Friday, December 21, 2012

Adios, 2012!

As the year draws to a close - and I still have a pulse despite all the doomsday predictions - it is time to do my annual review of the past 12 months, as I look forward to 2013.

It's been a good one for sure, though not as spectacular as 2011, which featured once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Kevin Spacey and David Foster, as well as a spectacular week of Broadway shows.

Still, 2012 was equally exciting in many ways, and here's a summary of the highlights:

Without a doubt, the best thing that happened to me this year is Jersey Boys! If you haven't bought tickets yet, PLEASE don't delay any further. This South African production is top-notch, with many who've seen the Broadway version reporting that they're equally impressed by this cast.

If you need another nudge, how about the fact that the 4 leads are unbelievably nice chaps? I've got an interview lined up, so keep your eyes peeled. :)

A close second is Pangdemonium's Spring Awakening, which I reviewed in February. It's bloody brilliant!

In third place, God Of Carnage.

Kudos in particular to Adrian Pang, whose production company staged Spring, and who also starred in GOC. I'm a huge fan. :)

The concert scene was jam-packed this year, and I was ecstatic when the opportunity to catch 2 of my favourite musicians came up. However, both gigs failed to live up to expectations.

Jason Mraz sang flawlessly at The Meadow, but an emotional connection with the audience was sorely missing. I don't know what the underlying reasons may be, but it came nowhere close to his power-packed 2009 performance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and is way below his mind-blowing Singapore debut at the Esplanade in 2006.

I'm always grateful when he returns to our shores, but if the organizers stick him at The Meadow again next time, I'm going to have to give it a miss. So let's hope that doesn't happen!

Sting's Indoor Stadium concert on 13 December fared no better, personally speaking. Again, I am a long-time fan of his music, and had seen him twice previously, but that night, the audience was absolutely intolerable! I won't go into specifics, but in a nutshell, it was a nightmare.

Sting's vocals were impeccable, as always, and his band was super-slick. Sadly, the repertoire was a rehash of old hits, without much variation from his studio recordings or prior live renditions.

The emotional tone was also lacking, resulting in a conveyor belt-like feel to the proceedings. There's no question about his technical prowess and amazing stamina ( 22 songs in a row, no intermission! ), but I was really hoping for an acoustic set, as suggested by the tagline "Back To Bass".

David Foster's show was much more enjoyable in terms of audience behaviour and artistic performance. I had a such a great time! His annual birthday celebrations and gigs in Singapore have become a tradition, and I fervently hope he will bring either Josh Groban, Chris Mann or Clay Aiken in 2013.

No luck with formal meet and greets 3 years in a row. I hope to change that soon. :)

And speaking of Chris Mann, he is my favourite new artist for 2012! Loved him on The Voice season 2, and downloaded digital versions of his new albums the minute they became available.

By the way, he has 2 releases, not one. He may have come in 4th, but he is clearly doing extremely well. Congratulations, Chris, you deserve it!

I've listened to Roads, and am now moving on to Home For Christmas. Both are overflowing with beautiful tracks, mostly covers, but interpreted in the most inspiring ways, with that all-important ingredient - Chris' gorgeous voice.

I can't quite describe how wonderful he is, only that every note he sings puts a huge smile on my face. I can listen to this man forever. :)

2012 was also a fantastic year for movies. I've lost count of just how many there were, but my personal top 3 are Life Of Pi, The Hobbit and The Bourne Legacy.

p.s. I love Skyfall, but Jeremy Renner is hotter than Daniel Craig. It's true. :)

Click on the individual titles to read my film reviews.

Les Miserables may very well displace one of them. Am looking forward to watching it at the cineplex!

Next, TV shows.

Hands down, Suits is the champion. Granted, season 1 was only screened in Singapore in May, a year after it debuted in the U.S. But it... is... AWESOME. :D

So awesome I couldn't wait for season 2 on local cable ( which probably won't screen it till 2013 ). Thank God for the Internet!

Other worthy contenders: The Voice season 3, The Good Wife season 4, Hawaii 5-0 season 2 and American Horror Story Asylum.

My all-time favourite, Dexter, has lost its way a little with season 7, but remains in the top spot until the story finally concludes in season 8. The cliffhanger finale opted for emotional heft rather than shock tactics, and still almost gave me a heart attack.

