Ragdolls Present The Jersey Boys - North Pier Theatre, Blackpool
What this isn’t is a summer season version of the West End and Broadway smash hit musical about the rise to fame and fortune of The Four Seasons and their falsetto voiced frontman Frankie Valli.
What it is instead is a hard working and value for money trip down pop music’s memory lane centred around the hits of the multi million selling New Jersey group, quite a few of their contemporaries and the occasional other musical favourite
Ragdolls are a well drilled four piece backed by a competent quartet of musicians who are paying tribute to a tribute – it’s Jersey Boys minus the plot plus Grease hits, 50s and 60s favourites, a mega mix finale and enough encores to make you think there’s going to be a whole third section to the show.
Donning their best mid Atlantic accents Ragdolls are Shane Perkins (as Frankie Valli), Blackpool’s own Mykey J Young, Michael Shaw and Adam Pond – and between them they span the original group’s pre recording doo wop days (The Five Satins’ hit In The Still of the Night), trace their development into the disco era and beyond right through to Valli’s mellow solo hits.
The original group’s breakthrough came because they were four white performers who could sing and dance like a black group at a time when audiences and airplay was still pretty much segregated.
So the likes of Sherry, Walk Like A Man and Big Girls Don’t Cry sold in their millions largely thanks to Valli’s distinctive vocals – pretty well re-created here by Perkins.
Ironically though it’s this group’s Grease selection which brings the audience to its feet way before their version’s of the Four Seasons’ forays into Northern Soul (more by accident than design).
For energy (from them) and nostalgia (from the audience) it’s an enjoyable night out and can be seen every Thursday until September.