Two women, audience members, in the second row of "Jersey Boys" at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts sang along with every single number in this crowd-pleasing jukebox musical.
I bring this up because it is exactly what "Jersey Boys" is all about. There's something to be said about an evening of re-living nostalgia.
"Jersey Boys" evokes the feelings of those "good old days" of American Bandstand and hearing your favorite songs on the radio. And, in the days when radio disc jockeys could make or break a record.
This is a feel-good musical, though, for the masses, and if you didn't grown up hearing earing some of The Four Seasons most distinctive sing-along tunes, there's still plenty to get your toes tapping.
The storytelling isn't too shabby either, with a book by Marshall Brickman (he co wrote "Annie Hall" with Woody Allen) and Rick Elice, which tells the story of how some guys who sang on street corners in New Jersey, (when not robbing stores and getting put in jail) found their way to Las Vegas, stardom, and eventually the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The touring production features some great talent as The Four Seasons. Correy Greenan is all swagger as the leader of the band, whose problems with money and women get everyone in the band in hot water. Nick Massi, the perfectionist bass player, is played with heart by Chris Stevens, and Tommaso Antico as Bob Gaudio, the songwriter who was the guy behind The Four Season's hits, is genuine and likeable.
It's a bit difficult to see Valli in Miguel Jarquin-Moreland – his looks seem far from the real Valli's – but this isn't supposed to be an impersonation. Jarquin-Moreland had to take over for the national touring company regular Valli, Jonny Wexler, apparently at the last minute. Regardless, his voice makes up for any faults in the character department. The falsetto of Valli is so difficult, and to keep that going song after song, well Jarquin-Moreland nails it.
Wade Dooley's Bob Crewe is a light-in-his-loafers record producer, and Dooley nabs more than a few laughs for his portrayal.
Everything moves fast in the production, which is a plus, and the emotions flow as quickly as the set changes, from laughter to tears, and in a moment's notice.
"Jersey Boys" ended its record breaking 11-year-run in January of 2017 after 4,462 performances on Broadway. It opened on Broadway on Nov. 6, 2005, and, according to Playbill, is now the 12th longest running show in Broadway history. Playbill also reported that it has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. Be glad that it keeps churning out the hits in national tours like this one.
"Jersey Boys" runs through May 20; 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 13; 2 p.m. matinee Saturdays (and Wednesday, May 16); 1 p.m. matinee Sundays at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $35 to $115. 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org