Next year, please let Dexter find happiness at last. I won't be happy if he dies...!

True Blood season 5 was wacky as hell, but the cast has never been stronger, nor the chemistry more scorching. It also doesn't help that I had an odd but pleasant dream about Alexander Skarsgard a few nights ago. Can I have another? :)

Rising stars on the horizon: Joseph Gordon-Levitt ( robbed of an Oscar nomination for 50/50, and rumoured to be the next Batman, hmmm ), Richard Armitage ( glorious as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit ), Rick Hoffman in Suits, and Suraj Sharma in Life Of Pi.

Other events worth mentioning: a trip to breath-taking Switzerland; another to fabulous Japan; my cool new car ( I don't talk about it much, but 4 words are good enough :)); meeting the casts of Jersey Boys and Swimming With Sharks!

Things to look forward to in 2013: a couple more trips overseas; finally enrolling in an ultrasound course I waited more than a year for; hopefully, more great concerts and theatre experiences, maybe celeb meet and greets? :D

I've had a blast; hope you enjoyed 2012 as well.

( Am so glad the world didn't end. Not a fan of doomsday prophecies!)

My next entry may be in January. Thanks for reading, and click on this to see and hear something amazing. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit - A Review

My 4th entry in 2 weeks! And I thought 2012 would be a dry spell.

But being a movie buff, whenever something truly great comes along, I need to share it with others. :)

It's been a terrific year for movies, and The Hobbit is another in a long line of masterpieces. I'm a huge fan of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but only film-wise, since I never got round to reading the novels despite having them in my cupboard for eons.

I didn't read the prequel either, but it doesn't matter! Worried about the storyline not being grand enough? Yes, it isn't quite as perilous, but I didn't care!
And what about the dwarves? Not exactly the most popular characters around. Surprisingly, I love them! Even more than the LOTR heroes, who were already pretty cool ( e.g. Aragorn, Legolas ).

I've been reading up on the film in Empire magazine ( aka my movie bible :)). Perhaps it helped with the enjoyment factor, because at least I knew what was going on, and had a rather clear picture of each character's background.

I also kept an eye out for the hunky actors. :)

Here's one: Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf prince, Thorin Oakenshield. Thorin is, essentially, Aragorn's equivalent in this particular tale, but in my opinion, Armitage far exceeds Viggo Mortensen's intense performance in LOTR.

In fact, the former projects such a strong presence, he's probably the reason I had such a fantastic time. He eats up the screen whenever he appears, and even when he's not in a scene, you can't stop thinking about him and wishing he'd return ASAP.

He's also 1.88 metres tall! I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

Back to the dwarves. I was never a fan of Gimli from LOTR, but absolutely LOVE the motley crew depicted here. Rest assured that you'll be able to pick out individuals easily based on appearance and personality, and will have a roaring good time as you join them on their adventures.

Personally speaking, I consider them fascinating characters when compared to humans and elves. Their various idiosyncracies and group dynamics are hilarious, yet when bravery is called for, they deliver 10 times more than anyone twice their size.

The action sequences are breath-taking! I don't think I've had such a massive adrenaline rush since Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol a year ago! The protagonists battle orcs, wargs, trolls and goblins in nail-biting sequences scattered throughout the movie. Every time you think you can relax, another conflict occurs, with exhilarating results.

These battles marked the turning point in my dwarf appreciation. They demonstrate the lengths to which the pint-sized humans will go to protect their own ( and sometimes, a fellow friend as well ). Gasp in awe as they charge into the fray, facing down giant trolls, vicious wargs and endless armies of orcs and goblins.

I also love how the dwarves' resourcefulness and ingenuity are highlighted, especially in a climactic chase through the goblins' mountain lair. Pay attention to the different methods they employ to escape. It's positively astounding! :)

Do not worry about the lack of a worthy opponent on par with LOTR's evil Sauron. There's a creepy segment where Radagast, the brown wizard, meets a malevolent entity called The Necromancer in an abandoned ruin named Dol Guldur. Made my hair stand!

Last but not least, Smaug the terrifying dragon will debut in Part 2 next year, after a sneek peek in the final seconds of An Unexpected Journey. I do hate cliffhangers sometimes!

