It was 1962, and after years of struggling unsuccessfully under different band names, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons topped the charts with their first firecracker hit, “Sherry.”
That was just the start of a sound that would become an iconic and lasting symbol of the mid-20th century.
In the wake of the award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys, based on Valli’s life and the group’s rise to fame, another show has emerged, this one interactive.
Let’s Hang On, the title pulled from a Four Seasons hit, is billed as a highly choreographed musical tribute to the overwhelming success of Jersey Boys.
“We are not impersonating Valli and the Four Seasons, but the sounds are what people want to hear,” said Bob Schubert, who spearheads the production. “The music is big because it’s good. It has melody, beat and words.”
Let’s Hang On heads to the Southland to open the 2011 District 210 Spotlight Series at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort on Sept. 17. Tickets are moving quickly. Visit the Lincoln-Way District 210 website for ticket information.
This is not a sit-down-and-watch production.
“You can’t sit still to this music,” Schubert said.
“We encourage people to get up and sing along with the band and dance. We go out and dance with people in the audience,” Schubert said.
“Sitting still is not acceptable,” he added with a chuckle.
The show is 90 minutes of pure entertainment, he said. The music Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio created for all those 1960s and early ’70s Valli and Four Seasons hits remains timeless.
Two women also join as backup singers, and they perform some of the “chick hits” of the era.
“All of this music has come into its own again,” Schubert said. “Just like the Big Band sound and early rock music have had their resurgence, now it’s time for the music of the ’60s.
“Everyone who comes to the show, will leave with a smile.”