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Too Good To Be True: Ten Years Worth Of Frankie Vallis Talk Starring On Broadway In JERSEY BOYS

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It was ten years ago Friday when JERSEY BOYS celebrated its opening night on Broadway. Combining all the classic Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe hits recorded by The Four Seasons with an inventive book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and dynamic staging by director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, the smash hit musical not only gave audiences a chance to relive the excitement of seeing that iconic quartet in action (or experiencing it for the first time), but offered an insider's view of the struggles and challenges they met along the way.

At the center of it all was John Lloyd Young, making his Broadway debut as the living legend Frankie Valli. Besides singing, dancing and acting, Young had the assignment of winning every audience's acceptance as representing one of American popular music's most beloved stars and most recognizable voices. That season, he was awarded with a Tony for Best Actor In A Musical.

Since then dozens of young men have taken on the challenging role, on Broadway, the West End, Las Vegas and tours throughout North America and the UK.

We asked the talented boys who have played Frankie Valli on Broadway throughout the last ten years for their impressions on playing the role and being a part of JERSEY BOYS. While every story is unique, throughout the collection there are moments of great humor, family support and the thrill of being a part of this international success.


FRANKIE J. GALASSO (Broadway and on tour)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

Before being cast, other than the mega hits everyone knows ("Sherry," "Walk Like A Man," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "Oh What A Night," etc...) I honestly didn't know much about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. When watching the show for the first time, I was amazed by the number of other songs that I knew, but had no idea were by The Four Season. The impeccably written book also gives amazing insight into the lives and musical journey of the four guys. Their place in American music now is still unbelievable. The Four Seasons' music is as prominent and "ubiquitous" now, as it was at their inception. Their biggest hits are recognized and loved by every generation to this day. You can still hear their songs on "radio, movies, commercials even!"

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Portraying a living legend, like Frankie Valli, is no small task. People who come to see the show have grown up listening to The Four Seasons' records on repeat. They know all the little nuances and unique sounds of Frankie's voice. The goal is to sound as close to Frankie as possible, transporting the audience back in time as if they were watching the real Four Seasons!

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

Yes - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 was my first performance as Frankie Valli and I was on the 1st National Tour in Calgary Alberta Canada. I remember getting the call from our stage manager that afternoon saying, "So, I need a Frankie for the show tonight, what do you say?" I've never been more excited and petrified at the same time! The show went great, even though most of it was a blur! I got to do it again the following day for the matinee as well. You can imagine I was on cloud 9 for quite a while!

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

JERSEY BOYS has literally brought me all over the world. It is almost impossible to name one specific memory that stands out. I have made lifelong friends in several different companies around the world and in a show that I never tire of. It has been a life changing experience and the gift that keeps on giving.


DOMINIC NOFLI (Original Broadway Cast / Swing; Original Frankie understudy, played the role first in La Jolla, pre-Broadway. Pictured with Daniel Reichard as Bob in La Jolla)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

Honestly I didn't know much about The Four Seasons before my journey with Jersey Boys began. When I was a kid my Aunt would occasionally pull out her 45's at family dinners and she had a couple Four Season records. I believe she taught me how to pony to "Big Girls Don't Cry."

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

I think the challenge of playing a rock legend or even covering a rock legend as I did is not getting caught up in being technically perfect. Do your homework on how you can emulate the sound of the star and filter what you bring as a performer through that.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I can't recall the actual date of my first performance as Frankie. I believe it was mid-November 2004 at La Jolla Playhouse. I joined the cast as a last minute swing around Halloween. The show was being extended and cast members had conflicts and they needed coverage. David Norona played Frankie in La Jolla. David's performance was simply wonderful. I was so impressed by him. His progression during the show was perfect and vocally he really "brought it" so stepping in for him was very intimidating. Everyone around the show was starting to realize how vocally demanding the role of Frankie really was. David had brought the show through the rehearsal/tech process and then was doing eight shows a week. This was before the "Matinee Frankie" was created. David went on vocal rest and I was asked to step in. Needless to say I was under rehearsed. My first show as Frankie was like an out of body experience. I was literally tossed out there. My stage managers did the best they could to prepare me and the cast pulled me around the stage. It was honestly terrifying. I will never forget it. Everything after that has been easy in comparison but I still get flop sweat just thinking about it.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

It's difficult to narrow down one moment in particular but I guess winning the Tony Award for Best Musical was tops. We were all very humbled by it. It was a lovely shared moment.