However, the review wouldn't be complete without mentioning Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins. Jackson made it clear in many interviews that Freeman was always his first choice for the role, and he has chosen wisely indeed. I became acquainted with his work through the BBC's updated version of Sherlock, and think he's much more interesting and charming here.

There're remnants of John Watson's high-strung befuddlement, but Bilbo exhibits his own very unique personality, with many traits which add layers to the otherwise straightforward plot. Since I didn't read the novel, the many instances where Bilbo is at the crossroads and chooses the path we least expect makes for extremely compelling viewing. Whether every incident is faithful to the source material, I have no idea, but the end result is inspiring!

The Hobbit would be excellent for the young and impressionable set, but there're too many potentially traumatizing scenes, from decapitations to slit throats and dismemberment, not to mention all the scary monsters. Yet, at its heart is a beautiful message about never underestimating someone's potential, the unbreakable bond of friendship, and the ability to overcome adversity even when the odds seem stacked against you.

The last 30 minutes had me on the edge of my seat! And my bladder was practically bursting after the halfway mark, no thanks to the blasted air-conditioning which was set to Death Freeze mode.

It just shows how freaking amazing the film is, because I couldn't bring myself to leave the theatre, even for a second. Brace yourself for the 3-hour length, but I guarantee 100% that there will never be a dull moment.

Another 12 months till The Desolation Of Smaug. I hope the time will pass very quickly. :)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Life Of Pi - A Film Review

Many years ago, I read Yann Martel's award-winning novel and (gasp!) did not like it.

My feelings about this ranged from guilt and self-doubt to pure confusion. Over time, my impression of the story faded to a mere wisp of a memory.

When news about Lee Ang's movie adaptation surfaced, my first reaction was "Why?", followed by "How?", because the one thing I did remember about Life Of Pi was that it's impossible to translate to the big screen.

So why did I make it my mission to see it at the cineplex?

One: the AWESOME, jaw-dropping trailer, which was shown before a recent screening of Skyfall. There's this short segment with a killer whale leaping over Pi's boat, shimmering against the night sky, suspended in mid-air for what seems like an eternity.
I don't recall such a scene in the book. What page is it on?!

Two: Lee Ang. ( Yes, I believe in addressing him by his correct name rather than the reverse version favoured by Westerners. )
I've been a fan of his work for 20 years now, having watched his early films - The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman - before moving on to Sense And Sensibility; The Ice Storm; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hulk, and Brokeback Mountain.
His track record has been spotty at times, but no-one can deny his immense versatility. If anybody could tackle Life Of Pi, it would be him.

The final result: an ASTOUNDING masterpiece filled with humour, poignance and imagery so stunning it brought tears to my eyes.

And get this - my mother, who dozed off during Skyfall ( Skyfall for pete's sake! ) was wide awake for the entire duration of Life Of Pi. She absolutely LOVED the movie. :)

There're numerous interpretations of the real meaning(s) behind this unconventional tale, and every viewer is entitled to his/her own opinions.

Philosophy isn't my strong point, but attempts at analyzing my overwhelmingly positive response to the film suggest an affinity with its religious themes.

I suspect that if I'd seen this more than 10 years ago, I wouldn't have been the slightest bit moved. Amused and entertained perhaps, but ultimately incapable of identifying with the main characters' turmoil.

And yes, there're 2 protagonists here, one of whom has no dialogue but is nevertheless larger than life. Pi may be the focus of everyone's attention, but Richard Parker, the magnificent Bengal tiger, is brought to vivid life through amazing computer-generated effects, and worthy of his own Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Rendered beautifully by Bill Westenhofer ( already an Oscar winner for The Golden Compass, and who also worked on The Chronicles Of Narnia ) and his fantastic team, RP is - for me at least - by far the story's most compelling figure.

Of course, we mustn't overlook Suraj Sharma, who plays the teenage Pi. It is indeed mind-boggling that this is his first role, because he is remarkably gifted. Remember Dev Patel, who shot to international fame with Slumdog Millionaire? That is nothing compared to Life Of Pi, in which Sharma acts with, well, thin air. When you consider this fact as you watch the movie unfold, you will truly appreciate the depth of his talent. Lee is, without a doubt, an expert director, but Sharma's performance is extraordinary, and I hope his future in acting will soar to even greater heights.

