A Review by Jason Pendergast
The 86th Season of the Ogunquit Playhouse rounds out with a musical biography of the famed Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Starting up in the late 50’s, the play unveils the lives of Frankie Valli (Jonathan Mousset) and his group of musical buddies, including guitarist Tommy Devito (Matt Magnusson), bassist Nick Massi (Matthew Amira) and fourth member Bob Gaudio (Andy Christopher). The gritty back alley tales behind how they met and the trials and triumphs that they experience as they learn the biz adds a lot of humor (and some pathos) to the lives behind these legions. (Trivia note- it took them EIGHTEEN name changes to settle on their now famous moniker.)
All the songs from the 60’s and after are here to relive- “(December ’63) Oh, What a Night!”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Sherry” and “Earth Angel” all give the audience the nostalgic taste of the more innocent age of music past, while blending into the gripping storytelling of the challenges that faced (and eventually) broke up this band. The characters come off as authentic, even relatable, in part due to their faults and less than always wholesome live choices. Even at their lowest though, you still can help but cheer when those familiar tunes (I’m looking at you, “Walk like a Man”) rev up and your foot starts a tapping!
A fascinating bit of history, mixed to song (some of which were from 50 years ago!) this show gives the audience the chance to relive, rejoice and even re-love in some of the hipsters of Music’s Golden Age.
Jersey Boys is running now through October 28th. For tickets and show times, call 207-646-5511 or visit their website at Ogunquitplayhouse.com.