Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | 4:57 p.m.
Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood’s new film “Jersey Boys” set for national release Friday received two thumbs’ up at Monday night’s screening here at AMC Town Square, and the guest audience included four lead cast members and the band of the hit musical at Paris Las Vegas.
Original band member and bad egg Tommy DeVito, who now lives in Las Vegas, attended and showed his approval of the film. “Jersey Boys” is the rags-to-riches and back-to-rags story of four young men on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who found superstardom as the iconic 1960s pop-music group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
Former Las Vegas headliner Erich Bergen stars in the film in the same role he had here as Bob Gaudio, who wrote the group’s biggest hits. Travis Cloer, who plays Frankie in the Tony Award-winning musical, told me that he was the understudy for actor John Lloyd Young, who has the lead-singer role in the film.
“It was great to see Erich again up there on the screen. I loved the film. I learned things about the group I hadn’t known because of Clint’s digging deep into the backstory of their history growing up and struggling to find fame and fortune.
“I think moviegoers will love the film whether or not they know the group and its music, and it will probably give our live shows whole new audiences around the world. The film is a great showcase for the live shows.”
“Jersey Boys” onscreen is a riveting story even if you’ve seen the musical several times as I’ve done. However, I thought the film shortchanged the fun and music of the play in favor of emphasizing the troubles and hardships that they faced paying the high price of fame, which isn’t delved into so deeply in the live production.
But as Travis said: “It was great to see a whole fresh perspective from Clint Eastwood on such an amazing story.” Our thanks to Tom Donoghue of Donoghue Photography for his photo gallery of the screening at Town Square.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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