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Review: JERSEY BOYS at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre


The show initially struck me because of its really fast pace and its lack of sentimentality surrounding some of the show's big "showstoppers"; I realised about half an hour into the first act that we had come a heck of a long way story wise and that we weren't stopping the show just to see the big numbers like "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry". It was so refreshing to see a show that really didn't stop and wait for you to get hooked on the characters and the songs - you're thrown into the story head first and because you're made to feel like you know these characters like your friends from the off, the show starts and you already feel invested in them as people. It's so weird, but a really good weird. The show ended and I felt like I'd been taken on a journey through the lives of four of my friends and it left me feeling good.

The story itself is actually quite a harrowing one as well and I was surprised that the story was as deep and dark as it was in comparison to what I thought the story would be like in my head. The show tackled themes like crime and broken families with a perfect mix of comedy and tragedy and it was nice to see such a well put together book in a jukebox musical; the book is why I love Beautiful - The Carole King Musical so much, so maybe putting together a story of an artist's life with perfection and a story behind it is really what sells a jukebox musical to me. In my eyes, they might well be full of songs back to back (and not in the good way like a Boublil and Schoenberg musical), but they have heart to them as well.

The overall presentation of this production really worked for me, too. It was interesting that the show opens with one of the band's biggest hits being performed in R'n'B French at the turn of the new millennium and that the entire show was done on what I can only describe as elaborate scaffolding, but it worked and I really liked it just the way it was. It was good to see a show that didn't need set to get its message across and refreshing to see such minimal set be used to its advantage. The cast were fantastic as well: Michael Watson's voice is truly gorgeous and made me absolutely melt in my seat. The rest of the cast were superb as well with my true standout being Declan Egan as Bob Gaudio. There was something about his character and his portrayl of the character that really stood out to me and made him so much fun to watch throughout.

If you haven't caught Jersey Boys yet then definitely try your best to get down to the show in whatever way you can. Oh, what a night!

Come So Far, Got So Far To Go...

After a fantastic run of almost four years, it's finally time to say goodbye to the baby I created when I was only 14 years old. Across these four years, Shaun's Musical Musings really has been the making of me and if I hadn't have embarked on this journey, I would be nothing in comparison to what I am today. And I have all of you readers to thank for that immensely.

My Top 50 Musicals of All-Time (10-1)

Today, I'm excited to share my meticulously toothcombed list with all of you, a list that I just spent another hour before posting this trying to refine. The list is not totally exact because, obviously, my moods fluctuate as time progresses, but most of them remain the same. It's also important to note that, to make it to this list, I need to have seen some official version of the show, be it a stage performance, a film adaptation or a filmed stage performance. Only two shows on the entire list have made it despite that rule, mainly because it'd be sacrilege to not include them... the final part, let's go!