RYAN MOLLOY (Original London Frankie; Played the role on Broadway in a limited engagement in 2014)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

Before I began in Jersey Boys, my knowledge of The Four Seasons was kind of non-existent to be honest. Even though I have a very eclectic musical taste and I had heard all the songs before, I never really made the connection between the songs and The Four Seasons. In fact when my sister told me about a new musical I should checkout called Jersey Boys, I visualized a Magic Mike type musical, a sort of boys from down under experience, velcro pants and the like. But after doing more research for the role of Frankie Valli, who I immediately remembered from the opening titles of Grease the movie, a whole world of realization opened up for me. I have a childhood memory of asking my mother "who was that singing?" and she said that's Frankie Valli. His voice really blew me away. I then immediately confused him with Frankie Avalon later on in the movie. Of course I would never admit this to Mr Castelluccio. My first piano session with Ron Melrose was the real eye opener. He would run through song after song from the show, first asking me if I had ever heard each song, to which I replied no, I don't think so. But as soon as he started to play it, I immediately knew the melody and most of the lyric. It was incredible how long these songs had actually been in my life and how ingrained they had become in my subconscious. That is the power of a hit song and that is what Jersey Boys is all about.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

The most important thing about playing a living legend like Frankie Valli is that you must find a connection between yourself and the character you are portraying. It's all about your interpretation, never an impersonation. You have a responsibility in finding a truth between your world and theirs. For this journey you can research as much as you like from their childhood to present day, but there is nothing quite like the experience of meeting the man himself. Frankie and Bob have always been so open and supportive of all the casts and actors around the world. Giving so much of their time and patience in understanding the challenges that go into making Jersey Boys. Keeping it as real and as human as they can. This is one of the big reasons people keeping coming back for more. The audience relates to these guys, these stories, these dreams, because they are real and when you come to see Jersey Boys you don't just sit there and watch it, you become part of it.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

The audition process was very challenging as the first Frankie to open the show in London. Being successful in the London leg of the auditions meant I had to stay focused and head over to New York City to meet and show Bob Gaudio what I was able to contribute in the creation of Frankie Valli UK. It was a wonderful feeling getting the opportunity to make my way to the birth place of Jersey Boys. I spent the entire day in the studio with Bob going through the score and experiencing the incredible insights and knowledge of the genius that is "The Big Man In Town," Bobby G. Having this great privilege in my career was enough to dine off for years to come. The icing on the cake came a few days later with the final nod from the V man himself welcoming me to the family and the rest was history.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I have so many wonderful memories and experiences being involved with Jersey Boys worldwide and playing the role of Frankie in the West End and on Broadway. The one that stands out the most is opening night in London. Press night! For any show this is the moment of truth, the night you find out as a company what you really have been working so hard for. With an audience of the world's press, celebrity and Frankie Valli himself, this is the moment when you know you are involved in something great. Now it was time to believe it. There is so much pressure that builds up through the months of tireless rehearsal in achieving success and acclaim for your production. But from that pressure comes excitement, a great sense of pride, togetherness and that feeling of accomplishment. The show itself in those evenings is a bit of blur, but when the crowd goes wild and everyone in the house stands up as Frankie Valli walks onstage, comes over to you and touches you on the face 'gangster style' you know Boy Done Good!


