Oh What a Night at the Arden
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 06:00 am
An exciting Vegas-style revue grabs the glam spotlight tonight at the Arden Theatre.
Direct from the entertainment capital of the world, Oh What a Night is an exciting, fast-paced tribute to the legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Valli made headlines and won the hearts of millions of fans with classics such as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and My Eyes Adored You.
The revue features four singers – Jonathan Harvey, Rick Morgan, Taylor Campbell and Joseph Conti – singing live to the feel-good music that made such a global impact.
Written by Motown producer George Solomon and directed by award-winning producer Michael Chapman, it features many of Valli’s greatest hits.
“They are so catchy, so timeless. You can hear them once and you’ll hum along,” says Solomon speaking from Saginaw, Michigan where he is on tour with one of the revues.
Unlike the scripted Jersey Boys hit musical biography, Oh What a Night is a concert-style show that features all the releases. In addition, there are a few extra numbers that were never included in the original Broadway show – tunes such as the mega-hit Grease.
“We even have a fun section for songs that people attributed to Frankie and the Four Seasons,” Solomon adds. As an example he cites The Happenings’ See You In September.
“Another difference from Jersey Boys is that nobody plays characters. Everybody takes a turn as the feature vocalist.”
The idea kicked in after Chapman saw Solomon in Vegas performing a solo Frankie Valli show. Chapman suggested expanding the concept to include the Four Seasons.
“I loved it. I grew up in a house where my brothers and sisters were 14-15 years older and I’d grown up with those songs. When we put it together, I wasn’t thinking Jersey Boys. We were doing the Four Seasons.”
The show opened in Vegas in 2008 and shows no signs of stopping. To date there are 40 cast members on rotation throughout different touring concerts across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Solomon is pleased that performers park their egos at the stage door and speaks highly of their professionalism.
“Jonathan is extremely out-going. He’s a whirling dervish of energy. He likes to step out in the audience and he has fun with the ladies.”
“Rick is the voice of reason. He is quick with banter and has a sense of humour. He cracks us up with his great impressions.”
“Taylor is the baby. He’s the innocent one. Taylor is very sweet and has an amazing angelic voice. He’s the wholesome one.”
“Joe is – how do I put it? Joe is like Rose in the Golden Girls. He’s the naïve one. He’s a little left of centre and provides us with a lot of comedy.”
The Seasons’ peak years ranged from the 1950s to the 1970s, but the sound outlasted many others from the same era. Younger fans have come to appreciate their charts through movies, commercials and the availability of the Internet.
“It’s an all-around feel-good show. I want the audience to take away the feeling that this was a great era and I want them to feel how much we enjoy doing the show.”
The revue runs Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55.50 plus facility fee. Call 780-459-1542 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca.