Jersey Boys opened on Broadway on November 6, 2005, a surprise hit musical telling the true story about four young men from New Jersey with promising careers as juvenile delinquents who formed The Four Seasons in the 1960s. Now, playing its ninth year on Broadway, the story has become a film directed by Clint Eastwood, which will be in movie theaters on June 20th.
John Lloyd Young, who made his Broadway debut as lead singer Frankie Valli and won a Tony Award for his portrayal, is reprising his role for the movie. Erich Bergen is Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all the group’s biggest hits – Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Dawn, Bye, Bye Baby and many more. Vincent Piazza portrays Tommy DeVito and Michael Lomenda is Nick Massi. Christopher Walken co-stars as mobster Gyp DeCarlo.The film is rated R.
Co-screenwriter Marshall Brickman, who also co-wrote the book for the Broadway show with Rick Elice, told the Hollywood Reporter at least one general way the film differs from the stage musical:
“You know, a two-minute number in a live performance environment like a theater, a legitimate theater can hold because somehow there’s some magical thing that happens when the audience is in the same room as the live performance,” Brickman explained. “It doesn’t quite hold on screen. So you’ve got to figure out ways of keeping the thing visually interesting while the music is playing and continuing on the track. So that’s a combination of what we did, Rick and I, in the screenplay, and what Clint did in combining the music as a score and an underscore and then moving around a little.”
“Jersey Boys” is a strange movie, and it’s a Clint Eastwood enterprise, both reasons to see it. For those with a love of doo-wop, it also provides a toe-tapping, ear-worming stroll down rock ’n’ roll memory lane that dovetails with that deeply cherished American song and dance about personal triumph over adversity through hard work, tough times and self-sacrifice. It’s a redemption narrative that’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it. No wonder it’s been such a popular trip: The stage version of “Jersey Boys” opened in 2005 on Broadway, where it’s still going strong, and has long been printing money around the world, from Australia to South Africa.
Metacritic Reviews – 54 (Mixed or average)
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The Four Seasons song “Sherry” from the musical Jersey Boys: