home    art    blog    bio    reviews    concerts and bookings   contact
reviews
 

 

 

 

 

read the original New York Times
review of Broadway's JERSEY BOYS

click here

 

 

"a genuine star-in-the-making"
— Ben Brantley


 

"beautifully delineates his character's emotional issues"

 

"evocative"

 

"deeply poignant"
 

 

"unwavering focus"

 

 

 

 

...headlining New York's famous
Cafe Carlyle


with music director
Tommy Faragher
 

"John Lloyd Young has a disciplined one-in-a-million high tenor shading into falsetto that he can direct through the stratosphere..."
— Stephen Holden



John Lloyd Young at the Cafe Carlyle
photo: Michelle V. Agins, The New York Times
 

 


"[JOHN LLOYD YOUNG] has a disciplined one-in-a-million high tenor shading into falsetto that he can
direct through the stratosphere with a precision few male singers deploy with any comfort."

"Listening to him sing the 1969 Eddie Holman hit, "Hey There Lonely Girl," conjured memories of very late nights spent
leaning against a jukebox four decades ago in a smoke-filled bar hearing a cry that distilled the
post-adolescent pining that brought me there....That kind of extreme romanticism and the male
vulnerability it signifies have all but disappeared from pop.  If any single voice can bring back a
vocal sound that is synonymous with '50s and '60s nostalgia, it may be Mr. Young's."



click for full article

 

 


"From beginning to end, JOHN LLOYD YOUNG's peformance at the Cafe Carlyle was a love affair
attuned to the Valentine's Day of your youth....I, for one, did not want the night to end."



 

 


"[JOHN LLOYD YOUNG's] voice, so piercingly angelic in Jersey Boys, has gotten richer and gained a myriad
of colors through the years, and he used them all masterfully, from his caramel falsetto to the supple, sexy
croon which makes him the unquestioned superior of all those Bublés, Cincottis and such."


David Noh -- NiteLifeExchange.com

 

 

 

...as "Frankie Valli" in the Original Broadway Cast of
Jersey Boys
The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

directed by
Des McAnuff

at Broadway's
August Wilson Theater
 

 

"The theatrical find of the year."
— Ben Brantley



John Lloyd Young as "Frankie Valli" in the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys
photo: © Joan Marcus, 2005


Tony Award Winner (Best Actor)
Drama Desk Award Winner (Outstanding Lead Actor)
Outer Critics Circle Award Winner (Outstanding Lead Actor)
Theatre World Award Winner (Outstanding Broadway Debut)
Drama League Award Nominee (Performer of the Year)

 

 


"a genuine star-in-the-making"

"
...MR. YOUNG has crossed the line from exact impersonation into something more compelling.
It's that sort of melting from perfect wax effigy into imperfect flesh that Philip Seymour Hoffman
achieves in the title role of the current movie 'Capote.'"
 
"white-hot sincerity
"

"The chief source of fresh air...is MR. YOUNG, who mutates from hopeful teenaged schlemiel
to regretful fallen idol with a spontaneity that never fades. 
When this Frankie Valli sings, you sense
him channeling all the messy, happy, angry feelings of his life without straying from the required
official voice. 
Like Mr. Valli, MR. YOUNG has a quirky authenticity that can't be faked or learned.
His intense belief in his character shimmers like sunlight amid the fluorescence of 'Jersey Boys.'"


click for full article

 

 


"
The real intoxication [at JERSEY BOYS] is provided by the magnetic new-born star JOHN LLOYD YOUNG,
who wears his heart in his throat and on his face as Frankie Valli. Because of him, you'll be living
with "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" in your head for the rest of the week. Because of him, it's worth it."



 

 


"
The real thrill of the smash hit JERSEY BOYS lies not in the mimetic rendering of old Four Seasons songs,
but in the sheen of conviction exuded by JOHN LLOYD YOUNG, the young actor playing Frankie Valli.
His performance turns what might have been karaoke imitation numbers into personal cris de coeur,
and it rips through the synthetic fabric of a by-the-numbers biomusical.
"


 

 


"
When JERSEY BOYS opened on Broadway, it was a somewhat subtler experience, thanks to the emotionally
naked performance of JOHN LLOYD YOUNG,
who won a Tony for capturing not just the inimitable sound of Valli
but also his easily bruised Italian American soul.
"


 

 


"The actor who had it all in spades — the look, the musical chops, bravado, vulnerability — is JOHN LLOYD YOUNG,
a Tony-winner for the original Broadway version..."




 

 


"
A!"

JOHN LLOYD YOUNG is a
"Frankie Valli vocal ringer."


(John Lloyd Young's "Frankie Valli" chosen
as one of the Great Performances of 2005)

 

 


"As Frankie, whether warbling in the upper register or downcast but ever-hopeful,
JOHN LLOYD YOUNG is nothing short of sublime.
"

John Simon

 

 


"[JERSEY BOYS] is dominated by the electric central presence of JOHN LLOYD YOUNG..."


"
In YOUNG, a heretofore unheralded actor-singer, McAnuff has scored a major find.  Compact of carriage, YOUNG
is an outsize presence with an astonishing ability to vocally channel Valli. His second-act delivery of
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" exuberantly puts show-stopping finesse on display."


 

 


"[JERSEY BOYS] is terrific — with a young JOHN LLOYD YOUNG
singing the bleating, stratospheric
doo-wop of the hard-driving Frankie Valli in a way that rivals Frankie Valli."

"
YOUNG, as Valli, acts with the kind of conviction you'd expect
from a John Turturro,
and he sings his high-pitched heart out."


 

 


"
In a memorable Broadway debut, not only does JOHN LLOYD YOUNG echo Frankie Valli's vocals,
falsetto and all, but he believably traces the man's personal journey from an uncertain teenager
to a sadder but wiser adult."


 

 


"
This musical biography of pop icons Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons...really rocks.
The energy is unstoppable, particularly from the four lead performers — Christian Hoff, Daniel
Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and the amazing JOHN LLOYD YOUNG as Valli.

YOUNG does more than impersonate Valli.  He lives, breathes and sings the man. 
It's one
of those eerie, exact performances, complete with high, almost piercing voice, that
crystallizes why Valli was such a unique entertainer."


 

 


"JOHN LLOYD YOUNG brings down the house
time and time again as Frankie Valli,
giving us not only the angelic voice, but the demonic pain underneath."


 

 


"
As an actor...YOUNG is exceptional. He inhabits Valli so fully that we feel him take on physical dimension
as he grows from 16-year-old jazz crooner to seasoned, saddened veteran. YOUNG takes us on an emotional
journey with a subtlety and restraint that's rare in musical theater. "


 

 


"
The dramatic buildup to Frankie's breakout solo hit 'Can't Take My Eyes Off of You,' pegged
as a surefire failure by several characters, packs a genuine emotional punch...Much of this
is due to YOUNG,
so commanding a presence that it's hard to believe he's making his Broadway
debut...
his good-natured spunk and slowly shattered innocence make him a thoroughly charming,
likeable presence
from the get-go."


 

 


"As Valli,
JOHN LLOYD YOUNG re-creates that wonderful sound without ever giving the impression
of being just a vocal imitator. 
He captures the earnestness of a young man experiencing fame
in the distant past, when stars were not created every 15 minutes."


 

 


"
One big thing this show has that others of the genre don't is a director, Des McAnuff, who puts
a really stylish gloss on it.  The other thing it has is JOHN LLOYD YOUNG, a singer with an
astounding voice,
who effortlessly imitates Frankie Valli's signature, a powerful falsetto."


 

 


"
A star is reborn in Jersey Boys when the puppyish JOHN LLOYD YOUNG takes vocal
wing, channeling the legendary thrills and trills of Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli.
As YOUNG's bright falsetto rings through the air, the August Wilson Theatre becomes a
rejuvenation room,
transforming baby boomer women into screaming Valli girls in the
throes of Young love."


 

 


"
Making his Broadway debut, YOUNG is a real discovery as Frankie.  He has the
short stature, the Italian features, and (most importantly) the high notes.  Like Valli,
YOUNG has an angelic voice, which is all the more impressive given that his credits
are in plays, not musicals."


