Jersey Boys

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
Critics' choice
4 Love It
Piccadilly Theatre , Soho Until Sunday October 23 2016
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Here's the 'Jersey Boys' concept. Take one gleaming back-catalogue – that of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, whose Bob Gaudio-penned songs have become so woven into the fabric of Western pop culture that it's easy to forget who actually wrote them. Next, instead of torturously extrapolating a zany plot out of the lyrics, simply make the story of 'Jersey Boys' the story of the Four Seasons. Get a top-notch book, written by Rick Elice and Woody Allen collaborator Marshall Brickman. Hire a director, Des McAnuff, who doesn't let extended song and dance routines get in the way of a playful, incident-packed story that's not afraid to play a little hard and fast with chronology. Combine, and you have not only one of the best shows in town, but an object lesson in how the whole benighted jukebox musical sub-genre can spawn a genuine classic.

It's therefore not a surprise to note that there have been few changes at the Prince Edward Theatre over the last three years. Supporting cast members have come and gone, but the prodigiously-piped, wonderfully craggy Ryan Molloy is still front and centre as Frankie Valli most nights (though former S Club 7 member Jon Lee now subs for him on occasion).

The current crop Seasons are great fun: Matthew Wycliffe's nerdy nice guy Gaudio and Jon Boydon's wiseass Tommy DeVito engage as the two men fighting for the soul of the band, while the Lurch-like Eugene McCoy makes the role of bassist Nick Massi his own.

But it's the book that emerges as star. The story of 'Jersey Boys' is the story of most musicians who went from bluecollar roots to more success than they could handle. What's great about Ellis and Brickman's telling of the tale is not only its ready wit and refusal and obvious effection for its subjects, but also the poignancy in the shift of narratorial duties from Tommy DeVito to Bob Gaudio. By the second half DeVito has lost his grip on band, show and himself. And in the background Molloy's Valli grows subtly in stature, from runty street rat to troubled father, but always with those formidable pipes, the like of 'Rag Doll', 'Walk Like A Man' and 'Big Girls Don't Cry' still intoxicatingly odd a half century on.

(Note: this is a review of the show at the Prince Edward Theatre)

Venue name: Piccadilly Theatre
Address: 4 Denman Street
Transport: Piccadilly Circus tube
Price: £20–£67.50. Runs 2hrs 35mins

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I can't actually define precisely what was that thing that I didn't like, but I was expecting more from this musical... Having seen the movie and knowing the true story behind the Jersey Boys prior to seeing the musical, I didn't enjoyed it so much...I was expecting to see more acting/script instead of being all time about singing....

Diana T

It is INCREDIBLE! I went on my own and I had a great time, all the actors are great, and the story moves along quickly unlike many other musicals. The dancing is fun and upbeat, and the variety of the songs keeps you interested in what's to come. I definitely listened to the soundtrack for a week on repeat. If musicals in London were cheaper I'd go see this every couple of months. 

Luisa G

I've seen this twice, and I would see it twice more. The casting is unbelievable, and the main character, who plays Frankie Valli just has an amazing voice!


  American musicals aren't normally I would go to see but so many friends raved about it I thought I'd give it a go..  It was OK - it did at least have a story to tell that was mildly interesting - even if not earth shattering.  It's beyond me why it's so popular - but maybe if you're a fan of 60s pop and like musicals it will appeal to you.

Christie A

Such a fun night out! Great show, brilliant performances and amazing music. For any fans of The Four Seasons (or not) this is for you. The story is fascinating also and learning about the songs and how they came into being was so interesting. Beautifully choreographed also... If you're into musicals Jersey Boys is a must.  

Kritt N

I absolutely loved the Jersey Boys. Admittedly, I didn't know much about the Jersey Boys or the story of Frankie Valli. I was surprised to learn the number of songs I love originated from the Jersey Boys. By the end, I was humming and replaying many songs in my head

I was blown away. The story flowed and combined themes of love, struggles, success and failure seamlessly. In short, the soundtrack was fantastic, the dialogue compelling, the acting convincing, the set minimal but romantic and I, too, gave it a standing ovation. One of my favourite west-end musicals and great for a date night.

Carolyn S
moderatorStaff Writer

I absolutely loved this show. I was obviously expecting the songs to be delivered to a high quality by talented performers, but I was blown away by the way in which the songs were performed. The story of Frankie Vallli was not known to me in any detail but after Jersey Boys I was not only educated, but actually humming songs (I din't even know were theirs) all the way home. The minimalistic set and quick scene changes along with the performances move the story of the band members along a pace and also actually managed to moved me emotionally. I gave it a standing ovation.

Warwick W

Loved it.

Without question the best dukebox musical in town. 

So many amazing songs to keep you entertained and sing along to in your head

emma t

Amazing show! My partner and I are 36 and worried that we might not know any of the songs but turned out we knew them all!! Couldn't recommend this show enough..Sandy Moffatt played Frankie and was absolutely amazing!! And very cute :) love, love, loved it..

Kane M

Fantastic show ! Enjoyed every minutes and it's worth every penny. Most of the audience was over 50 and everyone enjoyed the music. Franki was adorable.