MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee, can you come out tonight? You better ask your mama, because you don’t want to miss “Jersey Boys” at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.
“Jersey Boys” goes behind-the-scenes of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. While the 1960s music group was a hit onstage, offstage, the group did not always sync up.
Read our ‘Jersey Boys’ preview
“Jersey Boys” offers a unique chance to hear the group’s story from their perspective; divided up into four parts— spring, summer, fall and winter— each band member narrates a section of the show, breaking the fourth wall to tell the audience what they really think. In true “authentic, profane Jersey language,” the men do not sugarcoat anything.
The men of the Four Seasons are iconic, but so are the actors portraying them in “Jersey Boys.”
Eric Chambliss, Jon Hacker, Devon Goffman, Matt Faucher and the company of JERSEY BOYS (Joan Marcus)
Devon Goffman delivered a phenomenal Tommy DeVito, exposing his layered personality and outlooks. It would be easy to allow a one-dimensional egotistical bad boy take the stage, but Devon Goffman gave equal attention to detail when it came to DeVito’s wit, charm, fear and compassion. Not to mention, Devon Goffman has some smooth dance moves and a silky voice to match.
Jonathan Cable was my favorite surprise of the night. Cable portrayed a quiet but loyal Nick Massi until the second half of the show, when Massi finally had to chance to speak his mind. With perfect comedic timing and Jersey-esq demeanor, Cable’s sincere and sweet Massi was the constant that held the group together. A recent addition to the company, Cable is certain to reel audiences in for many shows to come.
Eric Chambliss’ Bob Gaudio acted as a phenomenal foil to the original two band members. Gaudio has a distinct character arc, and Chambliss demonstrated each facet of him flawlessly. From his cheery, charismatic youthful teen years to his more sophisticated and assured adulthood, Chambliss kept the core of Gaudio’s intelligence, tact and wishful thinking relevant, doing the songwriter justice. Not to mention, even though Gaudio claimed he wasn’t meant for the spotlight, Chambliss certainly has the vocals to be there.
Rounding out the core four is Jon Hacker as Frankie Valli, with an “i.” With a voice as gorgeous as Valli’s himself and an energy and personality that could light up even the darkest of stages, Hacker gave a dynamite performance as the Four Seasons’ lead singer. Hacker offered a well rounded, relatable Valli, who could melt any fangirl’s heart but had his own demons to fight. It was another intentional, comprehensive portrayal giving true justice to the star.
There is no group more perfectly cast than Goffman, Cable, Chambliss and Hacker as the Four Seasons.
Of course, the show highlighted talent beyond the leads. Notably, “Jersey Boys” has just three women taking on all of the female roles in the show, but between the countless costume changes and variety of demeanors, you’d never know if you didn’t check your program.
Amy Gershman, Amy Coelho and Connor Lyon (Joan Marcus)
Katie Goffman not only portrayed a hilarious yet heartbreakingly emotional Mary Delgado, an Angel and a handful of other roles, but she was also the dance captain. With everyone’s perfectly times movements and effortless flow, it’s clear Katie Goffman is a fantastic leader. Meanwhile, Connor Lyon offered a poised, chic and sound Lorraine, on top of her more than half a dozen other parts. And Amy Coelho brought her own spice, humor and realness as Frankie’s mom and Francine among her other parts. Of course, all three ladies had vocals equally as powerful as their male counterparts.
“Jersey Boys” doesn’t skimp on the hits. “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and, of course, “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” are all featured for hand-clapping, feet-stomping audiences, against a dynamic set. But die-hard Four Seasons fans and newbies alike will find a new song to love amid the mix.
My only complaint is I wish the Jersey Boys were in town longer. I’m “beggin’” them to “stay.”
The show plays at the Marcus Center on July 22 and 23. For more information on “Jersey Boys,” click here.