Oh, What a Night

Last night I was lucky enough to see Jersey Boys at the Murat Theatre at the Old National Center (whew, that's a mouthful). This is actually the second time I've seen the show, and I loved it just as much this time as a couple years ago.

If you don't know, Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. It's the story about how four guys from Jersey came together to make music that is still impacting lives today. From the opening note to the final curtain call, Jersey Boys is all about the music. The minimal set and use of monologues directly to the audience make you feel close to the actors and all the action.

I know I'm easily impressed when it comes to theatre, especially musical theatre. Since I am completely unable to sing, I am usually in-awe of people with the caliber of talent I see on the stage. The four men who make this story come to life were no exception. And, Nick Cosgrove may have one of the best vocal ranges I've heard. It is no easy feat to step into Frankie Valli's shoes, especially when you spend the better part of 2 hours singing your guts out night after night. Cosgrove brought vulnerability to Frankie's younger years and a sense of duty and discipline as the story progressed. Vocally, he shined on Sherry, December 1963 (Oh, What a Night), My Eyes Adored You & Can't Take My Eyes off You. The last is especially impressive given when it falls in the show.

While Cosgrove is easily the star, I was very impressed by Tommaso Antico who was Bob Gaudio the night we saw the show. The first time I saw Jersey Boys, I was less impressed by Bob. This time, however, he was a stage presence, a person with a story and more smarts than other want to believe. Anitco was vibrant, vulnerable, funny and witty at all the right places. I don't know how often Anitco gets to step into the role, but it was obvious that he knows it and enjoys it!

If you're looking for a musical with big dance numbers, spectacular sets and all the bells and whistles, this isn't the show for you. If you're looking for a character study, great songs, powerful vocals and the story of the songs you love, consider adding Jersey Boys to your must-see list. Please be aware that the language in the show is, as they put it, "authentic Jersey," so I would advise against taking young children or seeing the show if you're especially sensitive to language.

Jersey Boys will be in Indianapolis through January 20. Tickets are still available for most shows. Go here for more ticket information. (And a special thanks to the awesome folks at Broadway Across America for the tickets!)

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