Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Jersey Boys
National Tour
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's review of My Fair Lady

Michael Milton, Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss,
and Corey Greenan

Photo by Joan Marcus
Jersey Boys has returned to Washington's National Theatre for the third time, through January 5, and it's as brassy and crowd pleasing as ever.

The musical about the origins of the Four Seasons opened on Broadway in 2005 and, following the end of its Broadway run, reopened in an Off-Broadway house. Director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo have kept the material as crisp and incisive as ever for the touring production, with a powerhouse 12-member cast and a small, hard-working orchestra.

Bookwriters Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice use the "four seasons" theme to present the history of the legendary rock 'n' roll quartet from the perspectives of the founding members. Tommy DeVito (Corey Greenan), a tough New Jersey guy with a talent for music, starts the story in "spring" as he brings Frankie Valli (Jon Hacker), a teenager with an otherworldly falsetto vocal register, into his struggling singing group—and introduces the kid to less legal ways of making money. Bob Gaudio (Eric Chambliss), songwriter and performer, joins in "summer" as the quartet finds its identity (and its name) and stumbles into success. Bass player Nick Massi (Michael Milton) recounts the "fall" as personal and professional struggles threaten to destroy the group, but Valli keeps things going into "winter."

Valli has to be the heart of Jersey Boys and Hacker, who has played the role in New York, captivates with both a ringing voice and deep sensitivity. Eric Chambliss is endearing as Gaudio, another rock prodigy (he wrote his first hit song at age 15) who learns to keep up with his rougher-edged bandmates. Greenan is convincing as a hothead who never thinks about the consequences of his actions, and Milton is the quiet, reserved bass player. Sean McGee plays Bob Crewe, lyricist and music producer, as over-the-top but committed to the quality of his work.

The cast keeps things chugging on Klara Zieglerova's industrial-scaffolding set, highlighted with Howell Binkley's concert-like lighting (which sometimes zaps the audience), Michael Clark's pop art-inspired projections, and Steve Canyon Kennedy's all-encompassing sound design. Jess Goldstein's costumes depict the Four Seasons' journey from blue-collar to suits with rhinestone-trimmed lapels, while the wig and hair design by Charles G. LaPointe helps the three women in the cast (Ashley Bruce, Connor Lyon, Amy Weaver) shift easily from outspoken girlfriends and singers to Frankie's troubled teenage daughter.

The National Theatre
Jersey Boys
December 17, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice
Music by Bob Gaudio
Lyrics by Bob Crewe
Gyp DeCarlo, Nick DeVito, Billy Dixon, Charlie Calello (and others): Andrés Acosta
Joey, French Rap Star, Detective One, Officer Petrillo, Crewe's PA, Hal Miller, Barry Belson, Davis (and others): Justin Albinder
Mary Delgado, Angel (and others): Ashley Bruce
Bob Gaudio: Eric Chambliss
Tommy DeVito: Corey Greenan
Frankie Valli: Jon Hacker
Church Lady, Angel, Lorraine, Miss Frankie Nolan, Bob's Party Girl (and others): Connor Lyon
Stosh, Norman Waxman, Detective Two, Hank Majewski, Police Officer, Recording Studio Engineer, Accountant's Assistant, Joe Long (and others): Kevin Patrick Martin
Bob Crewe, Donnie, Accountant, Finney (and others): Sean McGee
Nick Massi: Michael Milton
Frankie's Mother, Nick's Date, Angel, Francine (and others): Amy Weaver
Directed by Des McAnuff
Choreography by Sergio Trujillo
Music Supervision, Vocal/Dance Arrangements and Incidental Music by Ron Melrose
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Ticket Information: 1-800-447-7400 or or
For more information on the tour, visit