Wednesday May 17, 2017 / 8:00pm
Ahmanson Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
2 tickets – Price Level B
Purchase ID 9049358
Picked up ticket in a flash, had really nice seats - Row S dead center. This was my 14th time to see Jersey Boys. I've seen it in LA, San Francisco, San Diego twice. I have seen the LA cast, the SF cast and in San Diego, mixed casts from different touring groups. I still support the LA cast as the best. Christopher Hale Jones was Frankie, Erich Bergen as Bob, Deven May as Tommy, the role of Nick changed actors. This time around, Mark Ballas from DWTS was Frankie. I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong. Mark has a much stronger voice than I expected. In most songs, he was pitch perfect. Towards the end of the show, it seemed his voice was a little weaker but when he sang falsetto, he was back on pitch. It is worth seeing to hear him. Why didn't I give it 5 stars? From the first note, I felt the show was being rushed for at least the first 1/3. Then it began to get in rhythm and by the end, it found it's pace. I saw the second preview for this production so maybe everything will be on point in a week or so. And that is another issue I have with the production. It was not as "on point" as when I saw it with the LA cast. The turns, dips, points, steps were just not as clean with direct lines as they can be. Humorous lines are delivered a little flat. Mark can dance, duh, DWTS. But "Tommy" and "Bob" need to work on their steps a little and their acting. (When Bob goes upstairs to get laid for the first time, Tommy and Nick need to watch a recorded performance from the LA cast. There should be bigger laughs.) I am really nit-picking here, I know it, but when you are in a show like JB and at the Ahmanson, it should be perfect every second. Keith Hines did a good job in the role of "Nick" which is a difficult role to do because it is both humorous and tragic - like the role of Stewart on Big Bang Theory. The staging seemed a little different as I remember it. Again, it seemed to be running at max speed so some of the creativity of the set was trampled in the haste to get to the next scene. It didn't seem as large, as grand, as impressive (in it's simplicity and lighting effects) as it was originally. The band was fabulous. Costumes were as I remember except for moment when one of Norman Waxman's henchmen (very distinct look to this actor) was seen in black suit coat and moments later, in the same coat with the same look, was one of the new hires for Frankie's back up band. At least switch coats. Again, getting terribly picky - sorry. Do I suggest seeing it? Absolutely. The audience loved it and gave a standing O. They applauded heavily at times during the performance. It is a crowd-pleasing play (I hate it being called juke-box theatre. ) It is a winner. If you like theatre, take a few friends and enjoy the evening. You will come out feeling good.