Written by George Solomon and Michael Chapman
Directed by Michael Chapman
The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan January 16 to 27
Review by Len Power
Juke box musicals and tribute shows seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but every now and again a show comes along that stands out against the competition. ‘Oh, What A Night!’ is just such a show.
It’s a simple concept - four very talented men perform the songs of ‘The Four Seasons’, the pop group who burst onto the pop scene in the 1960s, led by the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli. The cast of ‘Oh, What A Night!’ sing, dance, tell a few jokes and some details about The Four Seasons – that’s it – but it all adds up to a very entertaining night out.
|From left: Paul Holmquist, Rick Morgan, George Solomon and Brandon Albright|
Written by George Solomon, who is also one of the cast members, and Michael Chapman, who also directed, the cast of four work their way through about thirty songs from The Four Seasons catalogue. All the hit songs are sung but they also sing others less well known that are equally as good.
Unlike the popular Broadway show, ‘Jersey Boys’, about The Four Seasons, ‘Oh, What A Night!’ doesn’t dramatize their story. It’s essentially a concert by four individuals who just happen to be able to recreate the distinctive sound of The Four Seasons. Each member of the cast gets their moment to shine and all are able to sing the demanding falsettos required for the sound. Particularly memorable is Brandon Albright who connects with the audience with style, a sense of fun and an amazing voice. George Solomon sings and dances a great version of ‘Grease’, Frankie Valli’s biggest hit, Paul Holmquist does a quietly romantic, ‘My Eyes Adored You’, and Rick Morgan gives a heartfelt rendition of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’. Most exciting, of course, for The Four Seasons fans are the famous group harmony numbers, ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Who Loves You’ and this cast lift the roof off the theatre with these.
|Oh, what a day! (At the Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan)|
The choreography is by cast member Paul Holmquist. He has created a large number of pleasing and distinctive routines for each number that add to the enjoyment of the show. The clever lighting design adds another dimension. The music is pre-recorded but the sound is well-balanced with the singers.
The patter and jokes between songs seemed a bit cheesy at times but doesn’t detract from the show as a whole. The songs and the way they’re sung are the important things here and this cast really knows how to deliver them.
If you’re a fan of The Four Seasons, you must see this show. If you don’t know The Four Seasons but like good pop music, go along anyway. Oh, what a night, indeed!
Originally broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 ‘Dress Circle’ program on Sunday 20 January 2013