Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
"Jersey Boys," the Tony Award-winning "jukebox musical" about The Four Seasons, plays June 4-16 at Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre. Credit: Jeremy Daniel
‘Jersey Boys’ follows The Four Seasons in Utah musical premiere
‘Jersey Boys’ » Pop legends all get their say as Tony Award-winning ‘jukebox musical’ arrives in Utah.
First Published May 25 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:32 pm

All musicals build tension and excitement through dramatic song cycles of conflict and resolution, hope and elation.

"Jersey Boys," based on musical life and times of The Four Seasons, is no exception.

At a glance

‘Jersey Boys’

When » June 4-16. Week one, June 4-9; Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m., Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Week two, June 11-16; Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where » Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City.

Tickets » $40-$125. Call 801-355-ARTS or visit www.arttix.org for more information. Visit www.jerseyboysinfo.com for more show information.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But it’s arguably exceptional in the way it matches form and content for a front-row seat to the rise and fall one of America’s best-known pop acts.

The musical, which opened in 2005 on Broadway and clenched four Tony Awards — including Best Musical — the following year, makes its Utah premiere June 4-16 at Capitol Theatre.

"Jersey Boys" book writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman said they had no temptation to reconstitute the songs of their famous, pop-music subjects. The signature falsetto voice of Frankie Valli, throughout the 1960s and onward, spoke for itself. Instead, it was the little-known story behind the group’s fame that proved unwieldy at first.

"We started to function more as journalists than dramatists when we first started work," said Elice, speaking from his office in New York City. "Then when we finished interviewing the band members we put our dramatists’ hats back on. It occurred to us that nature’s seasons followed the arc of the band’s story."

Even more clever was employing the device of a "narrative baton" creating the musical’s bracing, almost documentary-type feel.

Spring, narrated by band member Tommy DeVito, follows the band’s early years as he, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli teach each other to sing, and fall under the wing of mob boss Gyp DeCarlo. Summer, told by Gaudio, follows them on the trail to stardom. Fall, told by Massi, digs deep into the band’s plagues of jealousy and crushing debt. Finally, Valli ushers in winter as his family and personal relations break down, and the bonds that held the band together unravel.

These revolving, competing accounts let the audience weigh each character and account against another, making "Jersey Boys" almost interactive in style. And, of course, the audience is also part of the clubs, saloons and recording studios where The Four Seasons perform.

"The audience gets to play along in both senses," Elice said. "People pick their favorite, a lot like Beatles’ fans when they wore buttons proclaiming affection for Paul [McCartney] or George [Harrison]."


story continues below
story continues below

Few people are happier about the musical’s success than Gaudio, who said no one could predict its reception when it first premiered in 2004 at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse.

"We always thought of the West Coast as ‘Beach Boys’ territory," Gaudio said, speaking by phone from his home in Nashville, Tenn. "But Frankie [Valli] and I both looked at each other at intermission and said, ‘My God, what if this gets to New York?’ I don’t think either of us thought about picking the musical apart if we could. When something has that kind of impact, you don’t question it."

Brickman, who co-wrote the musical’s book with Elice, said initial concerns followed "Jersey Boys" to its Broadway debut as well.

"A lot of people went to see it with chips on their shoulders. Nobody had heard of Frankie Valli for years," Brickman said from his New York City home. "But a lot of upper East Side elite, who would only give a nod to a British invasion group or a Cole Porter musical, came away quite charmed. Then the ‘bridge-and-tunnel’ crowd from New Jersey really embraced it."

The Four Seasons at their heyday were considered clean-cut, all-American Italian boys who made good. Part of what the musical reveals, though, is the simmering tension behind their success, as well as the rougher side of success during a time when ethnic lines across America’s neighborhoods were more closely watched and guarded.

As DeVito, Massi, Gaudio and Valli sing, celebrate, bicker and at last disintegrate into their raging dawn of fallen glory what becomes clear is not just the price of pop-music success, but the possible lesson that every legacy carries the seeds of its own painful demise.

"I haven’t been able to extract any lesson from it all, really," Brickman said. "But one sense the audience does come away with is the knowledge that every family is a complicated entity. If you don’t watch it, you can explode it all away."

bfulton@sltrib.com

Twitter:@Artsalt

Facebook.com/fulton.ben



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.