Director: Emma Rogers
Choreographer: Emma Rogers
Reviewer: Jess Rowe
Celebrating the hits of the 60s music sensations Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, New Jersey Nights takes us on an uplifting night of nostalgia within a party atmosphere. With the smash hit musical Jersey Boys soaring across the West End and Broadway scene, the band’s music does not feel dated and even though this smaller production brings forth no storyline but a dedicated cabaret by The (faux) Four Seasons, it still gets an uproarious response from audiences – old and new.
The vibrancy of the ensemble’s block coloured and vintage costumes allows a familiar sense of the era, as well as the fourperformers, Jon Hawkins, Ricky Rojas, Damion Scarcella and Simon Schofield, being featured in their famous blue blazers. However, the simplistic set does not make it the most spectacular trip to the theatreand slightly cheapens the production’s professional look with pieces of set such as a wall on wheels. Nonetheless, the attempt to enhance the nostalgia of the 50s/60s era by creating a Grease-like diner feeling does succeed.
The lacklustre set does not draw any attention away from the true highlight of the show – the cast. With slick choreography throughout by the ensemble and the iconic style of the Four Seasons being brought out with well-known dance routines by the performers via songs such as Walk Like A Manand Who Loves Youis only more glorified by the accompaniment of the live band, allowing the beauty of everyone’s favourite records come to life on stage. The quality of the four vocalists is beyond exceptional, and no doubt West End standard, with the insane falsettos and range across the four you will not be disappointed with these performers. The harmonisations are tight; with the exception of Schofield’s hilarious mishap of not being able to sing a ‘D’ that only adds to the laid-back atmosphere and casual jokey fun the cast has on the stage, which really does bounce back onto their audiences.
With a contrast of some of the softer ballads such as Fallen Angel, the show also reveals a touching element that shifts your evening into a rollercoaster of emotions. Not only this, the show features songs that make it different from its West End cousin with music such as Grease and Unchained Melody both fitted with the characteristics of the Four Seasons. This show is the ideal solution to a feelgood night out with all the old favourites such a Sherry and Big Girls Don’t Cry;it is only natural to feel you must leap out of your seat and dance in the aisles.
Running until 30 January as part of the UK Tour | Image: Contributed