 

 


"There's a very impressive star turn by JOHN LLOYD YOUNG as Frankie Valli.  He's a strong,
warm and real presence
who wins us over instantly.  He sings Valli's hit songs in memorex
fashion, and he most deservedly stops the show with a powerful version of the group's
biggest hit, 'Can't Take My Eyes Off of You.'
"


 

 


"
Most of all, we always have Frankie, embodied by JOHN LLOYD YOUNG with unpretentious
street-corner swagger and just the right nice-guy ambitions. 
YOUNG also happens to have a
voice that can be buzzy and rough in the middle registers and fly with the beat of pubescent
hearts in falsetto."


 

 


"
YOUNG nails Valli's swooning siren of a voice with confidence....Refreshingly relaxed,
unpushy perfs from YOUNG, Hoff, Reichard and Spencer create distinct characters..."


 

 


"
Credit in particular must go to JOHN LLOYD YOUNG, who imitates Valli's signature
falsetto in uncanny fashion."


 

 


"JERSEY BOYS is the biggest hit on Broadway.  It is so much fun, contagious, spectacular.  People were
dancing in the aisles... There's no other word to describe this house party, the story of Frankie Valli, played
by an incredible young actor — his first Broadway appearance — and I'm telling you, this guy is headed for
stardom.  His name is JOHN LLOYD YOUNG,
and he had that voice, that ability — you know very few
performers, movies or TV, they're wonderful actors, but he was Frankie Valli
."

"JOHN LLOYD YOUNG is going to be a real star.  He is a star in this."

Joan Hamburg

 

 


JOHN LLOYD YOUNG's "bang-up, star-making turn as Valli is a perfect
merger of vocal mimicry and actorly charisma
."


 

 


"
[JERSEY BOYS'] real secret weapon is its stars.  JOHN LLOYD YOUNG's sweetly guileless Valli
does indeed sing like an angel
, as another character notes.  And he and the actors cast as
his bandmates perform the Four Seasons' hits with...prowess and charisma...  When these guys
re-enact an Ed Sullivan TV spot, you understand why those girls in the audience screamed."


 

 


"
JOHN LLOYD YOUNG, who plays Frankie Valli, handles the tricky falsetto with aplomb and
creates a convincing portrait of a stressed-out, chronically uncertain rock 'n' roll star. 
His
high point comes when he leads the band onto the stage for its prime-time debut; he sings
'Sherry' with enough raw concert energy to convince you that he really is making his big
debut — and in fact, this is MR. YOUNG's Broadway debut.  When he finishes and takes his
bow, his eyes show you how far he's come to reach this point."


 

 


"
Like ['The Who's Tommy'] also based on popular music, 'Jersey Boys' does for JOHN LLOYD YOUNG —
convincingly portraying the lead singer...Frankie Valli — what 'Tommy' did for (actor) Michael Cerveris:
provide a platform for one of the most stunning new voices on Broadway in a generation."


 

 


"
As the band's star lead, Frankie Valli, YOUNG hits all the falsetto notes and brings real
freshness to the part. 
His 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You,' a second-act peak, is signed, sealed
and delivered with a star's acumen."


 

 


"
JOHN LLOYD YOUNG...keeps 'Jersey Boys' alive and musically potent even in its darkest moments."

"YOUNG is making a Broadway debut that is sure to ignite his star."


 

 


"th
e slickest and most exciting musical package Broadway has seen for months or even years"

"Top-drawer performers...in the hitherto unknown JOHN LLOYD YOUNG, (director Des) McAnuff found
a Valli with a comparably extensive vocal range and oodles of vulnerable charm. 
That's one Tony nomination right there."


 

 
 
 



John Lloyd Young as "Marius" in Les Miserables in Concert, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
photo: © Lily Lim, 2008

 

...as "Marius" in
Les Miserables
in Concert

directed by
Richard Jay-Alexander

at
The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
 


"
Les Miserables gets an epic workout at the Bowl.  The best part?  The hot young costars.
"

"...the show's biggest moments belonged to the supporting cast, which featured a few hot young Broadway stars. 
As Marius, the young revolutionary who falls in love with Valjean's daughter, JOHN LLOYD YOUNG brought
intelligence and vocal warmth to a role that can often feel corny and insipid."

  


John Lloyd Young and Paul Kropfl in The Chosen
photo: Pedro Portal, courtesy of The Coconut Grove Playhouse

 

...as "Danny Saunders" in
The Chosen
a play by
Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok

starring
Theodore Bikel

directed by
David Ellenstein

Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami
and
Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ
 

 


"Beautifully acted."

