Oct. 13 2015 09:29 PM

‘Jersey Boys’ brings encore performance to Wharton Center

Jersey boys
“Jersey Boys” returns to Wharton Center for an encore performance. (Left to right: cast members Drew Seeley, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus and Keith Hines.)
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

You don’t have to be a fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to enjoy “Jersey Boys.” The songs are frustratingly infectious, and the rags-to-riches meets “Goodfellas” storyline of the Broadway production is the perfect pop package for newbies or die-hard groupies.

“Jersey Boys” tells the story of the birth, fall, and revival of the Four Seasons, the powerhouse pop group from New Jersey that blended a pre-Beatles doo-wop sound with killer hooks and an iconic voice. Featuring performances of hit songs like “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Jersey Boys” works as a jukebox musical, as well as a familiar but engaging story about the cost of fame and friendship.

Each of the “Four Seasons” gets a chance to narrate the show, and the differing perspectives help propel the show. Aaron De Jesus plays Valli with gritty determination. He’s definitely got the helium high tenor and hits every note, but De Jesus feels like a placeholder in his own show until Valli gets to tell his story in the second act.

The rest of the band includes songwriting wunderkind Bob Gaudio (Drew Seeley), Tommy DeVito (Matthew Dailey), the band manager with a gambling problem, and bassist — and comic relief — Nick Massi (Keith Hines).

The show is a slow build through Act I but really cruises through Act II as Massi and Valli finally get to share their stories. When Massi gets unleashed on a fellow bandmate, Hines shines.

The show also features stylish period choreography from Sergio Trujillo, performed with clockwork precision, and an onstage band including a drummer who rolls from one performance platform to another.

As Massie says, “None of us were saints.” But they definitely sing like angels.

“Jersey Boys”

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14-Thursday, Oct. 15; 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18

Tickets start at $38

Wharton Center

750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing

(517) 432-2000,

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