FOLSOM — The Hit Men featuring former stars of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons perform at the Harris Center for Arts in Folsom on June 8.
It’s not the cast from “Jersey Boys;” it’s not a Jersey Boys tribute show and not a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons cover band. Members of this amazing supergroup of musicians, vocalists, arrangers and composers actually were the Four Seasons who sang with Frankie Valli. They were the Shondells who sang with Tommy James. They are the authentic rock and rollers whose legacy includes hundreds of hit records from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. They now call themselves The Hit Men and are bringing their famous sounds and energy to Harris Center for the Arts.
Remember Gerry Polci and Lee Shapiro? They may not be household names now but back in the 70’s, you bought all of their records. You heard them on the radio,saw them on TV, went to their concerts. They’re the former stars of the hit-making factory known as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. These guys toured the world with Frankie,recorded numerous hit albums with him and sang the lead vocals on songs like “Oh What a Night” — the biggest Seasons hit of all time. When they met in 1973, they were two boys from New Jersey barely out of their teens, and the Four Seasons hadn’t had a charted hit record in years. Along with Valli and songwriter/ producer Bob Gaudio, Gerry Polci and Lee Shapiro, they successfully transitioned the group’s sound from ’60s doo-wop to ’70s pop with mega-hit songs like “Who Loves You” and “Oh What a Night,” beloved hits that have been heard for generations and are woven into America’s consciousness.
Spurred by the runaway success of “Jersey Boys,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical based on the Four Seasons’ career, these former Seasons, who are now in their late 50s and early 60s, decided to re-unite — along with an A-list group of musicians who wrote, recorded and performed with Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Jim Croce, Chicago, Luther Vandross, The Ramones, Carole King and other mega-star acts of the era — and give touring one more shot.
Their show is an amazing look back through rock and roll history, including fascinating back stories of what it was like being on the road and in the recording studios with Frankie, Tommy, Carly, Cat, Jim and Elton. The Hit Men perform great songs from the Four Seasons songbook from “Rag Doll,” “Dawn,” and “Walk Like a Man,” to “Can’t Take My Eyes Of You,” “Marianne,” and “Sherry,” plus other mega hits that members of The Hit Men helped make famous back in the day such as Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train,” Jim Croce’s “Leroy Brown,” Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” and Tommy James’ “Mony Mony.”
Music director and former Four Seasons member Lee Shapiro said, “This show is a chance for everyone to relive the glory days of rock and roll with a great group of guys who actually lived and breathed the experience. You’ll walk out of the theatre exhilarated, excited and wanting more. We guarantee it.”
The Hit Men featuring Former Stars of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will perform at the Harris Center, 10 college Parkway in Folsom on Sunday, June 8 at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25 to $39; premium tickets are $49. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket.