REVIEW: Jersey Boys @ Sunderland Empire

Wednesday 26th November 2014
Running until 6th December at Sunderland Empire
More information on the Jersey Boys website

After its success on both Broadway and in the West End, Jersey Boys  is currently travelling across the country on its debut UK tour, with performances at Sunderland Empire until December 6th. The musical, which features worldwide hits ‘Sherry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, tells the remarkable true life story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Taking the lead of Frankie Valli was the cast’s alternative Valli, Matt Corner, who only assumes the role at certain performances. Corner’s vocals were faultless with his range practically inexplicable and an  almost perfect replication of those of Frankie Valli himself. Recognition to the other main vocalists, Sam Ferriday, Lewis Griffiths, and Stephen Webb, who made up the Four Seasons, should also be given, with their performances equally as excellent. The success of the show very much depends upon the strength of the vocals collectively, and the sound of  Corner’s voice along with the harmonies of the three supports was absolutely spot-on.

The first half was disrupted by a slight technical malfunction. However , by no means did this hinder the success of the performance; the glitch even went unnoticed by many audience members, who thought that the pause signified the interval. Despite this, the show resumed within minutes and no significant disruption to the story occurred, thus demonstrating the first-class professionalism of the cast.

At numerous points during the performance I really felt as though I had gone back in time and that it was the real Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on stage. Such pleasure was apparent amongst the entire audience  and after several songs the applaud much exceeded that of the usual time-span. Exiting the theatre, there was a certain buzz amongst audience members, all of whom couldn’t express their enjoyment enough, with some even singing the melodies in chorus as they left.

I’ve been to see a lot of professional productions but I can honestly say that Jersey Boys reigns supreme; it was everything I expected, plus a whole lot more. Whether you’re a fan of the band, you have a taste for 60’s music, or you’re just a general musical-lover, I’d definitely recommend this show for you. Tickets are not sold out for the Sunderland production, so make sure you go and see this amazing show!

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