Jersey Boys: rockin’ at the Orpheum

The story of singer Frankie Valli and 1960’s rock group The Four Seasons comes to life on tour, making a stop in Minneapolis early February.

Jacob ‘Coby’Aloi, Multimedia Editor

The Orpheum presented the traveling tour of “Jersey Boys” this month, a musical on the story of rock group The Four Seasons. (Jacob ‘Coby’ Aloi)

When I first saw a production of “Jersey Boys,” I am pretty sure I was too young to appreciate or understand it (I was only 12 at the time). The music was the soundtrack to my parents’ high school years, however, so I have always been familiar with The Four Seasons’ classics including “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and “Walk Like a Man.”

Having seen a version of the show nearly a decade ago, I was already going in with high expectations. While all of them were not exactly met, by the curtain call the show still gives you a warm feeling and sends you home humming the tunes and dancing in your car. 

“Jersey Boys” is a jukebox musical that tells the story of American rock band The Four Seasons—how they formed, the story behind their greatest hits and eventually why they broke up. Originally opening in 2005, “Jersey Boys” was a smash hit on Broadway, winning the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical. It even spawned a film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood. The show is still running in New York—albeit having moved Off-Broadway in 2017—and many productions are still running both internationally and throughout the United States. With all the history to its name, my expectations for the touring productions’s performance of “Jersey Boys” last Thursday were high.  

 To begin with praise, the set, designed by Klara Zieglerova, is a truly fantastic design taking inspiration from simplistic scaffolding that is iconic of the New Jersey skyline, that also cleverly incorporates the band pit into the main set piece. Jess Goldstein’s costuming holds up well years later, and the pop art projections by Michael Clark are a welcomed addition to the storytelling. 

Jacob ‘Coby’ Aloi

However, much like the real troubles the Four Seasons faced on the road, not everything is perfect with this production. Marshall Brickman’s script seems to have not aged as well as other elements, despite there seemingly being some changes. The performance I attended also seemed to have some technical difficulties including sound issues and a few of the stage lights malfunctioning midway through the show (although this might have only been caught by me as a lighting designer myself). I will not harp too much on these issues, however, as it was hardly noticeable. 

What helped the audience forget the technical issues was the stunning performance by the cast. I had always thought that the show had a huge cast, and was genuinely surprised to learn that the over 40 characters we meet in the show are portrayed by only 12 actors, an impressive feat for any show but especially one with as much dancing and vocal difficulty as “Jersey Boys” has. Most notable were the four men who took on the titular roles; Jon Hacker (Frankie Valli), Eric Chambers (Bob Gaurdio), Matt Faucher (Nick Massi) and Devon Goffman (Tommy Devito). They had excellent chemistry on stage that could have only been accomplished by true professionals who have been doing this for a long time. 

While the show was not as memorable as I expected, it certainly is able to tickle the nostalgic part of your brain if you grew up with the music and leaves you feeling warm inside even if you did not. The last performance of “Jersey Boys” at the Orpheum was Sunday, February 6, and the production will now continue to Eugene, Oregon. For more information on tickets and performances, visit “Jersey Boys” on Tour’s official website, For tickets to other shows coming to the Orpheum,