It's hard to pin down a specific source of enjoyment because there're just too many to count. A superb cast and memorable characters top the list, but Claudio Miranda's cinematography adds an additional magical quality, mixing vibrant colours with gorgeous shots of Mother Nature in all her glory.

The opening credits sequence - a serene montage that blends Mychael Danna's evocative Pi's Lullaby with scenes depicting a variety of exotic animals engaging in normal daily activities - is a wonderful prelude to the miracles that follow. Perhaps most viewers didn't think much of these few short minutes, but I was completely hypnotized.

Time to download the movie soundtrack! :)

My great love of Nature also adds to the enjoyment. Life Of Pi is packed with flora, fauna and an entire spectrum of climates ( terrifying storms, a dazzling rainbow, you name it ). Aside from the breath-taking tiger and whale, there're otherworldly jellyfish, an eye-popping flying fish attack, and - a personal fave - hordes of meerkats carpeting a vast forest floor as Pi carefully tiptoes his way through the sea of furry creatures.

Last but not least, the theme of religion. I, too, identify with Pi's soul-searching journey, having found Christianity in my mid-20s after a number of traumatic, life-altering events. I can't fully explain my experience in words, but I'm sure anyone who's ever felt conflicted about the existence of God in any form, who eventually found what s/he was looking for, or whose quest is far from over, will grasp the film's message and be enriched by it.

Every once in a long while, if you're lucky, you encounter something so awesome it either completely changes your worldview ( preferably for the better! ), or reinforces a conviction that you once thought was slipping through your fingers.

Life Of Pi, wondrous jewel that it is, accomplishes both feats simultaneously. It is moving and uplifting in both its quietest and grandest moments, far surpassing 2011's The Artist, matching The English Patient's epic scope as well as Dead Poets Society's intimacy.

It is likely to be 2012's best film and an Oscar front runner in early 2013.
I sincerely hope Lee Ang wins another Best Director honour. He really deserves it.

10/10. Do not miss. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Jersey Boys - Flashback to 2007

Only 2 more days to go before I watch Jersey Boys at the Marina Bay Sands! Here's a fond memory I'd like to share, from my very first visit to New York 5 years ago. :)

Review of Jersey Boys, August Wilson Theatre, Broadway, New York City
October 17th 2007, Wednesday

Before the trip, I'd been doing a lot of research on the Broadway scene, but only got my first glimpse of Jersey Boys at the Emmy Awards show a few months ago, where the cast ( not from NYC though ) sang an energetic medley comprising classic hits Walk Like A Man, Can't Take My Eyes Off You and Who Loves You.

That was when I decided I just HAVE to watch the musical. Only problem was, Broadway has an, err, interesting ticket purchasing system, where brokers snap up all the good seats, then sell them at much higher prices. So the only way I could get something along the lines of the first few rows, dead centre, was to buy premium tickets, which cost upwards of US$300 a piece ( working out to S$450 ).

Yow. Too rich, even for me.

It was an intense battle between my brain and my heart -- the former didn't think it was worth it, but the latter had a gut feeling it was. In the end, however, the cerebrum won.

But not for long. Thanks to a stroke of beginner's luck at the slot machines in Vegas, Caesars Palace ended up paying for 2 premium tickets to JB, woohoo! :)

Just some background story on Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: there's a biography written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and the musical was first conceived sometime in 2003, before debuting in California to rave reviews, and eventually moving to Broadway, NYC, where it then scooped up the 2006 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Lead Actor in a Musical, among many other accolades.

Jersey Boys deftly combines all their Billboard hits with a witty and poignant script, casting excellent actors in the major roles, topping it off with terrific musical arrangements and beautifully choreographed numbers, resulting in what I can only describe as "magic in its purest form".

Of course, it helps if you're familiar with their songs and are a fan of '60s music, which my mom and I are.

JB opens with a high-energy rendition of Ces Soirees-La, which is essentially December 1963 ( Oh, What A Night ) done in French. It then cuts quickly to the early years, where self-proclaimed bad boy / mentor Tommy DeVito ( played fabulously by Christian Hoff ) lays the foundation for the tale to follow. He describes how he discovered Frankie's unique sound and powerful pipes at the tender age of 16, then proceeded to groom him for much greater things, initially playing in nightclubs, rehearsing in churches and hunting for the right 4th Season, the right manager, the right song, weathering loads of obstacles along the way yet never giving up hope.

