BWW Interviews: Adam Zelasko from JERSEY BOYS Tour Answers Our Silly Questions
Currently playing Nick Massi, a member of the talented quartet better known to the world as The Four Seasons, Adam Zelasko is now in his third year of touring with JERSEY BOYS, the hit Tony award-winning musical, which will be returning to Orange County for a three-week engagement at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts starting June 24.
Prior to his years doo-wopping on JERSEY BOYS, the handsome Zelasko traveled the country in the national tours of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and LEGALLY BLONDE - THE MUSICAL. His other shows include MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING (Off-Broadway) plus regional productions of ALTAR BOYZ and THE HOT MIKADO. You can also catch him in a cameo appearance in the just-released big-screen adaptation of JERSEY BOYS directed by Clint Eastwood.
Before the show's arrival in Costa Mesa, Zelasko agreed to play 20 questions with us...
Subject: Adam Zelasko
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Hi, Adam! We're excited to have you back in another musical here in the OC! I'm sure a lot has changed for you since you came here as a cast member in LEGALLY BLONDE... So, what's new?
Thank you! Honestly, not a whole lot has changed---I've been on tour with JERSEY BOYS for about 3 years now. I think the biggest change in my life has been relocating to Los Angeles, but I only got to live there for about 6 months before I went back out on tour.
In the current national tour of JERSEY BOYS, you play Nick Massi a member of the legendary music group The Four Seasons. What can you say was the most fascinating aspect you learned about the real-life person you're portraying on stage?
Sadly, because Nick passed away before the writers of the show were able to interview him, most of the information they were able to gather on him came from the other boys. I've tried to do some research on my own, and found that there really isn't a whole lot of information out there about him. I would say that's the most fascinating thing about him---and about all of the boys before JERSEY BOYS was written---the fact that no one really knew their story. I think it's pretty incredible to have been part of such a legendary group such as The Four Seasons and still have so much of your life remain a mystery.
I see. So besides the incredible music, what do you think makes JERSEY BOYS such an enjoyable show to watch?
The magic is in its construction. It's one of the most perfect combinations of script, music, choreography and direction that I have ever seen in a musical. It transcends time and appeals to absolutely everyone.
Which number (or numbers) for you is the most enjoyable to perform each night?
My favorite part of the show as Nick has always been reuniting with the group at the very end of the show to sing "Who Loves You." It's one of my favorite songs, and if we've all done our jobs, its an overwhelming moment for the audience to see all of the boys back together again after everything they went through [during the course of the show].What can you say has been the biggest challenge of being on JERSEY BOYS vs. other shows you've done?
Touring has always been my biggest challenge. The show is a blast. It's carefully directed and maintained, and so well-received by audiences that it has always been a pleasure to work on. Being on the road 365 days a year never gets easier. But I have come to realize over my nearly 6 years of touring, that having a home is very important to me.
Speaking of home... growing up as a kid in Buffalo, did you know early on that you wanted to have a career in musical theater... or was there a specific moment later that got the ball rolling?
I had always been involved with school productions when I was younger, and it wasn't until high school that I realized that I could do it as a profession. So with the encouragement from my high school drama teacher Darcy Young, I went to SUNY Buffalo and got a BFA in Musical Theater under the skillful tutelage of Lynne Kurdziel-Formato, then moved to NYC and started auditioning and working.
Cool! Alright, now it's time for some lightning round questions... What are some of your pre-show rituals before each performance?
My pre show ritual---as ridiculous as this sounds---is doing my hair. Nick is this meticulous, OCD, repressed man, and nothing puts me in his frustrated mind more than trying to get my hair perfectly styled around that big fat microphone wire. God bless microphones, couldn't live without em... but they're a real pain in the butt sometimes.
Ha ha, I can just imagine... Okay, pretend we stole your phone... what kind of music will we find on it?
Girl pop! [Laughs] No no no... not just that, but I do always joke about having the musical taste of a tween. I love my female pop stars but I also love Marc Broussard, Rascal Flatts, Adam Levine, Sublime, Blink 182, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Goldfrapp, Gotye, Joni Mitchell, and Sugarland to name a few. Right now I find myself switching between Marc Broussard, Ariana Grande, and the new Sam Smith album. And during the holidays, it's Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red on constant repeat. I'm not joking.
Love that album, too! So, describe, if you're willing... the funniest "oops" moment that's happened to you during a show...
Well a number of funny little things seem to happen during my "ten years" monologue [in JERSEY BOYS]. One time right after I yelled my "ten years!" one of the buttons on my jacket popped off and bounced across the table, and we all kind of just stared at it for a moment. Nothing steals your thunder like an ill-timed rogue button! Usually though it's me heavily spitting all over Nicolas Drommard's face and him not being able to wipe it off.
Funny! Okay, what is a dream role in another stage musical that you wish to play someday?
Honestly, I would love to play Seymour in THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, but I would inevitably be cast as the dentist.Ha! Well, you never know! Okay, which song do you like belting in the shower or when you're all alone in the car?
"Ain't It Fun" by Paramore.
Nice! What scares you the most?
What is your one guilty pleasure?
One?!? COFFEE. All day, everyday.
Ha ha. What do you like to do on your day(s) off?
I like to sleep in, watch Wendy Williams, take a drive (usually somehow ending up at a Starbucks), maybe read a little, and then go out for a great dinner somewhere where I can eat whatever I want and have a glass of wine (or three) and not worry about having to be onstage after, followed by Netflix and Salt and Vinegar Chips in my bed.
Sounds like a full day! Okay, what (or who) irritates you the most?
People who stand in doorways.
And what instantly puts a smile on your face?
Right now it's that song "Classic" by MKTO... always gets me. So dumb right?
Not at all! Okay, if you could trade lives with someone for one day, who would that person be and why?
Chelsea Handler. Her life looks like a blast.
If you weren't an actor, what other career do you see yourself doing?
I could 100% see myself being a hairstylist and owning my own salon.Great! Alright, describe your JERSEY BOYS co-stars Nicolas Dromard (Tommy DeVito), Hayden Milanes (Frankie Valli), and Quinn VanAntwerp (Bob Gaudio) each with just ONE WORD... Go!
Ha! And lastly, what has been your favorite moment of the JERSEY BOYS experience so far?
My favorite moment was probably back on tour 1 when I was a swing going on for [the role of] Tommy DeVito for the first time. Scariest, most exhilarating show of my life!
Awesome! Thanks for playing along, Adam, and enjoy your stop in Orange County!
Top photo of Adam Zelasko as Nick Massi in the North American tour of JERSEY BOYS by Joan Marcus. Middle photo: BWW's Quintos with Zelasko during LEGALLY BLONDE Tour in 2009. Bottom cast photo from JERSEY BOYS by Jeremy Daniel.
Performances of JERSEY BOYS at Segerstrom Center for the Arts continue through Sunday, July 13, 2014. Tickets can be purchased online at www.SCFTA.org, by phone at 714-556-2787 or in person at the SCFTA box office (open daily at 10 am). Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.
For tickets or more information, visit SCFTA.org.