Backstage with the Valli Boys

Joan Marcus

Jersey Boys has been dubbed “the guy musical.” It’s packed with all those great tunes by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and it’s got more F-words than Goodfellas. There are hookers. And mobsters. And a scene where Tommy DeVito, the Season who dragged the group a half-mil into debt, shotguns a joint to Bob Gaudio, the Season who wrote most of the songs. High School Musical it ain’t.

The national touring company of the Tony-winning Jersey Boys will stick around at the Music Hall at Fair Park till August 16. If you think you hate musicals, you will love this show. If you hated those awful jukebox musicals they hauled onstage at the Summer Musicals this year, you’ll love this show. This one was co-written by Marshall Brickman, who won an Oscar for the screenplay of Annie Hall. So it’s funny -- grown-up funny. And thanks to the cool choreography by Sergio Trujillo and Kelly Devine, and the snappy direction by Des McAnuff, it floors it from start to finish.

Best part is when the audience goes into a full-out frenzy at the first notes of “Sherry.” They don’t stop cheering till the end of the concert-style medley at the finale. I dug it. And as the show's a sort of souped-up Behind the Music, we went behind the curtains to get to know the four Jersey Boys paying the leads on the national tour: Joe Bwarie, Andrew Rannells, Steve Gouveia and Erik Bates. And we took a camera. --Elaine Liner

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky