National Theatre Jersey BoysBy Mark Lee Adams • Nov 16th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Touring Production at The National Theatre
The National Theatre, Washington DC
Through January 7th, 2012
Reviewed November 12th, 2011
Jersey Boys, ‘Oh What A Night,’ at The National Theatre! Jersey Boys is not only a delightful play; it’s a spectacular journey into the world of a small group of men from New Jersey and the women in their lives. One cannot help but fall in love with them, their music and their warm-hearted story of life in the tough and rugged world of the music industry. Jersey Boys will bring you behind the lights and into the world of each of them, especially their main vocal Frankie Valli. If you want a great night of theatrical fun and excitement, this is a show for you.
The production values for Jersey Boys are quite remarkable and will not skip a beat. From one musical number to another as the story takes you through their lives, every set and costume change was flawlessly carried out. Flawless! Quite a marvel of technical accomplishment for the Scenic Designer, Klara Zieglerova; the fabulous costumes by Costume Designer, Jess Goldstein; the Lighting Designer, Howell Binkley; the Sound Designer, Steve Canyon Kennedy; The Projection Designer, Michael Clark; Wig and Hair Design by Charles LaPointe; Fighter Director, Steve Rankin and Production Supervisor, Richard Hester. All of this design crew brought together a very special show and you will just love what they’ve created for you.
Very rarely does a show like this capture you, but Jersey Boys grabs you from the start and won’t let you go until the final curtain. By the way, the entire audience leapt to their feet and sang along during the curtain call. All too often touring shows come to town with a truncated version of the original, but Jersey Boys far surpasses any version you may have seen or will see. A truly wonderful night at the theatre is Jersey Boys.
The cast of Jersey Boys is fantasic! The Boys: Bob Gaudio played by Preston Truman Boyd, Frankie Valli played by Joseph Leo Bwarie, Tommy DeVito played by John Gardiner and Nick Massi played by Michael Lomenda. These men have such a wonderful sound, in my opinion as good as the original. The women in this cast are truly some of the most versatile and talented actresses I’ve seen in quite some time. The women are: Denise Payne playing the roles Frankie’s Mother, Nick’s Date, Miss Friankie Nolan, Bob’s Party Girl, Angel, Francine (and others); Lauren Decierdo playing the roles Church Lady, Angel, Lorraine (and others); Kara Tremel playing the roles Mary Delgado, Angel (and others). Yes, these three women play all the women in the Four Season’s lives. Wonderful and diverse performances are given by each female in the cast.
Some other standouts were Joseph Siravo playing Gyp DeCarlo (and others), as well as Jonathan Hadley playing Bob Crew (and others). Just a great performance by the entire cast.
Mr. Joseph Leo Bwarie deserves a truly special note of praise. He captured the voice of Frankie Valli with such apparent ease, such exactitude that it’s uncanny. He will truly become a star in his own right. Don’t forget the name Joseph Leo Bwarie. He’s a talent not to be missed.
The director, Des McAnuff has surrounded himself with a fabulous crew and cast and crew. He’s given each character a true sense of the lives of their characters and taken his production from the realm of a concert to a truly magical theatrical experience. His Choreographer Sergio Trujillo worked the cast to perfection and had all the moves and dances of each time period down to a “T.” Also, Steve Orich’s orchestrations were fantastic.
Don’t miss this show. You will love this show. I guarantee it.
Photos by Joan Marcus
- Bob Gaudio: Preston Truman Boyd
- Frankie Valli: Joseph Leo Bwarie
- Frankie Valli: (Wed Mats, Sun Eves, 11/17, 11/22, 11/23, 11/29)
- Church Lady, Angel, Lorraine (and others): Lauren Decierdo
- Joey, Recording Studi Engineer (and others): Frankie J. Galasso
- Tommy DeVito: John Gardiner
- Bob Crewe (and others): Jonathan Hadley
- Nick DeVito, Stosh, Norman Waxman, Charlie Calello (and others): Buck Hujabre
- Nick Massi: Michael Lomenda
- Frankie’s Mother, Nick’s Date, Miss Frankie Nolan, Bob’s Parrty Girl, Angel, Francine (and others): Denise Payne
- Detective Two, Billy Dixon (and others): Timothy Quinlan
- Gyp DeCarlo (and others): Joseph Siravo
- Mary Delagado, Angel (and others): Kara Tremel
- French Rap Star, Detective One, Hal Miller, Barry Belson, Police Officer, Davis (and others): Donald Webber, Jr.
