’60s legends revived through musical, Jersey Boys

A Broadway musical based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys finds success with its sarcastic sense of humor and its upbeat songs filled with catchy lyrics, even while telling a not so unusual tale of success.

Essentially, the plot follows a sequence of events that seems identical to the story of any other band. It highlights the band members’ rough childhoods, emphasizing the poverty and crime they experienced. The musical recounts the group’s struggle to gain recognition for their music.

Then Jersey Boys tells of the band’s breakthrough hit; it also shares information about their many other well-known songs. Eventually like countless other bands, the group breaks up; predictability continues for the rest of the plot.

Although lacking major surprises, the storyline gains the audience’s attention through its clever presentation. The four band members alternate narrating throughout the course of the musical.

The characters’ added commentary reinforces their unique personalities, displaying the selfish and controlling character of Tommy DiVito, and naïve but nerdy Bob Gaudio. The narration also becomes an opportunity to insert humor into the script. Throughout the musical, the actors joke about all sorts of topics, including the letter “Y,” marriage, the state of New Jersey and the Beatles.

Besides their attempts at humor, the cast members keep the audience entertained by singing. Spanning a variety of tempos, emotions, and styles, the audience appreciates each song for a new reason: “Walk Like a Man” for its blunt message the audience members easily catch and the French rap because it fills them with curiosity over the meaning of the foreign words.

The music adds to the performance, but less significant elements also contribute, like the strong Jersey accents, and the obnoxious ape costume. The producer who obsesses over the alignment of the stars and the actors’ perfectly synchronized toe taps also make Jersey Boys a memorable musical. It plays at the Orpheum in Minneapolis until April 20.