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

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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

Jersey Boys

PHOTO: NU METRO

From delin­quents to croon­ers, Jersey Boys fol­lows the story of four guys from the wrong side of the tracks

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