Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys is set to hit theaters soon, where it will arrive with lofty expectations — not only because it is Eastwood’s first film since 2011′s J. Edgar, but because it is based on the Tony award-winning musical of the same name. Matching the success of the film’s source material isn’t likely to be an easy feat.
Since opening in 2005, the Jersey Boys musical has become the 13th longest running Broadway show of all time, and has played around the world including the West End, Toronto, and Sydney. The show is currently still running, with a recent international tour leading into a national UK tour with the same creative team as the Broadway and West End productions. The UK tour is set to debut in the fall of 2014.
So it’s safe to say that Jersey Boys is still a hot property, which tells the story of the formation and eventual breakup of musical group The Four Seasons in the 1960s. Composed of Frankie Valli (lead singer), Bob Gaudio (keyboards and tenor vocals), Tommy DeVito (lead guitar and baritone vocals), and Nick Massi (bass guitar and bass vocals), The Four Seasons released their first single, “Bermuda”/”Spanish Lace,” in 1961 and quickly rocketed in popularity before mounting problems between members and a musical shifts forced them from the spotlight. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, The Four Seasons are one of the best selling musical groups of all time and have sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.
While film adaptions of popular musicals are nothing new to Hollywood, there’s no doubt that they can be hit or miss. For every West Side Story, Chicago, or Cabaret, you then have The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and Nine. So far, the early reactions from critics seem to indicate the former, although even the positive reviews appear rather lukewarm.