I still remember how it all started. In 2008 I stumbled upon a few clips of this new show which had just opened at the Prince Edward Theatre. This was the first time I heard that voice and I was hooked straight away. This guy named Ryan Molloy hit all those insane notes with such ease – I was amazed and I knew I had to go and see him and the show.
It’s actually almost funny that the main reason I booked tickets for Jersey Boys was indeed Ryan and on my first visit to the show the main man was off sick. Was I disappointed? Of course I was. At least until the show started. Because once I got over the fact that Ryan wasn’t on I realised I was watching one of the slickest and most entertaining shows I had seen in my life. The timing in Jersey Boys is incredible and doesn’t fail to amaze me even after almost 6 years of watching the show. That combined with the incredibly talented cast made me fall in love with Jersey Boys straight away. In case you are wondering, my first Frankie Valli was no other than the wonderful Jye Frasca who still has a place in my top 3 favourite Frankies.
I started out with the odd visit every 2 months which means I only got to see the original London cast a few times. It wasn’t until after the first cast change that I became a proper regular at the show. But once I started there was no going back for me and up to 4 visits a month became the norm pretty quickly.
And here I am, almost 6 years later. I have seen this show develop over the years, I have seen performers come and leave. Every cast has had something special. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the “Original Four” though: Ryan Molloy, Stephen Ashfield, Glenn Carter and Philip Bulcock. Those four guys had a special chemistry that no other Four Seasons combo has been able to match so far (at least in my opinion).
So many wonderful people have graced the stage at Jersey Boys since 2008 – it’s impossible to name them all. I feel extremely lucky to have met some of the most talented and nicest performer in the West End through this show, many of whom I have continued to support after they moved on to other shows.
This show has been a big part of my theatre life for the past 6 years. And now that its time at the Prince Edward Theatre has come to an end I feel a huge loss. Yes, I realise this is not the end of Jersey Boys. In less than a week a brand new cast (including some familiar faces) will open the show at its new home, the Piccadilly Theatre. However, this is the end of my time as a Jersey Boys regular. Unlike other fans I won’t be moving with the show. For me Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre was something special and no matter how good the new cast may be, I just feel that it’s time for me to close this chapter.
I have loved my 6 years at the Prince Edward Theatre – a place I could probably call my second home by now. I have met some dear friends through this show and I wouldn’t change a thing about my time spent at Jersey Boys.
So many people had a part in making those years a wonderful experience, from the cast to everyone working backstage, from the band to the lovely people at the box office and the front of house staff. This is my way of thanking each and every one of you. Without you Jersey Boys would not have been such a great place to spend an evening (exactly 182 of them in my case).
I have to take an extra moment to thank one person in particular because without him I might never have booked my first ticket for the show and I might not have stayed with it all those years. Ryan Molloy is not just an amazingly talented performer but also a wonderful person and I’m happy and proud to call myself a supporter of him and his work. I salute his 6 years commitment to Jersey Boys and even though I think leaving the show is the right decision I am terribly sad I will never get to see his Frankie again.
All things must come to an end and my Jersey Boys journey ended on 9th March 2014. This doesn’t mean I will never watch the show again. There is no way I am not going to jump at the chance of seeing Ben Wheeler’s Tommy DeVito or Mark Isherwood’s Nick Massi. But my days as a regular visitor are definitely over. It’s time to start a new chapter. Let’s see where it takes me.
Little trip down memory lane in pictures