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BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Corey Greenan

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BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Corey Greenan
Corey Greenan

Today's subject Corey Greenan is currently living his theatre life in a show he is very familiar with. He portrays Tommy DeVito in the current National Tour of Jersey Boys. Read on to see how many performances of the show he has under his belt. The show is currently playing at the National Theatre and will continue there through Jan 5.

Corey has been seen on Broadway in Mamma Mia! (Sky), and Scandalous. U.s. Tours include If/Then, and Mamma Mia!. He also played Che in the International tour of Evita. Other New York and select regional credits include I Am Harvey Milk, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Jersey Boys is a vocally demanding show just by virtue of the amount of singing involved. Now I want you to think about having to play the show in a different city almost every week. There are so many variables. Read on to see how Corey deals with this challenge.

People love the music they grew up on. If you grew up listening to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in the 60's then here is your chance to relive a simpler time in music and our country. A time when the music was just fun and you were instantly able to sing along.

Grab yourself some tickets to see Corey Greenan and the current touring company of Jersey Boys at the National Theatre this holiday season. If you don't come out of the show singing "Oh What a Night!" I'll be very surprised.

When did you get bitten by the theatre bug?

I had sung in choirs since fourth grade but didn't perform in a theatrical production until my senior year of high school. It was Once on This Island and they needed a tenor for one of the roles ... I chose to major in theatre that year.

Where did you receive your theatrical training?

I studied Theatre Arts, with an emphasis on acting, at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

What had you been performing in right before initially joining Jersey Boys?

I had been in the national tour of If/Then with Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp. That tour closed on a Sunday and I started rehearsals for Jersey Boys the following Tuesday.

BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Corey Greenan
L-R Corey Greenan, Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss and Michael Milton in the National Tour of Jersey Boys.
Photo by Joan Marcus.

You have worked your way up the ranks of Jersey Boys. As of now about how many performances of Jersey Boys do you have clocked in?

I started in a performing ensemble position and took over the role of Tommy 2+ years ago. At this point, I've done about 750 performances of Jersey Boys.

Along those same lines, after playing in the same show for awhile some performers might have the inclination to start walking through their performance. How do you keep your performance fresh night after night?

That's certainly part of the work of this job, but with a show as across-the-board incredible as this one, it's not hard. Audiences love this show wherever we take it and that helps make it such a joy to perform every night.

You were part of a Broadway musical called Scandalous which had an all too brief run. What do you think the reasons were for its pre mature demise on Broadway?

That's a difficult question to answer. So many things go into getting a show on Broadway and while Scandalous had so many wonderful things going for it and an abundance of amazing talent on all sides, I guess it just wasn't its time.

If you had to pick another one of the Four Seasons to portray in Jersey Boys which one would it be? Please explain your choice.

I would love to play Nick Massi, the bassist of the group. He's such an understated character with an incredible depth of heart beneath a stoic and controlled exterior.

BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Corey Greenan
L-R Michael Milton, Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss and Corey Greenan in the National Tour of Jersey Boys.
Photo by Joan Marcus.

Jersey Boys is a highly demanding show vocally. Your tour schedule involves split weeks and I imagine climate changes in a quick period of time. How do you keep from getting sick no matter where you are on the road?

Well, it's impossible to avoid sickness and fatigue entirely but keeping hydrated, making sure you get your sleep when you can, and keeping up on the gym all serve to keep you healthy and going strong.

Jersey Boys has a very loyal fan base. Some fans follow the show all over the country. What is your favorite Jersey Boys fan encounter?

Our fan base is amazing! People keep coming back over and over because the story is so engaging and relateable and the music holds a special place in their hearts. One particular fan (you know who you are, Sam!) will show up in multiple towns across America and always has an amazing homemade gift for every member of the cast. And you should see his custom made Sherry suit, he'd look right at home up on that stage!

Why do you think Jersey Boys continues to resonate with its audiences?

I think people have an emotional connection to the music. These are songs that they grew up to, fell in love to, and that defined a generation. Beyond that, you get an incredibly raw and honest story about the very unique individuals that made up this pop group phenomenon. It's relatable, informative, exciting, and, at times, heart-breaking.

Special thanks to the National Theatre's Director of Marketing and Sales Ashley Birdsell for her assistance in coordinating this interview.

Theatre Life logo designed by Kevin Laughon.

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