Jersey Boys tells the tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and how they went from nothing to everything in a matter of just a few years.
The men from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, selling 100 million records worldwide and all before they hit the tender age of 30.
Despite this not being my era of music I recognised the majority of the tracks such as Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don't Cry, Bye Bye Baby and Working My Way Back To You, so this isn't just for people who lived through the sixties. The songs had the audience (of all generations) up in their seats and clapping along.
Act one of the show is extremely fast paced as it moves quickly through the earlier years of the band's formation in a documentary style format and delves into the lives of the men before they found their fame.
I much preferred the second act as we were entertained with hit after hit and you were really routing for the band after learning of their efforts to get to the top. The tunes are nothing but catchy and even now it's clear to see why the band had the success it did. The songs have certainly stood the test of time and it was enlightening to find out where the inspiration for their lyrics came from.
The production is skilfully divided into four seasons; each one is narrated by a member of the band who gives their own perspective on what music means to them and their history, so every actor got their chance to shine.
I knew nothing of the band before seeing the musical last night at the Opera House, Manchester so it was interesting to learn about the lives of the men behind the scenes and the personal and professional struggles they went through in order to keep the money coming in and the fans loyal.
Matt Corner was made for the role of Frankie Valli, if I closed my eyes he sounded exactly like Valli himself.
Lewis Griffiths, Sam Ferriday and Stephen Webb provided the perfect harmonies for Valli's distinctive voice and a lot of the comic relief when the story leaned into its more serious undertones.
I have nothing but admiration for the actors on stage, between the numerous set changes, songs, dialogue and narration-the performers showcased a huge range of talent in this production.
Jersey Boys has won Broadway's Tony, London's Olivier and Australia's Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical and is the winner of 57 awards worldwide. The accolades certainly speak for themselves.
Book writer Marshall Brickman said the reason the band's story had to be told was because 'It's a classic American story. It's rags to riches, and back to rags.' It really does highlight the sacrifices that have to be made in order to maintain a certain level of fame and success. The inevitability of the band's demise and the dissolution of the relationships around its members was humbling for both the characters and the audience.
I'm glad to have ticked this one off my list of musicals to see in my lifetime. If you love the rock and roll music of the sixties, simply listening to a CD won't suffice while this is in town!