MAURICIO PEREZ (Current Cast, Swing, Understudy for Frankie; Played it on tour; pictured with Frankie Valli)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I remember getting CHILLS watching the original cast back in 2006. Like many who come to see the show I had no idea how rough their struggle had been on the rise. Talking to people after the show it's incredible to hear how much The Four Seasons' music had influenced so many people who grew up listening to them. People leave in tears and talk about how much their music had been such a big part of their lives. Seeing the audience sing and dance during the show is such an unreal experience!

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Besides the obvious challenges of portraying such a legendary and recognizable sound that is Frankie Valli, I have to say one of the hardest parts for me was building the stamina to get through such a demanding show. Frankie sings somewhere around 27 songs throughout the show and they are all such high energy, plus add the intensity of the scenes in between, it certainly has been and continues to be a wonderfully challenging role that has forced me to grow as a performer.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

My very first performance as Frankie was some time in November or December of 2011 in DC at the National Theater while on Tour 1. I got the text from our Stage Manager a couple of hours before the matinee. I hadn't even had my put-in yet! I barely remember anything besides possibly being the most nervous I had ever been in my life. I just wanted to get through it. Talk about nerve-wracking!

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I have so many! I've met so many wonderful people on the road and in NY and have shared so many good times it's impossible to count. I think a couple of my proudest moments was having my mom and dad and a huge group of family see me in the Barry track in Ft. Lauderdale. Also, seeing my mom stand up at bows after watching me as Frankie for the first time on Broadway. That was overwhelming. In a fantastic way.


DOMINIC SCAGLIONE JR. (Las Vegas, Chicago and Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I knew quite a bit about The Four Seasons before I was cast in the show. I was born not too far from where Frankie was raised, so he was kind of like an icon in the neighborhood. In my house there was always the two Frank's playing - Sinatra and Valli. My brother Patrick was more a fan of The Four Seasons so he would play "Opus 17" and "Let's Hang On" over and over in our basement on Christmas. I think even before Jersey Boys, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons stood in the upper echelon of American music. But now, with the show, I think the group is hitting younger people and more people around the world so the legacy will continue to grow.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

As most people know our fans are some of the most passionate people on the planet and they are extra protective and passionate about "their Frankie's." Every time I lace up my sneakers and go out on that stage I try to be as honest with the role as I can. I'm lucky to be from Essex County NJ so I feel a responsibility to depict this man the way that he's perceived from all the men and women that love him so much. I see Frankie as a little man with too big of a heart. His voice is huge because he just has way too much feeling in his body. I want the people to feel his every emotion and go through the journey with me. I also try to get close to his style of singing so they feel like they are watching the man himself. It always feels good when someone tells me they felt like they were watching the real Frankie up there!

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

Oh man, I wasn't given a lot of amount of time to prepare for the show which was cool because I felt like the producers had faith in me. I was in Vegas and it was June of 2008 and I was terrified. I learned the splits for "Beggin" the day of my opening - so you can kind of tell how prepared I was! I mentioned to my parents not to invite too many people to my opening because I wasn't prepared and wanted to get my bearings but that's not how my family does things. There were about 30 people in the first 4 rows cheering for me. In fact I think I might have kept the show running a little longer from all the friends and family that have come to see it over the years. There was a moment when I questioned going out there but a phone call from my mother saying "dummy you get out on that stage and show them what you have and who you are" was enough to get out on that stage. It was not my best work but I got it done and overcame the fear. It started the journey of a lifetime. Vegas was a very spiritual place for me and I will always remember the mountains as a place of peace and refuge.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

Wow, this show has been such a special part of my life and I've made such long term friends from it. Frankie and Bob asked me personally to sing for Frankie's induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame hall of fame. I got to go to Singapore, the Tony Awards, Oprah - it's just all been so rewarding I couldn't name just one moment. This was some ride.


