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5 reasons to see ‘Jersey Boys’

Popular musical kicks off Victoria’s 2016-17 Broadway Series.

Following a successful 2012 engagement at the Schuster Center, the hit 2006 Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys,” the tuneful, inspiring story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is back in Dayton now through Oct. 23 courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series. Here are 5 reasons why you should catch this entertaining show:


Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elise (“Annie Hall,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “The Addams Family”), “Jersey Boys” chronicles the ups and downs of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, a blue-collar quartet who sold 175 million records worldwide before they were 30. The show takes a humorous yet gripping and surprisingly poignant look at how they became one of America’s biggest pop groups throughout the 1960s and 1970s. “Everyone has experienced something in this show, which makes it very relatable,” said Cory Jeacoma, who plays vocalist/songwriter Bob Gaudio. “The loyalty between the guys is truly a lost art form.”


Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, wrote their own songs. Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, “Jersey Boys” includes such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What a Night!,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Working My Way Back to You,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” “If you haven’t heard the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, I don’t know where you’ve been,” Jeacoma joked. “Sometimes I look out into the audience during ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and I can see older couples grabbing each other’s hands reminiscing. But I’ll also see kids turning to their parents as if to say ‘Hey, I know this song!’ And in these moments it dawns on me that this is why this show remains so successful. Everyone knows these songs because they’re woven into the fabric of our lives.”

>> RELATED: The ‘Jersey Boys’ are back in Dayton


Let’s face it. It’s difficult for some men to enjoy musical theater for a variety of reasons, but “Jersey Boys” is unique because it inherently conveys a sleek, cool and appealing masculinity. Other male-centric musicals of its ilk such as “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “The Book of Mormon,” “School of Rock” and cultural juggernaut “Hamilton” have also proven to be top draws for men in recent years. “This show is for dudes,” Jeacoma stated. “Keith Hines, who plays Nick Massi, has said this is a show husbands will be dragging their wives to see.” The cast includes Aaron De Jesus as Frankie and Matthew Dailey as Tommy.


In addition to the Best Musical Tony Award, “Jersey Boys” received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and Australia’s Helpmann Award for Best Musical. The show has also been seen by over 23 million people. Clint Eastwood notably directed its 2014 film version starring John Lloyd Young who reprised his Tony-winning portrayal of Frankie. “Even though we’re playing actual people, we still get to bring a little bit of ourselves to the characters,” Jeacoma reminded. “The energy of a live performance cannot be duplicated. The theater magic of the production, the various set pieces and quick costume changes, is very exhilarating as well.”


The Broadway production of “Jersey Boys,” which features Wright State University graduate Jon Hacker in the ensemble and as the Frankie understudy, is set to close Jan. 15, 2017. As so, this tour will soon provide a singular opportunity for theatergoers to catch the experience. “It’s unfortunate that the Broadway company is closing, but there’s something really exciting about the fact that, come January, this cast will be the only cast performing these roles in the United States,” Jeacoma said. “It’s a really cool feeling.”

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