Last night Stu and I went to see the musical Jersey Boys - The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at the Prince Edward Theatre in Soho's glitzy West End.
We'd got the tickets as part of a meal/theatre deal from lastminute.com which can be quite a cheap way to a) eat, and b) see a show. As long as you don't top load on drinks and buy a theatre program as part of your evening's festivities, of course. The meal was at Bertorelli's in Frith Street and to be honest it was pretty so-so. As Stu's main turned up stone cold we got our drinks for free plus a side order of chips thrown in.
The Jersey Boys show itself was good. Perhaps a little bit too heavy on plot and a little too light on music but enjoyable all the same. For example it took a little under fifty minutes before the first Four Seasons song was performed. I think most people wanted to come and hear the songs - not the history of the group acted out at lightning speed. Still, as I say, it was good.
The story itself tells of Frankie Valli (actually born Francis Castelluccio in 1937) growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey. He joined an existing singing group which failed an audition at a bowling alley. They then renamed the band The Four Seasons after that bowling alley and from that point on never really looked back.
They invented their own unique falsetto sound and had a string of hits - going on to become one of the most successful bands in pop music history. Via run-ins with the Mafia, a touch of betrayal, a bit of love and a spot of revenge they made it big. Very big. In fact they sold over 100 million records worldwide and were eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for four New Jersey boys.
Songs included in the show are; Beggin’, Dawn (Go Away), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye), Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let's Hang On, Rag Doll, Who Loves You, Working My Way Back to You and of course the wonderful December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).