At the Ahmanson, ‘Jersey Boys’ puts another quarter in the jukebox

“Jersey Boys,” that perennial jukebox moneymaker, is back at the Ahmanson Theatre for reasons that are easily surmised. The coffers at Center Theatre Group are clearly crying out for replenishing, but you won’t hear any complaints from me, not with the catalog of Four Seasons hits still echoing in my mind.

The pleasures of this touring show, a faded but not ineffective copy of the original Tony-winning production, are chiefly nostalgic. This is baby boomer bait in its most blatant form.

But in the context of a refreshingly risky 2016-17 Ahmanson season (which began with Ivo van Hove’s deconstruction of “A View From the Bridge,” included the lesbian coming-of-age musical “Fun Home” and concludes this summer with “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”), a “Jersey Boys” box-office insurance policy is understandable.

The production’s selling point is Mark Ballas (a regular hoofer on “Dancing With the Stars”), who reprises his performance of Frankie Valli, a role that is one of the toughest to sing in the contemporary musical theater repertoire. Valli’s signature falsetto requires tremendous vocal athleticism. Ballas, who was one of the replacements on Broadway after Tony winner John Lloyd Young left the cast, knows his crooning way around a high note, but there are so many numbers that have to be knocked out of the park, starting with “Sherry,” the song in which the Four Seasons finally discovered its distinctive sound.

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