Theatre review: Jersey Boys, Civic Theatre

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The Musical Jersey Boys. Photo / Dean Purcell
The Musical Jersey Boys. Photo / Dean Purcell

Their kids were down the road at Vector Arena rocking to Reece Mastin, but the parents showed they can party too when the musical Jersey Boys opened emphatically in Auckland last night.

It was an evening for the ages - the youngsters screamed for Australian X-Factor winner Mastin, who wiggled through a set of songs to adoring fans, and a capacity crowd at the Civic Theatre danced in the aisles as the long-awaited Broadway production lived up to its hype.

The A-list celebrities thick on the ground at the Civic laughed - and some even cried - as they traced the rises and falls of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

The show, which opened on Broadway in 2005 and has had a two-year run in Australia, had been playing since Tuesday to packed preview performances.

The stage show had it all - it was fast-moving with slick sets and quality singing. The surprise, perhaps, was the emotional connection the cast made with the crowd as the Italian-American crooner's life was laid bare.

Dion Bilios won hearts in the lead role, a pocket-rocket with a voice he was able to make sound like a young boy. There were standout performances, too, from Four Season Nick Massi (Glaston Toft) and slick band backer Bob Crewe (Michael Griffiths), familiar to stage fans from Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

With songs ranging from Sherry and Walk Like a Man to Can't Take My Eyes Off You, it was the best of the 1960s packaged for 2012. More than 50 years on, Frankie Valli's music lives. Can Mastin fans hope for the same decades from now?

- Herald on Sunday

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