Jersey fever has been sweeping the nation since hit shows like “The Jersey Shore” and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” stormed reality television. However, one musical preceded this trend with an award-winning streak and now a return engagement tour.
“Jersey Boys,” the Tony Award-winning musical which follows 1960s rock ‘n’ roll group The Four Seasons’ rise to fame, is set to return for the first time since 2011 to the Ohio Theatre Tuesday.
“Jersey Boys” tells the true story of four working-class boys, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi who went on to produce record-breaking songs that forever changed the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
The production provides the audience a chance to experience the history of one of America’s most accomplished musical acts, said Rolanda Copley, Columbus Association for the Performing Arts publicist.
Each member of the group narrates one of the four different “seasons” depicted in the musical. Featured numbers include hits from The Four Seasons like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What a Night,” “Rag Doll” and “Walk Like a Man.”
“It’s real-life people in real-life experiences, but you have the chance to take the journey with them,” Copley said in an email.
The premiere engagement of “Jersey Boys” in Columbus drew more than 50,000 attendees.
Brandon Andrus, who plays Four Seasons member Nick Massi, said this tour has a completely different cast than the tour that came to Columbus two years ago and he hopes returning viewers will feel the show has improved.
“It brings a new energy and a new feel, so you kind of have to reinvent the way you do things and make them better,” Andrus said.
Andrus said doing a return engagement doesn’t usually change the dynamic of the show, as most of the audience is made up of predominately first-time viewers. The “Jersey Boys” script has stayed the same, yet people might ask why the production felt the need to add so many swear words, Andrus said.
“It’s funny how people’s memories change,” Andrus said. “People sometimes forget that you get this really authentic Jersey language.”
Liz Mandic-Nowac, a third-year in music education, said the show reminds her of musicals like “Grease,” and the more modern popular music makes it friendly for young people.
“Jersey Boys” will run at the Ohio Theatre Tuesday through Sept. 29 with tickets starting at $38.95.
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