- Officer Petrillo, Hank Majewski, Crewe’s PA, Accountant, Joe Long (and others): Kevin Worley
- Thugs: Brian Silverman, Mark Verdino
- Understudies never substitute for listed performers unless a specific announcement is made at the time of the performance.
- For Frankie Valli: Frankie J. Galasso, Mauricio Perez
- For Tommy DeVito: Timothy Quinlan, Adam Zelasko
- For Bob Gaudio: Buck Hujabre, Kevin Worley
- For Nick Massi: Christopher DeAngelis, Adam Zelasko
- For Gyp DeCarlo: Christopher DeAngelis, Timothy Quinlan
- For Bob Crewe: Christopher DeAngelis, Timothy Quinlan
- Swings: Christopher DeAngelis, Mauricio Perez, Kyli Rae, Adam Zelasko
- Dance Captain: Kara Tremel
- Assistant Dance Captain/Fight Captain: Christopher DeAngelis
- Scenic Design: Klara Ziegelerova
- Costume Design: Jess Goldstein
- Lighting Design: Howell Binkley
- Sound Design: Steve Canyon Kennedy
- Projection Design: Michael Clark
- Wig and Hair Design: Charles LaPointe
- Fight Director: Steve Rankin
- Production Supervisor: Richard Hester
- Orchestrations: Steve Orich
- Music Coordinator: John Miller
- Conductor: John Samorian
- Technical Supervisor: Peter Fulbright
- Casting: Tara Rubin Casting
- Company Manager: R. Doug Rodgers
- Production Stage Manager: Larry Baker
- Associate Producer: Lauren Mitchell
- Executive Producer: Sally Campbell Morse
- Tour Booking & Marketing: Broadway Booking Office NYC
- Music Direction, Vocal Arrangements & Incidental Music: Ron Melrose
- Choreography: Sergio Trujillo
- Directed by: Des McAnuff
Jersey Boys Orchestra
- Conductor: John Samorian
- Associate Conductor: Ben Hartman
- Keyboards: Caren Cole, Ben Hartman, John Samorian
- Guitar: Brian Silverman
- Bass: Mark Verdino
- Drums: Mark papazian
- Reeds: Terry Cook, Christopher Miele
- Trumpet: Michael Robb
- Musician Standby: Nick Dickerson
- Music Coordinator: John Miller
Disclaimer: ShowBizRadio was provided two complimentary media tickets for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7369.
Mark Lee Adams has been involved in theatre for over 40 years in the local Washington DC Metro area as well as NYC and London England. Mark has performed at the Dramatist Guild Theatre on Broadway, at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre Off-Broadway. His credits include work in many local theatres as well: The Folger Theatre Group, Arena Stage, New Playwrights Theatre, 7th Street Players, The Keegan Theatre, The American Century Theatre, The Journeyman Theatre, ASTA Theatre, The Hayloft Dinner Theatre (Associate Producer), The Lazy Susan Theatre, Discovery Channels, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (Frankenstein) with Donald Sutherland. London, England credits include work at: The Duke of York Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, The Questors Theatre, The British Embassy Players. Mark is a graduate of The Drama Studio, London, England. Mark is also a narrator of audio books for Gildan Audio: “True North”, by Bill George; “Never Give Up”, by Tedy Bruschi and “Five Minds for the Future”, by Howard Gardner among them. Mark currently teaches Advanced Acting at The Little Theatre of Alexandria and still performs locally in many theatres.