Arts & Entertainment

‘Jersey Boys’ Returns to Chicago on North American Tour

Courtesy of Amanda Meyer"Jersey Boys" will run at Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.) April 2-7.

The award-winning tale of a band that made musical history is back on national tour, bringing the story behind well-known songs of The Four Seasons to life. “Jersey Boys” is running in Chicago for a limited one-week engagement at the Auditorium Theatre April 2-7.

“Jersey Boys” is a behind-the-scenes look at the ‘60s pop-rock band Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. This rags-to-riches tale is about the four blue-collar guys from New Jersey — Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito — who came together to form one of the most well-known music groups of their time. This show goes beyond the music and delves deep into the story of the four men whose talent took them from the Jersey streets all the way to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

This jukebox musical was co-written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and directed by Des McAnuff. Since it opened on Broadway in 2005, “Jersey Boys” has appeared on stages across North America and around the world. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical, Olivier Award for Best New Musical and Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

The show features Jonny Wexler, Eric Chambliss, Corey Greenan and Jonathan Cable as the members of The Four Seasons. Cable, who plays the band’s bassist Nick Massi, is on tour with “Jersey Boys” for the second year in a row.

In a phone interview with The Phoenix, Cable said after seeing the show in Chicago for the first time in 2009, he thought he would never have the chance to be a part of the show because he isn’t Italian. On last year’s tour, he was a swing, understudying four characters. In this production Cable said he’s excited to play Massi every night on stage.

“It’s such an amazing script, it’s such great music and it’s a fun piece of art,” Cable said. “It’s just a fun show to get to do every night on stage with such a talented cast and as such a highly revered musical, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Aside from the story of the band itself, Cable said audiences are often surprised to find out how many songs The Four Seasons had. The musical features well-known tracks such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry,” as well as songs that may be lesser known by audiences such as “C’mon Marianne” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

Cable said this particular production of “Jersey Boys” is more streamlined than others, in that it focuses more on storytelling than the technical elements. The emphasis on simply telling the story of the band in combination with music of The Four Seasons creates a strong production for audiences, he said.

“I always say, it feels like a Martin Scorsese film set to Four Seasons music,” Cable said. “The story is front-and-center of this production and … putting the story with that iconic music just continues to be a powerful experience for audiences.”

“Jersey Boys” will run April 2-7 at the Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr.). Tickets can be purchased online, starting at $30.

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