Jersey Boys at Paris takes a behind the scenes look at the lives of four musical kids from the streets of New Jersey who came together and enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom as the hit group The Four Seasons.
The musical hit the Broadway stage in 2005 to rave reviews and won four Tony Awards in 2006, including the one for Best Musical. In 2009, it won the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It made its Las Vegas debut in May 2009 and after a three-month hiatus beginning January 1, 2012, it reopened at Paris Las Vegas.
The story is divided into four seasons, with each member of the group taking a turn as narrator. During the narration, the other cast members play out the recollection with the narrator moving in and out of the scene to play his own part. The format brilliantly reveals the story behind the band and the songs while showing that four individuals following the same life path will invariably offer four different perspectives on the same experience.
Tommy DeVito tells the beginning of the story (Spring), including how he discovered a teenaged Frankie Castelluccio (Valli) and Joe Pesci’s hand in bringing singer/songwriter Bob Gaudio to the group.
Bob Gaudio picks up the narration for the Summer portion of the show, which explains how the band got its name. The storyline follows the group’s rise to stardom after recording “Walk Like a Man”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry,” three songs penned by Gaudi.
Fall, as narrated by Nick Massi, touches on the dark side of the story and his departure as the band faces financial ruin, ends up in jail over an unpaid bill and gets in deep with a loan shark, who claims Tommy owes him money. The mob insists on sequestering Tommy in Las Vegas while the other band members work to cover the debt.
Frankie takes his turn as storyteller for Winter, which covers the years when Frankie and Bob keep the band together by finding replacements for Tommy and Nick and pay off Tommy’s debts.
The finale touches on the band’s reunion for their 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and the last time the original four members were on stage together.
Throughout the show, the cast brilliantly performs some of the group’s greatest hits, including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh, What a Night” and many more.
The fast-paced and seamless transitions between scenes give this production a cinematic feel, which is exactly what the director and writers were going for when they broke with traditional Broadway musical structure to make the story more real to the audience.
The show appeals to audience members of all ages. For those who are a bit older, it is a nostalgic walk down memory lane. Younger members of the audience get a glimpse into what the music industry was like back in the day and get the story behind the familiar songs they grew up listening to on TV commercials, oldies radio stations and movie soundtracks.
Jersey Boys plays at Les Theatre de Arts near Le Boulevard Shops at Paris Las Vegas. The curtain opens at 7 pm on Tuesday through Sunday and the show is 130 minutes long with a brief intermission. Children 5 and older are welcome to attend but the authentic Jersey language is a bit rough for those under the age of 12.