Review by Janet Hale
Jersey Boys is a musical following the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from the 1960s through to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The music is amazing, from love songs to high energy numbers. The story was narrated by the different characters in the group, with the songs intermingled, there was also a lot of humour in it too. The set was very minimalistic but worked very well.
I didn't recognise any of the cast but it did not matter in fact I think I think it would have detracted from the musical. All the male members of the group were excellent singers and dancers.
The cast is as follows:
The role of Tommy De Vito is played by Peter Nash
Bob Gaudio is played by James Winter
Nick Massi is played by Karl James Wilson
Hank Majewski is played by Dan O'Brien
Norm Waxman is played by Joe Maxwell
Francine is played by Amy Thiroff
The background musicians were also very good. The only downside was a female group who sang one song, I didn't feel it was needed and their singing wasn't the best.
I would highly recommend this, a really good night out.
The official low-down
Leeds audiences can not take their eyes off the Jersey Boys as the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning show is on at Leeds Grand Theatre from Tuesday 20 November to Saturday 1 December 2018.
Based on the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the musical charts the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, New Jersey group’s rise to stardom to become one of the most successful bands in pop history; by the age of 30, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had sold more than 175 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Jersey Boys first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 18 March 2008 and moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014. The Olivier Award-winning West End production closed on Sunday 26 March 2017 following nine amazing years. The first UK & Ireland Tour of Jersey Boys was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from 4 September 2014 to 5 March 2016.
Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people.
Book online at leedsgrandtheatre.com or call Box Office on 0844 848 2700
140 YEARS OLD: LEEDS GRAND THEATRE CELEBRATES MAJOR MILESTONE
The press night of Jersey Boys also celebrated the anniversary of Leeds Grand Theatre - 140 years!
Leeds Grand Theatre turned 140-years-old on Sunday 18 November and celebrated this major milestone with a series of events spanning two weeks, including the ‘Oh What a Night’ a red carpet event in collaboration with hit Broadway and West End musical, Jersey Boys.
Built in 1878, reportedly following an off-the-cuff remark by Prince Albert that Leeds needed a good theatre as “nothing was more calculated to promote culture and raise the tone of the people”, Leeds Grand Theatre or The Grand Old Lady of Leeds (the staff universally refer to the Grand as ‘she’) is an intriguing mix of Romanesque and Victorian Gothic styles and a major milestone in Victorian design; famed for its sumptuous interior, plasterwork and other decorative features.
The brainchild of architect, George Corson, the build took 13 months to complete at a cost of £62,000. The overall scheme embraced six shops, Assembly Rooms, a Supper Room and large cellars; this magnificent Grade II* listed building was deemed ‘ahead of its time’ and once described as ‘probably the finest of its size in Britain’.
Opening night featured Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing starring the then actor-manager and playwright, Wilson Barrett (several function rooms within The Grand have since been named in his honour). Stars that have since trodden the boards include Julie Andrews, Ken Dodd, Bruce Forsyth, Elton John, Peter Kay, Morecambe and Wise, Laurence Olivier, Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele. In more recent years, The Grand has welcomed Fern Britton, Dara O’Briain, Jake Bugg, Andrew Flintoff, Nigel Havers, Jane McDonald and Sting.
Seating 1466 at full capacity, the auditorium provides a home for performances of all types, including its resident companies Opera North and Northern Ballet. Since its Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council supported ‘transformation’ in 2006, the theatre has hosted the best of the West End and other touring productions, including large musicals, drama from the National Theatre, comedians and music. The theatre provided a venue for the world premieres of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s, The Girls (2015), and Fat Friends The Musical (2017) which was penned by Leeds’s own award-winning writer, Kay Mellor.
Chris Blythe, CEO, says: “Leeds Grand Theatre is a stalwart in a city famed for its cultural offering; a jewel in its crown. It has welcomed an incredible number of diverse entertainers and shows over the past 140 years and will continue to do so for many years to come; we hope at least another 140!
“Thanks to the overwhelming and enduring support of the people of Leeds (not forgetting the significant financial support from Leeds City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund) the theatre has weathered substantial challenges throughout its 140 years. From a planned demolition in 1969 to make way for new office blocks to the discovery of a significant risk to the roof holding up the ornate plaster ceiling in the auditorium which almost closed the venue in 2016, the theatre remains true to the old motto that ‘the show must go on’. It is a tribute to the staff, both past and present that this ‘grand old lady’ of Leeds continues to bring entertainment and joy to the city and the region.”
Patrons of Leeds Grand are being encouraged to share their stories on social media tagging @grandtheatreLS1 and using the hashtag #LeedsGrandAt140 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The best stories will be shared on The Grand’s social platforms.
“We should all be so very proud of the Grand Theatre, right through the country, the world and of course here in Yorkshire.” Dickie Bird OBE.
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