If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you can’t go far wrong with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Not only are they seemingly responsible for just about every pop song known to man, they were also genuinely entertaining to watch – and not just because of the dodgy dance moves. Although, let’s face it, those were pretty hilarious.
New Jersey Nights, at the Orchard Theatre until Saturday, is a celebration of the Four Seasons, their distinctive sound and their incredible catalogue of hits, performed by four talented and very charming singers (even when they went wrong, they did it so winningly that it only made the audience love them more): Joshua Dever, Jon Hawkins, Ricky Rojas and Simon Schofield, backed by dancers and an on-stage band.
There’s no pretence at actually being the Four Seasons; this show isn’t so much about the story of the band – which has been pretty well covered by Jersey Boys in the West End for those who are interested. It’s purely a chance to enjoy the music, and so each member of the cast gets a solo spot and a chance to take centre stage. But it’s as an ensemble that they really shine, with some gorgeous harmonies and a fantastic a cappella section… and, of course, the infamous Four Seasons dance moves. It’s an enthusiastic and highly polished performance, and a lot of fun to watch.
Two of the best things about this show: a) you know more songs than you think you do (no really, you do) and b) even if you don’t, they’re all so infectious that you can’t help but tap your foot and bob your head, while you marvel that anyone can hit notes that high and still keep smiling. From the classic Four Seasons hits we know – Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry – to surprises like You’re Just Too Good To Be True, Beggin’ and Grease, the show’s a true hit parade. There’s even a brief nod to Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, giving three of the dancers a few minutes in the spotlight halfway through Act 1.
There’s really nothing bad to say about New Jersey Nights; it’s got a great cast, fantastic music, and bags of energy – not to mention everyone on stage looks like they’re having an absolute blast. Whether or not you remember Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from the first time around, this is an irresistible show that will have you singing and dancing your way out into the night.