CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"Jersey Boys" an underrated 4th of July success

Twenty five summers ago, 105.9 WAXY FM sponsored a blockbuster concert at the Sunrise Musical Theater, starring **The Four Tops** and **Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.** The show was magnificent and the people were dancing in the aisles. Minus **The Four Tops,** the same concert experience can be shared at your local movie theater with the screening of **Jersey Boys** this 4th of July weekend.

Based on a Tony Award winning show, **Jersey Boys** opens in Belleville, New Jersey in 1951. Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) breaks the 4th wall and talks directly to the audience about birth of the band that would eventually become known as **The Four Seasons.** Tommy tells us about young Francesco Stephen Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young), who would grow up to become the legendary Frankie Valli.

Growing up in the streets of Jersey, Frankie, Tommy and two other Jersey Boys sing "Doo Wop" songs on the street corner, which is used as a distraction for their petty criminal activities. While Tommy and the other Jersey boys rotate in and out of the penitentiary, Frankie continues his career as a singer with a unique falsetto voice.

Enter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), the lyricist who penned **The Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Poka Dot Bikini.** Bob Gaudio joins the band and forms a tight friendship with Frankie. As Bob and Frankie become more successful, the egos of the other **Two Seasons** destroy the group.

With Director Clint Eastwood's unfussy direction, **Jersey Boys** is the best musical on the big screen since **Mama Mia.** While his directorial representation rests on violent movies, Eastwood has always been a jazz and musical enthusiast. With **Jersey Boys,** Eastwood is able to direct a project that satisfies his own desires that pays benefits for ticket buyers.

Having originated the role in the Broadway play, John Lloyd Young is able to capture the charisma of Frankie Valli in a subdued medium. With three pivitol scenes, Christopher Walken steals scenes as Gyp DeCarlo, a gangster with a soft spot for Frankie Valli's singing.

A talented dancer in his own right, Walken performs in the final "curtain call" as the closing credits roll. Closing the show on an upnote, **Jersey Boys** is a nice air conditioned distraction this 4th of July weekend.
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