John Michael Coppola Returns Home for One-Night-Only Concert Tonight, 7/27
Westchester will be happy to welcome home one of their own when John Michael Coppola returns in his concert A JERSEY VOICE: Sinatra to Springsteen...and Everyone in Between tonight, July 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm at the Major Bowes Theater at Stepinac High School in White Plains. I was lucky enough to catch his recent benefit performance for 4th Wall Theatre at the Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ where he wowed the audiences with his never-ending energy. Coppola is a 5'6' powerhouse of a man that is a cross between Peter Brady and Tom Cruise. An actor that has gone out for the side-kick roles in several named musicals to walk away with the lead (as he did in Singing in the Rain). It is that mix of lovable 'guy-next-door' that can dance up a storm with the crooning prowess of the Rat Pack that caused the audience in New Jersey to leap to their feet by night's end.
I spoke to Coppola before the performance to learn a little more about him. It was wonderful to see him in the town where he and his wife had settled down after he left Westchester County as it will be just as thrilling for those in White Plains to see him return home. As a working actor over a fifteen year career, he had done off-Broadway as well as European and regional tours prior to landing the job in the Chicago cast of Jersey Boys where he understudied and performed the role of Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons. In 2007, he left his wife and son for 6 months to fly to San Francisco to do the show and then was reunited in Chicago where the show ran until Jan of 2010. The Coppolas love living in Chicago where they enjoy their neighborhood and want to raise a family. But John Michael Coppola realizes he is in an ever changing business. He told me "you follow the opportunities" when asked if he would ever consider relocating back to this area.
While still working in the business after the show ended (The Ravinia Festival's production of Annie Get Your Gun starring two time Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and George Hearn, The Original Grease at the American Theater Company and For The Boys at the Marriott Theater), Coppola started his own act of performing with a big band and began landing gigs at fundraisers and other events. Both his experience with Jersey Boys and the fact he grew up in such a musical house (his mother owned an opera company and his dad did much theater as well as introduced his son to Glenn Miller) made him know he wanted to perform the Big Band and swing type music which plays a huge part in his act. "I love the feel of it," he says. "The swagger, the renewal of appreciation for all things 60s with the popularity of Mad Men and movies that show that era." His act went through several incarnations until he finally settled on the current title that really says who he is and what music he plans to perform. He enjoys paying homage to "these men that we stand on the backs of to be able to do what it is we do nightly" and has been going strong for over the past year with dates lined up through the coming winter.
Coppola not only gives 100% when he is on the stage, but even the way in which he plans out his events demonstrate just what a giving person he is. He utilizes local musicians as he travels to not only help keep travel cost down for those organizations hiring him, but also to help the local economy wherever he may be by employing those musicians.
Proceeds from A Jersey Voice will benefit the Stepinac Drama. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by visiting http://ajerseyvoicestepinac.eventbrite.com/ For more information, visit www.johnmichaelcoppola.com
White Plains, look out - you won't be disappointed when your 'boy' comes back home!
From This Author Gregory G. Allen