ERIC SCHNEIDER (Swing and Understudy for Frankie)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

C'mon (Marianne), I'm from Jersey... 'Nuff said. Quick crazy story... My mother had a publicity photo of them from 1961 autographed thanks to a guy who knew a guy back in Jersey. Flash forward 47 years. I'm in Jersey Boys and one of my best friends is actually touring with him as one of the new "Seasons." I give him the photo to re-sign backstage at his concert. It blew his mind.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Obviously, that voice. I never even knew I had much of a falsetto until I auditioned for the show. Turns out I do, and it's pretty strong, but good lord... getting there was a journey. I always felt comfortable with the dialogue and the overall sense of who Frank is and where he comes from. Authenticity is something we pride ourselves on in Jersey. The most special challenge however, was auditioning and performing in front of living legends Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio. My knees would knock. Imagine me at 22 walking into that audition room... "Hi Frank, hi Bob, how ya doin'? I'm going to take a crack at singing the famous songs you guys wrote and performed, while trying to capture the infamous, inimitable, sound that made you guys world-famous, rock and roll hall-of-famers. Oh yeah, and then I'm gonna pretend to be you in intimate, delicate, deeply personal scenes, which are slices of your actual personal life. Cool?" I mean, it's nuts.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I remember nothing. I blacked out. No, I remember being on that 2nd level cross the moment right before my cue, and thinking, "What the f**k am I doing? Who thought this was a good idea?" And I vividly remember the crack of the snare, the beginning of "Rag Doll," and rising up from underneath the stage into the light. I remember thinking, I'm still alive, and the audience is still here, so I must have done ok.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I have so many wonderful memories during my time actually in the August Wilson Theatre, that it's hard to pick one. I will say I formed some special bonds with the cast and crew of the show. I lost my father about 2 years after my last show in Jersey Boys. He couldn't have been more proud of me, and he loved the show, and the people in it. Come time for the service in Jersey, who do you think brought the biggest smile to my face as they walk through the door? My Jersey Boys fam. They know who they are. And I love them.


JARROD SPECTOR (First national tour, Chicago, Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I knew the names "Frankie Valli" and "The Four Seasons" and once I heard the score I realized I knew every song in the show. What I did not know, of course, was that Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons sang every one of those songs. Irrespective of the success of Jersey Boys, this group belongs in the pantheon of the great American musical tradition that took off in the 60s and the songs do and should continue to live on in the ever-expanding idea of the Great American Songbook.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Playing Frankie is unique. The actor is tasked with doing justice not only to Frankie's idea of who he is but - on a nightly basis - the audience's idea of the man and his voice. Add to that the fact you still have the actor's usual responsibility of properly honoring the authors' intentions and the director's instructions, and it's kind of a high-wire act. Also singing twenty-seven songs a night in falsetto.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

It was a Saturday matinee in December '06 in San Francisco, during previews before opening night for the First National Tour. I'd had very little on-stage time outside of one put-in rehearsal and I was very much still learning the backstage traffic and costume quick changes on the fly. What I remember most viscerally is how incredibly supportive the company was. That was a special group.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

Goodness, there are many. On the last night of my time in the Chicago company of Jersey Boys the entire cast and many of the crew went to Gibson's Steakhouse (my favorite spot in Chicago) for a farewell party. We'd been together with very little turnover for almost a year and a half. It was an extremely tight-knit and loving company and some of my closest friends to this day were in that cast. With the hope and excitement of moving back to New York after two years away and joining the Broadway company, I got to spend one last night with that Chicago group in a veritable food frenzy. I'm not sure if they all realized it but it was a very special night for me and I will never forget it.


TAYLOR STERNBERG (National tour and Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I grew up on K-EARTH 101 in Los Angeles, so I grew up on the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and certainly The Four Seasons. Their sound was certainly the signature of every retro diner in LA. I think the funny thing about The Four Seasons is that their sound was always "hip" at the time: from "Oh What A Night" to "Swearin' To God", the music fit into the sound of the day. And you know that their music continues to influence when you hear "Oh What A Night" and "Beggin'" sampled in current pop music.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

