No matter how many times “Jersey Boys” comes to Chicago, it’s always destined to sell out boasting both the story and songs of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, who all share the unique distinction of having sold 175 million albums before turning a mere 30-years-old. Given the show’s ceaseless streak of doo-wop sing-a-longs and the surrounding drama behind the scenes, it’s also no surprise this Tony and Grammy Award winner has thus far attracted more than 20 million attendees since debuting on Broadway in 2005.
Thanks to a masterful script and a soundtrack that endures well beyond it’s generation, “Jersey Boys” never runs the risk of becoming stale, and in terms of its current tour, once again lives up to its reputation as one of the most entertaining and moving musicals in recent memory.
During this latest national tour, the principles are played by Hayden Milanes (Valli), Drew Seeley (Bob Gaudio), Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito) and Keith Hines (Nick Massi), all of whom are well-equipped (albeit not quite as mesmerizing as the originals) when it comes to recreating of the colorful characters and harmony-laden standards that ruled the 1960s. And across two-plus hours, it was also apparent just how many hits these blue collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks accumulated, such as early smashes “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like A Man,” through the comebacks “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Who Loves You.”
Another factor in the unceasing appeal surrounding “Jersey Boys” stems from its desire to extend well beyond a standard jukebox musical and follow the real life timeline of a tale so extraordinary it has to be seen to be believed. After tracing everyone’s teenage shenanigans, their subsequent scoring of a coveted record deal and achieving more fame than could ever be imagined, the musical dives into deeper territory, including unsavory connections with the mafia, a massive tax lien, an unthinkable season of grief for the singer and his unlikely ability to bounce right back to the top of the charts.
Perhaps what makes this musical a perennial favorite a decade down the line is its ability to inspire the underdog in us all and consider for a moment that even the most distant dreams have the potential to come true. On paper, it may sound clichéd, but thanks to a masterful script and a soundtrack that endures well beyond it’s generation, “Jersey Boys” never runs the risk of becoming stale, and in terms of its current tour, once again lives up to its reputation as one of the most entertaining and moving musicals in recent memory.
“Jersey Boys” continues various dates and times at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through May 24. For additional details and ticket information, visit www.jerseyboystour.com and www.broadwayinchicago.com.