Jersey Beats Oh What a Nite packs a punch with opening night at Viva

"The biggest thank you has to go to you....our audience. Without you it can't happen - there is no coming back."

By Nicola Jaques
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 6:02 pm
Jersey Beats Oh What a Nite at Viva Show Venue, Blackpool
Jersey Beats Oh What a Nite at Viva Show Venue, Blackpool

Life without music might be unthinkable but life is nothing without people.

What Blackpool is not short of is dedicated, uber talented creative and innovative people with entertainments running through their blood.

Viva's Jersey Beat's Oh What a Nite, along with its sister productions including the Vegas Viva Show, is an important cog in the machine, with an offering to serve big parties of locals and tourists alike. Giving people the 'wow' factor has never been more important.

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Matt Andrews as Frankie Valli in Jersey Beats

As with all the productions that grace the show venue stage - they are in-house produced and saturated in talent from top to bottom.

Read more: reputation of Jersey Beats, first introduced in 2014, is now such it has enjoyed back to back national tours and even European dates.

For those who love those rich and vibrant sounds of the international hitmakers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Beats is more than just a tribute and it has to be given the unwavering success of the world-class musical Jersey Boys, recognised across the globe.

But that's the jewel in this production's crown because as far as a one-stop shop for entertainment goes Jersey Beats has it. This latest 2021 incarnation hits all of the right notes (literally.)

It takes no less than mastery in forging a connection with an open-house audience - how do you tell the die-hard music/show fans from the friend/partner/family member pulled along for the ride? You don't - you give them all an experience and some mayhem for good measure.

That task falls to Viva host and Blackpool funnyman Leye D Johns who has been at the heart of the resort for more than 25 years, and is synonymous for his outrageous, flamboyant and self-deprecating style. And he makes no apologies for it - which only makes elements of the show more comical.

Engagement is thrived upon and it adds a very unique and personal thread to the proceedings, something this opening night audience clearly craved.

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The Viva showgirls of course an excellent substitute on how this should be done, in their scene stealing costumes , which brought those decades of the 60s and 70s alive on stage.

Then there are the masters of the music themselves, Matt Andrews as Frankie Valli, Johnny O’Connor as Nick Massi, Michael Cosgrove as Bob Gaudio and Toby Beal as Tommy Devito.

The vocals in this show are outstanding, the sound and harmonies are top class. Matt and Michael lead the way in sharing the story but each of them has their own moment in the spotlight and this section is a real crowd-pleaser.

Jersey Beats offers just enough of a narrative of the bands' history to play out as a story rather than a concert style performance. The video production and special effects all feed into this and further emphasise the full scale of work that goes into bringing these shows to life.

It's two-hours packed with all those numbers you would expect from Sherry, Beggin, Big Girls Don't Cry, Why Do Fools Fall in Love to Grease.

The pace, the soundtrack and the laughs make sure it packs a punch in lifting spirits - 'never have we been more grateful to get out to get indoors,' says Matt.

He couldn't be more right.

Showing now Tuesdays and selected Sundays through 2021