"An embarrassment of riches!"
 
"[The] themes of father-son communication, friendship, faith and personal destiny are
universal, and this production...explores them with an admirable subtlety.
"


 

 


"...exemplary performances....JOHN LLOYD YOUNG beautifully conveys sincerity and dignity.  He captures the
boy's thirst for knowledge, and the excitement when encountering a new idea...."


(named one of 2004's Best Featured Actors in a Play)
 

 


"...a moving experience...a strong production..."

"The performances are uniformly excellent, with JOHN LLOYD YOUNG and [Paul] Kropfl beautifully
delineating their characters' respective emotional issues...
"



 

 


"Paul Kropfl and JOHN LLOYD YOUNG have real chemistry as two teenage boys who come...from the opposite
sides of the fence....The friendship of the two teenagers, the pain of their quarrels, and joy of their
reconciliations are all utterly believable and touching
."



 

 


"...a top-notch group of actors....YOUNG’s eyes beautifully communicate the pain this boy feels because
of his father's seeming indifference....
Kropfl brings an equal measure of charm to his role.  The actor’s performance
contains a certain brash exuberance, which nicely complements YOUNG’s quiet desperation as Danny."


 

 


"Director David Ellenstein and his strong cast deliver a graceful, moving production....YOUNG's Danny is (a) study
in contrasts: furious with his father yet deeply respectful, fiercely hungry for knowledge of the wider world yet
yearning for his father's approval.  His turbulence plays well off Kropfl's easy-going charm
..."


 

 


"
Bikel delivers a masterful performance....Happily, the rest of the cast are up to their tasks as well,
with JOHN LLOYD YOUNG a standout as (Bikel's) troubled son Danny."


 

 


"YOUNG's portrayal of the intense, troubled rabbi's son and Kropfl's assimilated, more easygoing
young man are perfect complements."


 

 


"Particularly effective in the two leading roles are JOHN LLOYD YOUNG as Danny and Paul Kropfl as Reuven...
there is a natural flow and camaraderie in their scenes together. YOUNG strongly conveys the weight of the heavy
burden under which his father has placed him as well as the passion for knowledge which might lift it from him
."



click for full article
 

 


"An exquisitely balanced ensemble....JOHN LLOYD YOUNG as Danny and Paul Kropfl as Reuven are well matched,
bringing both humor and pathos to their portrayals....a provocative and inspiring bit of theater."


 

 


"Danny (is) played with careful gentility by JOHN LLOYD YOUNG..."


The Princeton Packet
 

 


"JOHN LLOYD YOUNG gives a powerful performance as Danny,
handling linguistic and emotional transitions with polished ease."

"
I will be watching for both of these young men's names — if real talent still means anything,
they will both be seen on many more stages and screens in years to come.
"


John Kenrick
 

 


"...a mesmerizing production..."

"Danny Saunders, played with intensity and a devouring lust for knowledge by JOHN LLOYD YOUNG,
perfectly embodies the frustration of a young man who lives in the closed-off world of his Hasidic Jewish father."


CURTAINUP.COM
 

 


"JOHN LLOYD YOUNG creates a believable intense and troubled Danny."


 

 


"...never have I seen a play of such resonant beauty and poetic power as THE CHOSEN.”

"JOHN LLOYD YOUNG layers a veneer of gentility over the burgeoning passion boiling within the character,
at once creating a palpable internal conflict suited to a young man who needs to please his father while
pursuing his own path...
in the play’s latter scenes, when Reb Saunders “talks to Danny” while addressing
Reuven, YOUNG’s silent performance is heartbreaking and beautifully played out on his face."

Bill VanSant, Worall Newspapers
 

 


"Make the right choice: see THE CHOSEN!"

"If there is a God...Paper Mill will have to rent Giants Stadium to manage the overflow...  I dare even an atheist
to sit through this powerful drama and not be moved....The cast is uniformly terrific....Kropfl
and YOUNG...work well together, making their unlikely bond seem quite believable
."



 

 

   

top

home    art    blog    bio    reviews    concerts and bookings   contact

site © 2002-2014.  All Rights Reserved.