Kurt Loder Says Jersey Boys Was Better on Broadway


Anyone who saw the original Broadway production of Jersey Boys, or one of its many satellite offshoots, may have a problem with Clint Eastwood's attempt to turn this unusual musical into a movie. The problem is, you can't un-see the show. In the theatre, director Des McAnuff supercharged the story of the Four Seasons – the New York vocal group whose hits bridged the beginning of the British Invasion era – with sensational staging. In one scene, with the group performing live in concert, we saw the four members only from behind, facing the back of the stage, where spotlights and crowd cheers erupted and blasted past them out into the audience. It was a spectacular showbiz effect. Eastwood's movie contains faint echoes of McAnuff's theatrical flourishes, but that's all they are, writes Kurt Loder. It's a picture filled with faint echoes.