It's almost like being an adopted parent: you have to honor a person's previous experience, but guide them into a new experience. So when you step on stage as Frankie, you're touching a part of people that they remember so vividly, but changing it with your own nuances and flavor. The note we always got was "Don't be Frankie, but be YOUR Frankie." And with that knowledge, we always walked out of the theater to people telling us it was just like they remembered it, even if it was our own version of it.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I was in Seattle during Christmas at the time, and I got my first shot to do it. This was back in 2007. It's exhilarating, because I didn't really think about it until I was about to step on stage: this show is mostly about you. You barely leave the stage. So the responsibility to be the "anchor" of the show was daunting, but so amazing. And when you finish singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", and the audience applauds, and some stand, you go "this is why I love theater." Because I'm an attention whore. :)

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

People you work with come and go in your life, but you never say goodbye, because you may work with them again in the future. And the people I met and experienced Jersey Boys with will stay with me forever. I love them all, and they have helped form the man I am today.


RUSSELL FISCHER (Played Joey and understudied Frankie on Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I knew nothing about The Four Seasons, except their songs. Jersey Boys has reintroduced this great music to new generations, and extended its reach even further worldwide.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives.

Frankie has a full life. He's suffered great losses, overcome obstacles, and enjoys tremendous success to this day. It's important to give a truthful portrayal and avoid overdramatizing. You must trust the material given and let it take you on the journey.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

Yes - Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009. Almost a year after I joined the company. It felt as though I was hovering a few inches above the stage that day.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

About three months after I left the show, I was called in to be a Frankie standby for the week. I watched the show on Tuesday and went on in the matinee the very next day. It felt as though I've never left. When you've done a show for six years, it's embedded in your soul. That was a surreal, cathartic experience.


TRAVIS CLOER (Former Broadway, current Las Vegas Frankie)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I've been a Four Seasons fan for a very long time, way before Jersey Boys and I've loved singing their music since I was a kid. They have been a huge influence on me as a singer. They are iconic. That's the only way I can describe what they have done to American popular music.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

The biggest challenge is that everyone knows what Frankie Valli sounds like! There is no getting around it. There is a level of pressure to deliver that sound consistently that is second to none. Add on top of that singing the role in the desert of Las Vegas and you have a challenge that not many singers will ever have to deal with. But we are the longest running Broadway show on the Strip in Vegas history and I've done the show over 2000 times so I guess I'm doing something right.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I don't remember my first time at all. I was too busy trying to remember everything I needed to do. I was John Lloyd Young's understudy and I went on for him. I'm sure there were some angry people in the house that night hoping that they would get to see the Tony Award winner only to open up their Playbill to see my name on that dreaded piece of paper. I do remember eating like a horse after it was done though.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I've made an entirely new family. Both a family of friends and colleagues and an actual new family. The show has given this actor the rare opportunity to sit down in one place for almost eight years. In that time I got married to my wife Jen, we've adopted three dog and have two incredible children - all while singing this great music and telling this intriguing story. On top of that, I got to work in the studio with Bob Gaudio on the Jersey Boys Christmas album, have Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg cheer for me as Frankie in the film THE OTHER GUYS and have Frankie V. sing some Sinatra to me over lunch. Pretty amazing stuff. Thanks JB!!!


CORY GRANT (Broadway and Chicago)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

"Walk Like A Man" had a significant presence in my house - one of my dad's favorite songs. Admittedly, I didn't know the difference between The Four Seasons, The Temptations or The Four Tops. It's possible I thought The Four Seasons were black until I was a teenager. And as far as their presence in American music now...I hear it everywhere, particularly whenever I walk into Duane Reade.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

People know when you screw up the lyrics on stage. I did that a lot.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

My first show was on, December 14th, 2007 and the original cast was still in tact. I was terrified, naturally, standing up on the bridge waiting to enter. I thought, "Will they get mad at me if I just walk out and say, 'I don't wanna do this?'" The rest is furious blur. I think I rocked it.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I have a million great memories, yet somehow I always remember the mistakes, people forgetting their lines, falling, breaking props on stage, Peter Gregus (Bob Crew) using his finger to shoot someone, because he didn't have a gun. It was three years of great. So thankful for every second.


MICHAEL LONGORIA (Original Joey and then Frankie on Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I thought I was doing a musical about a hotel chain. The first day of rehearsal, as I was learning "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Walk Like A Man," I remember thinking, "Wait a minute, I know these songs!" I had no idea that I looked and sounded like the lead singer Frankie. Their songs are a part of the soundtrack to American Life. If you grew up in America from the 1960s to present day, you have heard them at some point in your life. The first time I heard "Big Girls Don't Cry," I was watching a local beauty pageant in high school, while a bunch of young girls paraded around in one piece bathing suits.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

I always wanted to be real. Myself. How would I feel if my life changed with a hit record? I let Frankie's original recordings influence how my voice sounded, but I made sure that it was me on that stage. Living and breathing these experiences as they were unfolding for the audience.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I made Broadway history the night I play both the roles of Joe Pesci and Frankie Valli in the same performance. I was already playing Frankie two times a week during the Matinee performances, but at this night show, John Lloyd Young got ill at the top of the show. After I played my Pesci scene in the first act, the curtain came down and they told me I had five minutes to change into my Frankie costume. The audience didn't know what to expect, but once the guys and I sang "Sherry," we had them. By the final note of "Walk Like A Man," the show stopped for a few minutes as the audience let me know that they were on my side and were coming along for the ride. We got three standing ovations that night.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

Being able to develop a relationship with each audience from start to finish. I always felt like the audience was rooting for Frankie. By the final bow I felt like the audience and I were old friends who were reminiscing on a life we had shared together.


MATTHEW SCOTT (Swing covering Frankie and other roles)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I am from New Jersey. I knew every song in the show. (Thanks, Cousin Brucie!) As a group, The Four Seasons influenced countless other groups in decades after they came on the scene.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

I think we all stressed out about delivering on "the sound." Frankie is one of a kind. The audience wants to close their eyes and be taken back in time, and that was our job.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I am sure that I have blocked that out nearly ten years later. It was a whirlwind; I was just trying so hard not to mess it up. I don't think I had time to take stock of just how momentous it all was.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

I made my Broadway debut on a Wednesday matinee in a role I had only rehearsed that very morning. It was an emergency and too many people were out. Then...bam, I was on. Three days later, the same thing happened and I was on for another role I also had to learn that morning. It was truly baptism by fire.


NICK COSGROVE (On tour and on Broadway)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in Jersey Boys? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I grew up listening to Chicago's Oldies 104.3, so I knew The Four Seasons' music very well before seeing Jersey Boys. Their songs are simply timeless, and constantly being covered by other artists, so there's no question that they will be known for generations to come.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

There's a great responsibility in telling this man's story in the most honest way possible and doing justice to his music and his specific sound. It was an absolute honor to get the chance to put my heart and soul into portraying him.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

My first performance was January 12th, 2012 in Ft. Lauderdale. It was a total blur and felt like it flew by in an instant, but to get to have my parents and my agent there meant the world to me.

What has been your greatest memory of your Jersey Boys experience?

My greatest Jersey Boys memory is getting to perform at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago where I had first seen the show, and was inspired to want to train to play the role some day. Getting to come full circle 6 years later and have all of my family and friends there, I can't even express how grateful I am to have had that moment in my life.


CHRISTOPHER MESSINA (On Broadway and on tour)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in JERSEY BOYS? How would you describe their place in American music now?

I grew up listening to The Four Seasons coming from a big Italian family on Long Island so I was very familiar with the songs but was still surprised at the extensive catalogue they created. I'd describe their place in American music today as being still incredibly relevant and appreciated. Their timeless songs have not only been covered by many artists but used in countless commercials and promotions all over the world.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Playing Frankie Valli was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my career both emotionally and physically. The roller coaster of Frankie's life never seems to end within the show from the moment you start to the moment you take that last bow, the highest highs to the lowest lows. It is incredible to see the world he lived through his life and eyes in moments on stage "in concert" and some of the life changing things he went through. Physically it's a show full of vocal gymnastics and emotional fatigue, that, unless you're Frankie himself, is not an easy thing to recreate without a lot of technique and training.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

The first time I played Frankie was December 28th, 2011. I can't say I remember much of the experience itself because I felt like i was on a ride until the end of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." That was the moment I finally took a breath and thanks to the brilliance of the way the show is constructed was able to break the fourth wall and look into the audience for the first time and see all the faces out there so excited to hear that song they had been waiting for all night and see Frankie gain confidence as a single. It was hard to hold back tears in that moment.

