6 Reasons to See Jersey Boys On Tour

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Oh, what a night! Last night, we headed to WMU's Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo to see the musical Jersey Boys. We came away singing, dancing, and pondering the vicissitudes of history. 

6 Reasons to See Jersy Boys On Tour

"They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story -- a story that has made them an international sensation all over again." 

Here are 6 reasons you should see Jersey Boys on Tour:

1. You Want to Laugh

It all started with a sign. As we were entering Miller Auditorium, this sign appeared:

Want to laugh? See Jersey Boys!

Authentic, Profane Jersey vocabulary is a special effect! Who knew? We chuckled as we headed in, and laughed throughout the show. The lines are funny, the characters are likeable, and the writing brings this important musical history to life. 

2. The History of the Four Seasons

The story is what gets you. At 46, I'm a little too young to have known the story in person, so seeing Jersey Boys was a fascinating unfurling of history. Encompassing decades of songs that were familiar to me (such is the musical canon, yes?), the musical showcases the fine line between friendship and a business relationship. While I am sure the real story is much more complex, I was impressed with Frankie Valli's honorable choices with regards to Tommy. 

3. The Music

These songs! If you've not known the breadth of the popular songs from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, take a look:

Musical numbers in Jersey Boys

It was fascinating to learn the backstory of so many songs - and the talent of songwriter Bob Gaudio. 


Facts and figures - the music

•    The Four Seasons sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty years old. 
•    33 songs in the show, including 5 #1 hits, and 11 songs that made Billboard’s top ten.
•    19 hit songs by The Four Seasons or Frankie Valli didn’t make it into the show, and are listed in the playbill as “The Ones That Got Away” (including 4 top ten hits).
•    As the musical traces the origins of the group when they performed songs written by other groups, the songs in the show represent work by 34 songwriters, including Otis Blackwell, Dorothy Fields, Louis Prima, and Judy Parker.  Most of the hits of The Four Seasons were written by original member of The Four Seasons Bob Gaudio and their producer/lyricist, Bob Crewe.

4. The Casting

In addition to the interesting (and global) story of a former WMU student being cast as Tommy, the casting for this show was impressive. Strong voices, great dancers, and excellent actors all - this is one incredibly talented cast.

Facts and figures - casting the show

•    11 cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Nashville, Miami, Toronto and internationally in London, Dublin and Edinburgh.
•    7 weeks to cast the show; including pre-screens with casting team, callbacks for the creative team which includes casting team, the music director, the production supervisor and the dance deptartment, and then final callbacks with Des McAnuff. During the finals, the room often includes Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, and the producers.
•    Auditions for future replacements are ongoing, and Equity required calls occur in each city of origin every 6 months.
•    Actors are asked not to sing songs from the show, but many elect to sing other songs by The Four Seasons.

5. The Staging

You know how you look at a stage before the show, and try to imagine what they'll do with it? Well, the simple set of stairs and chain link fences morphed into decades of life, both personal and onstage. My favorite part was when the Jersey boys sang to the back of the stage, and our whole audience was lit up, as if we were backstage with them. Genius!

Facts and figures - the costumes

•    196 total costumes/looks in the show, incl. some vintage suits, ties, and dresses.
•    Tommy has 12 costume changes, Nick has 11, Frankie has 15, and Bob has 10.
•    Frankie runs through 1 pair of pants each week, with repairs every other day. (He slides on his knees in the number “Beggin’ & ‘Marianne”)
•    9 seconds - Fastest quick change in the show, for Mary Delgado to get out of the car and into her robe for “My Eyes Adored You”
•    12 quick changes for Frankie Valli. His shortest quick change is 15 seconds.
•    5 hours – time spent per week hand-beading repairs to the “Snowflake” dresses.  Originally beaded by machine (cost: $300 per yard).
•    102 shirts in the show, including reproductions of vintage shirts (patterns are printed on fabric by computer and then made into shirts. Cost: over $200 per yard)
•    87 shoes used in one performance
•    1 gallon of detergent used per week for cleaning, ½ gallon of spot cleaner used each week 
•    2.4 miles - Distance a dresser will walk/run during a day, including day work, pre-show call, working the show and post-show work.

6 reasons to see jersey Boys on Tour

6. You Want to Dance

As the show finished, one woman behind us exclaimed, "I just want to dance!" Indeed. All during the performance, heads were bobbing. At intermission, people were dancing in their seats. As we waited in line to exit the parking garage, the woman in front of us was dancing and singing in her car (so was her elderly mom!). This show? It'll get you dancing. We may or may not have had a dance party once we got home last night...and all day today. 

More information:

Directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys won the 2006 Tony® Award for Best Musical, the 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia), and continues to break box office records on Broadway and across North America. As of January, 2015, Jersey Boys worldwide has been seen by over 22 million people. Jersey Boys was written by Academy Award®-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Jersey Boys returns to Kalamazoo’s Miller Auditorium, October 20-25, 2015.  The performance schedule is Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2 & 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 & 6:30 p.m.

Learn more: 





Official photos courtesy and copyright Jersey Boys on Tour, used with permission. Other photos courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators