They were the sixties hit machine with the clean cut image and the bad boy past.

Jersey Boys is the hit stage musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and it tells their full story, from loan sharks, divorce, prison and great songs, lots of great songs. 

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Watch our interview with Michael Watson and Declan Egan

The show traces the foursome’s rise from the mean streets of Jersey to multi-million-selling band and teen heartthrobs and it doesn’t shy away from the seamier side of things.  

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, stage musical regular Michael Watson, who plays Valli in the show, said: "People come for the songs because the songs are iconic and they’re still timeless to this day but then when you see the show you get so shocked at what these guys actually went through and their connections with mafia bosses, loan sharks.

"When you see the show you get so shocked at what these guys actually went through."

"They were guys from the wrong side of the tracks who were growing up on the streets trying to get by."

"They wanted to portray this clean cut image that had no involvement in those kinds of things which is why the show is so fascinating," says Australian actor Declan Egan, who plays the brains behind the outfit, Bob Gaudio.

"You think you know Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons - their really beautiful falsetto singing, they dress nicely and sing teenybopper songs and then you see the show and hear that they had these dealings with the mafia and divorce and don’t even get started on the Jersey language."

Jersey Boys has won a Tony, a Grammy and an Olivier Award

"It’s even said that Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi’s time in prison was taken off their ages to make them younger and more appealing to a younger audience." adds Michael.  

The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning musical show, which is having its third run in Dublin, is broken down into the four seasons, with each member of the band giving their opinion of what really happened in a pretty complicated band history.  

"Tommy starts off with the narration of Spring and shows the formation of the band, then I come in as Bob Gordio and it becomes Summer and it shows the height of the band and then we have Autumn and Winter for Nick and Frankie showing darker and grittier moments in the second act."

The sixties hit machine 

The show includes Four Seasons songs such as Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry, December 1963 (Oh, What A Night), My Eyes Adored You, Stay, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You and Rag Doll.

Naturally, Frankie Valli has seen the show and even took Michael, who manages to hit those unearthly high notes in the show, to see him sing in the Albert Hall.

"Luckily I got to meet him when I was doing the show in the West End. He was coming to perform at the Albert Hall but he made a trip to come and see us on the Sunday evening and I wasn’t told until the morning before the show because they said they didn’t want to make me nervous.

"The first couple of numbers was surreal knowing that he was in the audience but I rested into it and did my job. He enjoyed the performance and invited me along to watch him at the Albert Hall the following night and I saw how the legend himself does it. It was amazing to learn from him."

Jersey Boys is at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin from March 6th to 16th. Tickets are priced €21.00.