Photo Credit: Sarah Haley

PHOTO BY SARAH HALEY

From left, Mick Bleyer, Charlie Levy, Peter Romagna and Michael Maricondi in Florida Studio Theatre’s production of “Who Loves You”, a tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond.

By KIM COOL

Our Town Editor

Fans of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the act that inspired the Broadway hit “The Jersey Boys,” filled the Goldstein Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre last Thursday.

The show, closing the summer cabaret season in the Goldstein, is “Who Loves You: Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond.”

Mick Bleyer, Charlie Levy, Tom Costello, Peter Romagna and Michael Maricondi, accompanied by pianist Tom Costelloa, invited the audience to chime in on several songs.

They did it well. They did it so well that it turned that performance into a happening. “Oh What a Night.”

The show began with “Let’s Hang On” and “Sherry.” When lead tenor Maricondi added his falsetto to “Sherry” everyone knew we were in for a special “night.”

After two songs featurig Maricondi, he gave the falsetto a rest and first tenor Levy demonstrated his own excellent falsetto ability.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons did more than have six hits in 1964, despite the British invasion led by The Beatles. The Jersey Boys left a lengthy list of songs so loved that all these years later, their fans sing along — on key — and in harmony and — with joy. They certainly did all that and more Thursday night at FST.

FST cabaret shows tend to be entertaining, with many especially memorable. This is one of those great ones. Anyone alive in the 60s, 70s and or 80s when that group topped the charts so often, will enjoy this show but then so will all the newer fans who only learned of this music in the Broadway hit, the Jersey Boys circa 2005 or so.

The four singers in the Goldstein, with their terrific pianist accompanist Tom Costello put on a terrific show. While there were plenty of songs made famous by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the show also featured such Bobby Darin hits ads “Spilsh Splash” and “Dream Lover;” “The Wanderer,” made famous by Dion DiMucci, “Return to Sender” which was a hit for Elvis Presley and “God Only Knows,” made famous by The Beach Boys.

While Franki Valli and the Four Seasons certainly inspired many others, they had so many hits that simply had to be included in this review. Fortunately, they were.

Maricondi had a voice that does not quit and would take over the stage if it weren’t for the other three singers of equal talent.

So much of the music of the 60s was about having fun. That is just what these guys and the audience did Thursday night. We all had fun and many of us also ate well just before the show.

The Goldstein opens an hour before performance time so that ticket holders can order lunch or dinner at their table. The menu offers a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and dinner entrees. The lobster bisque is especially good.

The Goldstein Cabaret is just north of FST’s main building at 1241 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For tickets and performance times, call the box office at 941-366-9000 or visit floridastudiotheatre.org.

Email: kcool@venicegondolier.com

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