Jersey Boys: Oh what a night!

By admin
28 June 2013

The musical Jersey Boys is on at the Artscape in Cape Town until 21 July. Read on for a review. Show will now run till 04 August.

I am no theatre aficionado, but I do harbour a furtive affinity for ’50s doo-wop music. So when I heard Jersey Boys was in town for a run, it took all of my masculine self-restraint not to let out a shriek of excitement. Of course I wasn’t going to ask any of my typecast South African rugby-watching mates to join me, so I went with my cultured feminist companion with whom I usually indulge my more refined pursuits.

The journey from my house to my seat at the Artscape barely registered. I vaguely remember doing the finger-gun-click-wink move at Marc Lottering, blushing at a Natalie Becker smile and stepping on Siya Kolisi’s foot as I made my way to my seat. Quite a diverse crowd, although Siya did slip out at the halfway break.

The lights dimmed, the audience hushed, and a funky rendition of “Oh What a Night” kicked off proceedings. And oh, what a night it was! The South African version of Jersey Boys lacked none of the authenticity of the original production, with some truly sparkling theatrical moments interspersed within a wholly competent offering. The lead actors found an endearing on-stage synergy, and the songs barely contained any of the shallowness that theatre sometimes introduces when translating popular music. Daniel Buys’ portrayal of Tommy DeVito deserves mention for its authenticity and charm, but for me the performance of the evening belonged to Emanuel Castis. His understated, yet masterful portrayal of Nick Massi was as hilarious as it was captivating, his accent was executed without even a trace of his South African upbringing, and his overall performance was clearly a notch above his peers. The support cast deserves a mention for enhancing the experience with some fantastic comedic moments, and production quality was excellent.

There were one or two disappointing performances, some contrived accents and some missed notes, but these were diluted into near invisibility. My complete impression of the show only actually gained expression the next day when my work colleague asked me if it was worth spending money on going to see Jersey Boys. My simple answer was, “Yes, it is.”

- Kamal Salasa

Due to popular demand, there has been a two week extension to the Artscape show that will now run till 04 August. For more info see www.jerseyboyssa.co.za.

What others had to say on Twitter!

  • Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman (@eweideman): Loved #JerseyBoys at #Artscape tonight! World-class show.
  • Actress Natalie B Becker (@NatalieBeckerLV): LOVED @JerseyBoysInfo @Artscape last night! Incredible show and massive talent! #Standing Ovation #GREATMusic #Seelt!
  • Mental coach Tom Dawson-Squibb (@TheSportingMind): Great to see jersey boys at artscape. Top show! Nice to see @skara2ntubeni and @louisschreuder enjoying some culture there too! :)
  • Singer Daniel Green (@dangreenlive): Got to say, jersey boys was unbelievable! Great songs, great acting and a world class production. Go see it!
  • Former Miss SA Cindy Nell-Roberts (@CindyNell): RT @CindyNell: WOW! Wow! #jerseyboys World class production. @EmmanuelCastis - another great night out with @bradhabana212 @daniellef_9
Behind-the-scenes: 

*Feature Image - Photo credit: Maye-E Wong.

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