Jersey Boys - The Musical opened at the Pantages on October 5
th to a full house and, I'm here to tell you, no one was disappointed. Three times the members of the cast were forced to acknowledge show stopping applause-once accompanied by a standing ovation. I'm a musician (bassplayer/singer) and I get goose bumps when the music is right. Last night, I got goose bumps. The harmonies, the balance, the timing, the energy-it was perfection. Sometimes it just can't get any better. A word of caution: foul language is used, maybe not as much as musicians from a Jersey Mob background might use in real life, but definitely enough to be offensive to some.
Jersey Boys presents the back story of some of the most unforgettable music of its time: Earth Angel, Sherry, Big Girls Don't' Cry, Walk like a Man, and more. The story is told from the point of view of each of the original members and they don't always agree. Crime, prison, girlfriends, wives, lovers, heartbreaks, success, hits, tax problems, loyalty, friendship; it's a great story with great music and this show has it all, including a great director.
Des McAnuff originally directed the show Jersey Boys the year it was nominated and won best musical. His sense of timing is impeccable. Set-ups for the music are spot on. The silences are just right. The rhythm of the comic banter only enhances the humor. The "Boys" all appeared to be really playing their instruments-which is what you would expect from a director who plays a really hot guitar himself. Des McAnuff has that musician's sense of ebb and flow which makes any show better and makes this one pure magic.
Each of the lead actors, Nicolas Dromard, Jason Kappus, Hayden Milanes, and Adam Zelasko appeared perfectly cast in their roles. Even Johnny Wexler as Joe Pesci ("Who knew?") and Thomas Fiscella as Gyp DeCarlo were spot on. Barry Anderson as Bob Crewe was able to draw out spontaneous applause mid scene. The choreography of the whole production was a work of artistic movement in and of itself. Take the actors off the stage and it still would have been compelling to watch. [Scenic design, Klara Zieglerova; Lighting Design, Howell Binkley; Production Design, Michael Clark; Sound Design, Steve Canyon Kennedy. Costume Design, Jess Goldstein; Wig and Hair, Charles LaPointe.]
I highly recommend this show as not to be missed. Get your tickets now; the show is only in town until October 19th at The Pantages Theatre, Hollywood.