On 2nd January, I was given the opportunity to see New Jersey Nights at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford. The show is performed as a homage to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The show is currently on the U.K. stretch of the world tour; visiting seven well-renowned theatres in 2018, concluding the tour of the U.K. which started in 2017. The show includes many original songs such as Let’s Hang On, Working My Way Back to You and Big Girls Don’t Cry as well as other songs that the Four Seasons found influential at the time. New Jersey Nights has a parallel show, Jersey Boys, which has been on the West End and Broadway and is now touring the world. These two shows are similar in story, however completely different in performance. Where Jersey Boys follows the story of the Four Seasons and their progression through the years, New Jersey Nights acts as more of a tribute towards their music and a celebration of their careers.

New Jersey Nights does not follow a set storyline so the cast do not have definitive roles to play, with all four singers taking the lead vocals on different songs. This means there is more freedom for the cast in how they portray Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The show sees the Four Seasons joined on stage by a three-piece band and six dancers (three men and three women). The dancers also get their time to shine as the women cover Da Do Ron Ron by The Crystals and Be My Baby by The Ronettes. The men also get a larger dance number wherein they are able to showcase their talents. However, the strongest bond on the stage is by far the friendship of the Four Seasons. Even though they are acting/singing up on the stage, there does seem to be a genuine sense of camaraderie between the main members of the cast; Joshua Dever, Adam Dougal, William Hazel and Duncan Heather. This became apparent when a mistake was made on stage – whether it was accidental or written into the show, the singers depicting the Four Seasons shared a moment of true friendship with the audience. This allowed the audience to see how performances would have been with the original Four Seasons up on the stage and how true their friendships were.

The show was very enjoyable and this Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute gave everyone in the theatre a night to remember. As someone who has grown up with similar music, seeing this show was something that I was looking forward to and the show definitely delivered. The songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are definite toe tappers so to experience them in a theatre surrounded by other people with a love for the Four Seasons made the evening even better. As it was the opening night at the Orchard Theatre, tensions would have been running high backstage but towards the end of the show, one of the cast remarked “We didn’t think anyone would turn up tonight, but then you lot came along”. Most of the audience were over fifty and this show gave them a chance to reminisce on the past. The cast on stage we’re having just as much fun as the audience and this showed the universal love for the music in both young and old. The final number, New Jersey Nights Mega Mix, gave the audience a chance to show their appreciation for this legendary band by dancing and singing along. As the cast left the stage, the theatre was filled with the voices of the audience continuing to sing Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and as the cast came out for the bows, the applause erupted and continued past the curtain falling.