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Jersey Boys Cometh 

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons' hit-parade musical hits Tucson next week

The harmonious hits of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons have been ingrained in pop culture for five decades now.

Starting with "Sherry," the group's first No. 1 single in 1961, and continuing through "My Eyes Adored You", which hit No. 1 in 1975, the hits just kept coming. It's like their output has always been with us — like the weather, only catchier.

You can hear the songs next week in Tucson in Jersey Boys, the smash Broadway musical that uses the music to tell the group's remarkable story. A well-reviewed touring production will stage eight performances at Centennial Hall, opening Tuesday and closing Sunday.

Some of the facts associated with the Four Seasons music are mind blowing. Did you know they are the only act to have a No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 before, during and after the years that the Beatles had their string of No. 1s?

They wrote most of their songs, including "Working My Way Back to You," "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" and "Big Girls Don't Cry." By the time they were 30 years old, they had sold more than 100 million records.

Frankie Valli's solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" was huge upon its release in 1967, and in 1978 a whole new generation fell for it when Christopher Walken sang along to it so memorably in The Deer Hunter.

And now yet another generation has fallen for the Four Seasons thanks to Jersey Boys. When it debuted on Broadway in 2006, it won four Tony Awards in 2006, including best musical.

John Lloyd Young won the Tony for best actor in a musical that year playing falsetto Frankie Valli, and he'll be Frankie again in the movie version, due out June 20 from director Clint Eastwood. And guess who has a supporting role? Christopher Walken.

The Jersey Boys story includes plenty of tension thanks to the mob-infested world in which the members grew up. Valli once said that his neighborhood was the kind of place where you could easily wind up dead in a car trunk. Tony Soprano, television's most famous mobster, once bragged that he had the same florist as Frankie Valli. The singer himself played an ill-fated mobster on seasons five and six of The Sopranos.

The production of Jersey Boys coming to Tucson is currently in Fort Worth, where the reviews were ecstatic.

According to Punch Shaw writing for DFW.com:

"This production is the byproduct of a great show that, through repeated stagings and performances, has now been honed and polished to a glimmering luster that an expensive diamond would envy. To borrow a sentiment from a Seasons hit, this show hangs onto everything it's got."

In case you miss the stage version and the movie version, there's another way to hear the music of Frankie Valli. The legendary crooner, who turned 80 last month, continues to tour.

More by M. Scot Skinner

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