They finally hit paydirt when they recruited Bob Gaudio ( played by superb tenor and Cary Elwes lookalike Daniel Reichard ), a prolific songwriter who was also inspired by Frankie's voice, which prompted him to remark, "I know I need to write for this voice."

What then followed was a long string of massive hits, from Sherry to Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man, December 1963 ( Oh, What A Night ), My Eyes Adored You, Dawn ( Go Away ), Big Man In Town, Beggin', Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You.

The group eventually split, but reunited in spurts, most notably for a special performance when they were inducted into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame just a few years ago.

They admit they were no angels, falling victim to gambling, divorce and other heartbreaks over the decades. But what remains is a solid friendship built from their childhood days, and loyalty which no form of adversity can ever destroy.

The script moves at a crackling pace, delivered in a strong New Jersey twang, so if you're not familiar with the accent, you'll get lost pretty quickly. Luckily, I've seen enough Hollywood mafia films to switch my brain to the right channel, so it was indeed a pleasure to be able to catch all the punchlines -- and there were many of them! :)

The sets are simple but eye-catching, featuring pop art designs, screen projections of New Jersey landscapes, and cool cameraman / TV viewer perspectives for sequences where the Seasons perform on American Bandstand. There's also an ingenious backstage view for Walk Like A Man, where the guys stand with their backs to us, facing a black screen as flashing lights go off ( mimicking cameras from fans or press in a simulated audience, or maybe just lots and lots of stage spotlights ).

But of course, the 4 leads are the highlights of the show, with John Lloyd Young doing an amazing job with his falsetto. Turns out he looks a lot younger than his age ( born in 1978, but looks like he's below 25 ), and could easily pass off as ( "Numb3rs" star ) David Krumholtz's brother, don't you agree? He blows the roof off the theater when he hits those impossible notes! I know he has a famous vocal coach helping him along, but still...! He is absolutely pitch perfect in a 'live' setting -- something we should all admire him for, considering the level of difficulty involved -- and displays great versatility as he switches from rock 'n roll to ballads, showcasing an incredible vocal range and crisp nuances in his deliveries.

I particularly enjoyed the slower pieces, like My Eyes Adored You, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, and Fallen Angel. Major goosebumps!

Christian Hoff is a hoot as Tommy DeVito, who's something of a wise guy crippled by multiple weaknesses but who's just too damn proud to admit it. He doesn't sing solo much, but more than makes up for it with his larger-than-life personality, grabbing you by the balls whenever he delivers a punchline with a poker face or simply stands there with a knowing smirk. What a great character!

Daniel Reichard, who plays songwriting wunderkind Bob Gaudio, is equally engaging, with his wide innocent eyes and smooth tenor voice. A memorable scene where Gaudio and Valli seal a "Jersey contract" with a straightforward handshake and zero paperwork ( it's honoured to this very day, more than 40 years later ) is one of my personal favourites.

And last but not least, there's J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi, who's somewhat quiet, but opinionated! A scene where all 4 Seasons voice their grouses turns into a riotous comedy when Massi suddenly stands up and lambasts DeVito for his stomach-churning bathroom habits. It's priceless!

If you've ever wondered what truly perfect casting entails, this is it. Young, Hoff, Reichard and Spencer come together in perfect harmony despite their varied looks and personalities, delivering top-notch performances without ever stopping for a breath ( okay, they rested a little during the 15-minute intermission ). Having done the same show almost daily for the past 2 years, the lines and songs come fast and furious without a hitch, but here're a few other surprises ( at least on October 17th ), which I will always treasure:

1) There were a few points during the course of the show, especially in the 2nd act, when the actors were visibly trying to suppress smiles, grins and outright laughs during the punchlines. Being in the centre of the 5th row afforded superb views of their facial expressions, and I loved every minute of it! This happened mostly with Young and Spencer, but also a little with Hoff and Reichard.
Young hid his smile by positioning his right hand strategically over his mouth and furrowing his brows in an attempt to appear serious, but I caught an upturned corner of his lips. Aww, how endearing! :)

2) During Can't Take My Eyes Off You, there's a short interlude when the brass section comes marching out on a balcony behind and above Young, while Reichard stands on the same balcony near the front of the stage, watching the performance.
I kept my eyes on both actors, and saw a HUGE grin spread across Young's face, before he glanced over at Reichard, who was also beaming.
This was clearly a very spontaneous moment, and I have no idea if anyone else saw it. It just shows how much they love what they're doing, and it honestly made my heart soar.