What has been your greatest memory of your JERSEY BOYS experience?

My greatest memory in my JERSEY BOYS experience is hard to say. Just being part of this incredible family in every aspect has been completely unreal and a once in a lifetime experience. If I had to narrow it down playing Frankie Valli at Yankee Stadium for 50,000 people at the NHL Winter Classic which was also aired live on NBC for millions of people and then also at the Super Bowl Tailgate the next week would be my greatest memory. I felt I got to experience the actual experience of playing a stadium for such in large amount of people.


JOSEPH LEO BWARIE (Current Broadway Frankie, previously Las Vegas and on tour)

What did you know about The Four Seasons before being cast in JERSEY BOYS? How would you describe their place in American music now?

Growing up in California, I knew their sound from the only radio station ever on in my Dad's car: K-Earth 101. Oldies. We would sing along. So I knew the music. But the history of the band - like the rest of world, I learned that from the show. But if we are just talking about their catalogue of music, between the musical production circling the globe and the Clint Eastwood film featured on every airplane circling the globe; plus Frankie himself touring to this day - I think The Four Seasons' signature sound has reached the ends of the earth securing them a spot in the hearts of all generations.

What are the special challenges of playing a living legend whose music was such an important part of people's lives?

Legendary status is interesting. In a perfect scenario, said "legend" remains the same, while the world places him on a pedestal. So for me, I consider it more of an opportunity and less of a challenge. Every night, I get to step into the scuffed-up shoes of a regular guy with real life problems, and that same night, wear the high gloss shoes of a pop music icon. Connecting the man and the music pays the best tribute to Frankie and gives him the respect he deserves as more than a famous sound.

Do you remember the very first time you ever played Frankie? Do you remember the actual date and the experience?

I know it was at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco and I want to say it was November 30th, 2007 because I went on a day before I was scheduled and I remember being concerned that I had never run the entire show on the deck. I just kept telling myself, "Do not fall in the trap downstage."

What has been your greatest memory of your JERSEY BOYS experience?

I have been a part of three companies over the course of eight years: Vegas, 1st National Tour and Broadway. That is a good chunk of life. And I would be hard-pressed to identify one instance as a "greatest memory." But, mark my words, I will tell tales of JERSEY BOYS when I am old and grey. And I consider myself lucky that I have had eight years of on-stage and off-stage life with spectacular, life-changing people who have given me one heck of a chapter in my life story.


Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys is the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history. Jersey Boys opened on Broadway to critical acclaim on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The show has been seen by over 23 million people worldwide (as of August, 2015) and is currently playing in New York, Las Vegas, London, in cities across NORTH AMERICA on national tour and across the UK on national tour.

The Broadway company stars Richard H. Blake (Tommy Devito), Matt Bogart (Nick Massi), Joseph Leo Bwarie(Frankie Valli) and Quinn VanAntwerp (Bob Gaudio) with Peter Gregus and Mark Lotito, and Candi Boyd, Jared Bradshaw, Cara Cooper, John Edwards, Frankie J. Galasso, Leo Huppert,Rory Max Kaplan, Katie O'Toole, Joe Payne, Mauricio Pérez, John Rochette, Jessica Rush, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Nathan Scherich, Sara Schmidt

JERSEY BOYS is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.

Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard... and the radio just couldn't get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story -- a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. The show features all their hits including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Oh What A Night," "Walk Like A Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Working My Way Back To You."



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From This Author Michael Dale