don’t think you know the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (or songwriters Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe) you do. “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll” and “Walk Like a Man” are practically in our musical genetic memory; hearing them performed, as they are here, with passion and note-perfect precision provokes nearly Jungian joy. Second, the story: a rock & roll Rashomon recounting how four fellas from Joisey made it from the street corner to the top of the music biz, only to stand in the shadow of the Beatles and see their friendships […]
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