As a lover of the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, I was excited to hear that a new production of smash hit musical Jersey Boys was coming to Brisbane. Presented by Prospero Arts and QPAC, this all new reimagined and semi – staged concert production is now showing until February 11 at the Concert Hall, QPAC. Directed by the multiple award – winning Martin Croft audiences will enjoy energetic choreography from Queensland’s own Dan Venz.
With a look, sound and attitude that many had never witnessed before the Jersey Boys burst on to the music scene in the 1960’s. From their first hit their music has continued to transcend generations. In this show we are able to look behind the music and behind the scenes and follow the evolution of four blue collared kids who became one of the greatest successes in pop music history.
With musical supervision by the incomparable David Young, the inspiring musical script and score has been interpreted by some of Australia’s most sought – after musical theatre performers, supported by an eleven-piece band on stage and led by acclaimed musical director and conductor James Dobinson. It was an exhilarating and high energy production from this mostly Queensland cast.
This will be the third production for Prospero Arts and QPAC. Prospero Arts Managing Director, Hayley Johnson said she was thrilled to be bringing this production to the stage following the success of The Wizard of Oz – In Concert and Singin’ in the Rain – In Concert.
“After successful in Concert presentations with QPAC in 2022 and 2023, we were keen for our next production to be a Jukebox Musical – with a great and inspiring story – that was full of iconic songs.”
“Our reimagined semi–staged format really puts the spotlight on the story, the choreography and of course the hit songs played by a live orchestra on the Concert Hall stage supporting the artists.”
Hayley continued, “We are thrilled with our lead cast who are all very familiar with Jersey Boy roles in the professional arena. Most of the cast are originally from Brisbane or coming back or they’ve moved to Brisbane following long careers interstate and overseas, with a couple of local up and comers too.”
The largely-Queensland cast for Jersey Boys includes; Josh Mulheran (Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys) as Frankie Valli, Jack Saunders (Jersey Boys on cruise ships across the globe) as Bob Gaudio, Connor Crawford (Jersey Boys) as Tommy DeVito, Glaston Toft (Jersey Boys) as Nick Massi, Glen Hill (Jersey Boys) as Bob Crew, Dale Pengelly (The Sunshine Club, Hot Shoe Shuffle) as Gyp DeCarlo, Matthew Casamento (2023 Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre Graduate) as Joey Pesci, Maxwell Simon (Bananaland, Moulin Rouge The Musical) as Norm Waxman, Emma Wilby (2023 Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre Graduate) as Francine Valli, Sophie Perkins (QPAC’s Spirit of Christmas, Carrie the Musical, Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre Graduate) as Lorraine, Loren Hunter (SIX – The Musical, The Wizard of Oz – In Concert) as Mary Delgado, Oliver Lacey (Jersey Boys) as Hank Majewski, AJ Pate (The Normal Heart) as Barry Belson and Emma Hawthorne (9 to 5 The Musical, Wicked) as Swing-Associate Choreographer.
It’s so great to see so many local artists taking to the stage.
She Society were thrilled to be some of the first to see this exhilarating and high energy show telling of the rags to riches story of America’s Fab Four. Filled with hits like Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Bye Bye Baby and December 1963 and well-loved ballads like the mega hit Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, we found ourselves singing along and dancing in our seats.
The pared back set allowed the stars to shine, and this stellar cast ably shared the stage to tell this fabulous story. The star of the show was Josh Mulheran as Frankie Valli. His vocals were superb and sometimes made me forget it wasn’t Frankie Valli himself. His voice will give you goosebumps. I also loved the performance of Jack Saunders as band member and songwriter Bob Gaudio. He commanded the stage with grace and ease. Glaston Toft provided the comic elements and plenty of experience in the role of Nick and Connor Crawford carried much of the narration as the troubled but lovable Tommy. Matthew Casamento has a special mention as a young Joe Pesci.
Costumes were colourful and era appropriate giving a sense of time and place. The band were great with crisp, sharp sounds. I loved the horn blasting away and they obviously relished rocking along with the songs and the clear vocals. Choreography was slick and helped to move the story along.
This exhilarating show was rightly rewarded with a standing ovation from the Opening Night crowd. It’s such a fun night out which will have you dancing your way home. Even if you’ve seen this well-loved musical before you will love this stellar production with a great homegrown cast. We jumped out of our seats at the end of the night exclaiming, “Oh, what a night!” Jersey Boys is playing at the Concert Hall, QPAC until February 11.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).