“Jersey Boys” musical hits the right notes

“Jersey Boys” isn’t just for baby boomers. The “True Hollywood Story”-style musical, which grooved into the Fabulous Fox Theatre April 23, will have even the youngest of music lovers out of his or her seat. The standing ovation to the Friday, April 25, performance began before the actors took their final bow.

The Des McAnuff-directed musical begins with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ birth as a star-bound group, when Frankie Castelluccio (the future Frankie Valli, played by the talented Christopher Kale Jones) was pulled onstage in the middle of a performance for his singing debut. From there, the trouble-loving band cycled through band names and band members, jail stints and lady lovers, soaring into success with hits like “Sherry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Along the way, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ran into money troubles and heartache. Despite the turmoil and hard times, the band produced hits that stand the test of time-due to Bob Gaudio’s (Andrew Rannells) music composition. From blue-collar Jersey kids to accomplished musicians, the Four Seasons’ story perfectly lends itself to a stage performance: part “American Bandstand” and part gangster drama.

“It’s thrilling and daunting at the same time,” said Jones of playing a real person. “I’ve never really done it before . It’s the only time I’ve really had to deal with that sort of facet of performance. There’s a desire to pay homage to this real person … and to not drift too far from who he is as a person.”

“Jersey Boys” is nostalgic for baby boomers and entertaining for the young’uns, whose knowledge of “oldies” comes mainly from Sonic commercials. Sergio Trujillo’s choreography is straight out of the ’60s, including a fun routine by girl group The Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back”). More than 30 Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tunes are performed in the Tony Award-winning production, narrated mainly by Four Seasons member Tommy DeVito (Erik Bates).

Jersey accents and stereotypes abound, but the group’s talent is nothing to laugh at: Jones, Rannells, Bates and Steve Gouveia (Nick Massi) channel the Four Seasons’ spirit, from slick suits to slicked hair.

The show runs at the Fox (527 N. Grand Blvd.) through May 18, and tickets range from $30 to $80.