3) The audience that night was very appreciative, bestowing raucous applause and lots of whistling and cheering after every number. But these were most enthusiastic after the biggest hits ( Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man, Can't Take My Eyes Off You ), and it's interesting how the actors responded, 'cos I was under the impression that they would've gotten used to such a reception by now.
But no! There were times when they genuinely looked shocked by it all, perhaps even slightly overwhelmed. This just illustrates how none of the fame has gone to their heads, a quality I find most admirable. :)

4) The performance of Cry For Me, when the 4 Seasons get together for the very first time, took my breath away! I was literally in heaven for 2 minutes, holding my breath! After they finished, I leaned over to my mom and said, "That was SO BEAUTIFUL!", only to hear a lady directly behind us say the exact same thing to her companion. Wow... :)

The Jersey Boys tickets are the most expensive ones I've ever purchased, but it is worth every single cent. I've always dreamed of watching a great Broadway musical, and I'm so glad this is my first. One of the perks of sitting in good seats is being able to make direct eye contact with the actors. Whether they actually remember any of our faces is beside the point ( I doubt they recall much, which is understandable ). But for the audience member, i.e. me, I made eye contact with every single one of them, and it was marvelous!

A major high point occurred during Young's delivery of Fallen Angel, a haunting ballad dedicated to Valli's daughter who died from a drug overdose at the tender age of 22. Young was seated on a bench with his back to the hall, then he slowly turned as he sang the opening verse, sweeping his eyes over the first few rows, before resting them ( and I swear this happened ) somewhere in my vicinity.
Again, I'm not assuming he registered anything as he looked my way, but from where I was sitting, it was an unforgettable moment, and the fact that this song is so beautiful made the experience completely surreal. Wonderful. :)

The rousing finale was rewarded with a standing ovation which spilled over into a refrain of December 1963, with the guys dancing and clapping along with us. It was just one gigantic party in there, woohoo!

After the show, I contemplated hanging around the stage door to get autographs, but nobody seemed interested in staying back, with everyone rushing into cabs or subways, or running to nearby restaurants and hotels. My mom didn't feel comfortable with the thought of us being left behind all alone, so I had to relent and return to the hotel pronto. Sigh, a missed opportunity indeed.

Anyway, Young will leave JB come November 22nd, moving on to new projects, no doubt. But the show will go on for many many years, so if you're ever in the USA, you can check the Internet for venues and schedules, 'cos it's playing in a few different states. I just don't know whether other casts can capture the same spirit and energy, even if the singing and dancing are up to par.

Before I end this entry, here're a few quotes from critics to whet your appetite. If you're into the Four Seasons or even just '60s music, and want to know what real magic feels like, Jersey Boys is for you.

"Too good to be true! Jersey Boys is terrific -- a show dynamically alive in music, while as a drama, it catches the very texture, almost the actual smell, of its time." -- Clive Barnes, New York Post

"The crowd goes wild! I mean the real crowd at the August Wilson Theatre, who seem to have forgotten what year it is or how old they are, or, most important, that John Lloyd Young is not Frankie Valli. And everything that leads up to the curtain call feels as real and vivid as the sting of your hands clapping together." -- Ben Brantley, The New York Times

"A fast-moving script electrified by most of the group's greatest hits. Energetically weaving story, songs, visuals and performances, Des McAnuff stages a compelling rush of events that pauses only occasionally to savor the beauty of the songs." -- Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger

"The most exciting musical Broadway has seen in years." -- Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune

"Jersey Boys should run for about twenty years! The songs -- and you'll be amazed how many hits there are -- are all flawlessly delivered. It's the music that counts, and the music is sheer joy!" -- Jacques le Sourd, The Journal News

"It will run for centuries." -- Richard Corliss, Time magazine

Thank you, guys, for a magnificent evening that lifted our spirits and made us believe we were back in the '60s watching the REAL Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. What a tour de force! I will most definitely see it again when I return to New York, or if it's ever staged in Singapore! :D