By Victoria Wolfe, 17, North Hollywood HS
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I’m a musical theater junkie. Seeing any kind of performance live is so much more exciting than watching the Music Man in your living room. As a performer I love it when I can tell that the performers are going full out, when all of their energy is behind what they are doing, which was the feeling I got from the musical Jersey Boys. Jersey Boys is sad in parts, but it keeps you laughing till the end.

For us teens who were born into the wrong era and never knew the “good ol’ times,” Jersey Boys will take you there. Jersey Boys is a musical based on the 60s band Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The play takes you back to the 50s when the band started in a not-so-nice side of town in New Jersey, to the 90s when the band is broken up and they are old men performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But being in a famous band has a price. They have to cope with the pressure of being on the road, with some leaving their families behind and some having nothing to lose. At the end Frankie Valli looks back on it all and says: “They ask you what was the high point, the Hall of Fame, selling all those records, pulling Sherry out of the hat? It was all great, but four guys under a street lamp, when it was all still ahead of us, the first time we made that sound, our sound, when everything dropped away and all there was was the music … that was the best.”

This Broadway success opened in New York and its popularity has brought it to L.A. The musical gets you the minute the lights come up and the great oldies music starts. Ever since I was little my mother has played all the classic songs she loves, and I grew to love them too, so hearing them live was great. The audience, and I admit me as well, couldn’t help joining in while their favorite chart-topping songs like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “Oh What a Night” sung in the high-pitched, unique voice of Rick Faugno, who played Frankie Valli, the lead singer of the band. I could feel the happy energy of the audience around me, which was confirmed by a long standing ovation at the end.

The writing and acting was amazing. You feel what the actors feel and at the end I guarantee you’ll be in a blissful state. The original creator of the Four Seasons, Tommy DeVito (Deven May), is the most memorable character. One minute you love him, and the next you hope he quits the band. As his control of the band starts to slip, he begins to sabotage the band with his bad behavior and by getting them into debt to keep control. I grew to love his character though because it seems most of his faults turn out to be funny in the end.

Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) is the last person to join the band, and is the ingenious songwriter of the Four Seasons whose songs make them famous. After playing his songs, the band is finally able to get a record label to sign them. The other band member is Nick Massi (Micheal Ingersoll), the quiet bass singer of the band, with more heart than you’d expect. At each interval of the musical a different band member takes turns speaking directly to the audience. When it was his turn I was surprised that he had problems with the way the band was being run. It’s hysterical when he makes fun of the other band members, especially when he complains about De Vito’s hygiene.

The show was a little slow to get to the part of the storyline that I enjoyed the most, which was when all four members were part of the band and played their more popular songs. At that time, I just wanted to get up and dance and sing with them.

When it was all over all I could think (and sing) was “Oh What a Night.” I couldn’t help bouncing around on the car ride home, annoying my relatives on either side of me. I highly recommend Jersey Boys to all ages.  No really, take your grandma, I did. In the end it’s just “four guys under a street lamp” singing their hearts out.

Jersey Boys is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre until August 30. Go to for ticket information.