Oh, what a night it was for the full house at the Lied Center for the opening of “Jersey Boys” Thursday night — the lush colors, the non-stop action, the story.
But mostly it was the songs. It was the songs that made the seats rock and the audience leap to their feet at the end in gratitude for the high energy show.
They were the songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night),” “My Eyes Adored You,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Rag Doll” and more. These were coming-of-age anthems for an audience that looked to be mostly a representative sample of the Baby Boom generation.
And there, on the stage, bringing them back in vivid recreation, was America’s second traveling company of the show, because one round of this spectacularly popular Broadway musical that swept the 2006 Tonys was not enough to satisfy the demand.
Of course, there is a dramatic story, not told during the rise and reign of the pop group, that holds the music together. The Boys really were bad boys who made good but took their lumps.
As written, it is a tale of the triumph of decency and generosity over baseness and the importance of walking “like a man,” as one of the songs reminds.
The story is well told by writers Marshall Brickman, who also wrote for Woody Allen, Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett and co-writer Rick Elice, author of the popular play “Peter and the Starcatcher.”