BOYS FROM A ROUGH hood
Jersey Boys has been a massive hit on Broadway, running for eight consecutive years. Now Clint Eastwood has adapted it for the silver screen with considerable success, writes Gayle Edmunds
WFilm: Jersey Boys (Nu Metro) Director: Clint Eastwood
Featuring: John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Christopher Walken hat’s the cleverest thing about Clint Eastwood putting this stage show on film? All of it, really. He has found the sweet spot where stage translates to screen. Movies and stage shows are often swapping media these days – Dirty Dancing as a stage show, Billy Elliot, and then Grease and Phantom of the Opera as movies. Jersey Boys has been on the stage for eight years so far and it was in South Africa last year, knocking the socks off audiences.
It is a particularly good stage show and Eastwood has made it into a good film. It has all the elements of a great musical – timeless songs, pathos, struggle, love, triumph and conflict – avec a good dollop of the Mafia to boot. For the film, the Broadway cast has been brought to the screen. It’s a huge risk that pays off. John Lloyd Young plays the one and only Frankie Valli, a role for which he has been serially awarded.
Vincent Piazza is Tommy DeVito, the hustler of the group; Erich Bergen is Bob Gaudio, the songwriting talent of the group; and Michael Lomenda is Nick Massi, the self-confessed Ringo Starr of the foursome. Christopher Walken plays the role of New Jersey gangster Gyp DeCarlo, for whom Tommy and Frankie do some work (on the wrong side of right). What makes this a story that resonates through the decades is that it is about boys from a rough neighbourhood making good despite their circumstances.
Eastwood was quoted as saying: “I have always loved the music of The Four Seasons, so I knew it would be fun to revisit that, but what mainly interested me was how these semijuvenile delinquents, who didn’t grow up under the best of circumstances, made it big. They were living on the periphery of the mob, pulling off petty crimes. Then the music came and pulled them out.” Eastwood hasn’t made a musical before, but you’d never guess it from this elegant debut effort. He captures the stage on the screen and his closing sequence is inspired. Download Zappar from your app store, zap the icon above, see more about
From delinquents to crooners, Jersey Boys follows the story of four guys from the wrong side of the tracks