Scotland reviews 27 items
Jersey Boys at the Edinburgh Playhouse
0h what a night! It was a night of highs, and lows, both in the story of one of the US’s most successful bands and in the telling of it.

I’ve said it before and I’m sorry to have to say it again, but the sound quality at the Playhouse isn’t always what it should be. In such a big space it often reverberates and the dialogue, especially spoken in a nasal American accent, isn’t always audible, so I had to guess at some of the (many) events in the lives of The Four Seasons.

Thankfully, when it came to the music I have no complaints. Michael Watson as lead singer Frankie Valli is superb, hitting just the right falsetto notes which made the band from New Jersey so distinctive. For me it took about 45 minutes, until the singing of Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like a Man, before the show really got going, and by the reaction of the audience they were in agreement. But after that, Watson, Simon Bailey as Tommy Devito, Declan Egan as Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths as Nick Massi took me right back to the days when, as a young schoolgirl, I couldn’t get enough of The Four Seasons’ music. The choreography is a bit strange, however, with the boys moving like automatons…very regimented.

So, the show is musically very satisfying, but the backstory is worth a production all on its own. So much happened to these guys from the wrong side of the tracks: they were mixed up in petty crime, and then the Mafia, their private lives were a bit of a mess, and professionally they had more than their fair share of hardship. Nevertheless they had sold 175 million records before the age of 30 and, apart from The Beach Boys, were the only US band to survive the British invasion of the likes of The Beatles.

There is a lot packed into this show, and the delivery includes lots of humour and pathos too, when you can understand the lines!

The Jersey Boys are at the Edinburgh Playhouse until March 2.
Box Office: 0844 8713 014
The tour then continues:
March 6-16: Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre
March 19-30: Southampton Mayflower