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04th Nov 2022

REVIEW: Jersey Boys at the Bord Gáis

Katy Thornton

Jersey Boys is back in Dublin for a limited time only

Once again Jersey Boys is back in the Bord Gáis and when a show continuously returns again and again, you know it’s got to be a goodie. Wednesday’s special premiere of Jersey Boys, showcasing the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, proved to me and my guest why it is consistently shown at the Bord Gáis, providing an evening of true entertainment (and one very unexpected jump scare).

https://www.instagram.com/p/CkgMO7xO4fx/

Why you should go? 

This may sound like a stupid statement, but Jersey Boys is a highly musical musical. Before you think I’ve gone insane (hello Captain Obvious) some musicals have a considerable amount of narrative and plot weaved into them, where the music simply facilitates the storytelling. If anything the opposite is true for Jersey Boys; music is the main focus, and if you’re a fan of songs such as “Beggin'”, “Bye Bye Baby”, and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” then going to see this show is a wonderful way of experiencing them.

Set the scene

The scene changes up frequently throughout the show, from a barber shop, to a diner, to the inside of Bob Crewe’s studio. Four microphones often appear from off screen to signal that the lads are about to break into one of their hit tunes, while a screen was used in the background to help move the story along. It’s a simple but effective set, changing up constantly, and allows the focus to remain where it ought to, on the actors.

The Backstory

Jersey Boys is based on the iconic true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and the many highs and lows they had as a group making it big in the 60s.

The musical follows Tommy DeVito (Dalton Wood), Frankie Valli (Ryan Heenan), Nick Massi (Christopher Short), and Bob Gaudio (Blair Gibson) as they find their sound and begin touring the States. While it takes the lads a few years, and a handful of band names before they reach stardom, Jersey Boys shows how the Four Seasons come together, and eventually how they come apart, paving the way for Frankie’s solo career.

I had little to no prior knowledge to this musical before watching, but I knew over half the songs that played and I guarantee this would be the same for anyone attending.

The Highlight

For anyone who has ever seen a production of Jersey Boys, it should come as no surprise that Frankie Valli’s performance of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” was the highlight of the production. Perhaps even more impressive is that the actor who played Frankie at the show we attended, Ryan Heenan, only plays him at certain performances.

As our information booklet stated, there’s certain challenges to playing Frankie given his falsetto voice, hence having two actors alternating playing him. I’m sure Michael Pickering, who also plays Frankie, would have been amazing, but I was glad we were treated to Ryan Heenan’s performance.

That said, I had a soft spot for any scene that starred Nick Massi – as he says at the beginning of Act Two, “I’ve been pretty quiet so far” but from that moment onwards he stole every scene he was in for me.

And of course a shout out to George Salmon who plays Joe Pesci – Jersey Boys was his professional debut and he gave everything and then some to this role.

Accessibility

According to their website, the Bord Gáis supports “equal access” and opposes “all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination.” If you need to book specific seating for an access need, you can contact the Group Bookings and Access Department. They are happy to assist with:

  • Wheelchair access seating.
  • Seating near an exit.
  • Particular access needs due to medical conditions.
  • Assistive Listening Loop Devices.
  • Bookings for access performances.

Access performances are produced in Association with ADI Ireland.

How long is it showing for?

You can catch Jersey Boys at the Bord Gáis until the 12th November.

Show duration

2 hours and 30 minutes including an interval

Where is it again?

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at Grand Canal Dock

Prices from

Tickets start from €21

Overall Thoughts

While Jersey Boys is a musical that opts for minimal story-telling, which is normally not my cup of tea. However, I think anyone who has seen it would agree that the music truly carries the show. The vocals were incredible, some of the best I’ve heard at the Bord Gáis, and that’s saying something. At times I felt more like I was at a gig than a play, in the best way, with the music inciting an energy in the crowd that isn’t usual of any normal performance.

The play gives us everything a good performance should; belly laughs, drama, even moments of true emotion and heartache performed through songs such as “Fallen Angel” and “My Eyes Adored You”. We get glimpses into the behind-the-scenes drama, with mob ties, prison stints, and the times when the four men couldn’t see eye to eye. But the beauty of Jersey Boys for me is the focus on the music, which is always stellar. No matter what was going on in their personal lives, the music never suffers for it.

And with that, I definitely recommend going to see it while the show is still on. You can purchase tickets HERE.

Header image via Instagram/bordgaisenergytheatre (previous cast)

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