such an simple question but I stumbled to answer it to a man who plays a Four
Season but has never seen any of the group line-ups that delivered the original
songs in the show. It was particularly significant as it was asked by the
handsome young actor Stephen Ashfield, who plays the part of Bob Gaudio in the UK
is that, with the Four Seasons no longer being an identifiable entity as a
group, long-standing fans (who enjoyed the changing Seasons that joined the
group between 1965 and the mid-1990s) have to look to tribute bands and the
Jersey Boys to deliver the songs they have grown to love. Stephen was simply responding to my
description of how the Four Seasons had changed with their many different
line-ups between 1966 and 1977. It was a question, which long-standing fans
with dim memories of the glorious tours of the mid seventies that established
question was not in my mind as I re-visited the Prince Edward Theatre on a sizzling summer day for a matinee performance. I was nervous at the prospect of possibly meeting
the group and the expectant mood of the audience was like static electricity
before the show. I found myself getting very involved in this atmosphere even
though I knew the script so well. This is something new and old fans all seem
to feel in our visits and the build-up to ‘Sherry’ seemed to have an increased
intensity with the song releasing the pent-up emotion and their frustrations at
their lack of success in the early section of the show. Clearly this is
something the UK
As for the performances of Glenn, Stephen, Philip and Ryan in the main roles they were all superb. I noticed in each performance of the 'Boys' small ways in which their performances have matured over the last year. The power and intensity of key moments in the show has been re-inforced to great effect and we hang on their words as we await each piece of the story…even though we all know it from previous visits. The timing and delivery are just perfect. “It should be”, said Glenn “as we’ve had lots of practice”
The only failing in the show was the performance of the girls who sing as the Angels on ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’. The spoken intro was like a rap intro and the harmonies were way off the Angels original sound. A pity but easily corrected.
The prospect of meeting the guys was also getting to me during the show and at the intermission we were met at our row, by the Stage Manager. Nick Egen was such a courteous host and the champagne in the intermission was a wonderful surprise. Although the 'This Morning' TV Show preparations meant the ‘Boys’ had little time, they all came to the Stage Door internal area and spent 10 mins plus chatting and I was able to give them the gifts from the Appreciation Society....which we all hope they will enjoy.
Their interest in the fans of the Four Seasons and their rapport with all Jersey Boys fans was a pleasure to behold. The research we are now able to co-ordinate with a fuller knowledge of the groups history(thanks to the ‘play/book’)…often only hinted at in the 70s….is now gathering into a cohesive group biography and was of interest to Stephen in particular. So when Stephen asked me if the long-standing fans view them as the NEW Four Seasons I was hesitant. Valli’s vocal?….the harmonies?……could that be faithfully reproduced in this show. Stephen told me the company re-inforce the 'sound' in the show to boost the harmonies …something Valli and the group rarely did with additional singers. So I couldn’t answer the question…..that is until the next day.
Then I saw their performance on ITV's 'This Morning' programme of the Four Seasons ‘Hits Medley’ which we have all seen Frankie and the Seasons perform many times...... but unlike in the show where they have vocal support this time they were on their own……and they each had to be spot on vocally, to create a sound as close to the previous Seasons sound which we all recall from concerts and demonstrated on the recently discovered Bachelors III Live concert CD. In this testing TV performance their harmonies were excellent....... so in response to Stephen Ashfields question ..."Are we the NEW Four Seasons?"...I would have to say "As close as makes no difference ....that final note on ‘Bye Bye Baby’was perfect".
Overall it was a stunning day and we can't thank them all enough. Another visit is recommended to all fans of the show and the group ,whilst this excellent cast provide such an excellent presentation of the sound we love so much.