May 7, 2010

Fantastic Fan Frances Fong-Lee Celebrates Her 100th Jersey Boys Show!

May 7th, 2010

Frances Fong-Lee has joined a very unique group of JERSEY BOYS fantastic fans! Last month, she had a double-celebration–she celebrated both her 20th birthday and her 100th JB show! In her JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, Frances shares stories of what keeps bringing her back to the show, her most memorable experiences, and details of her big 100th celebration. Frances also provided us with fabulous photo coverage of her many JB adventures around the globe!

JBB: When did you first hear about Jersey Boys, and how did you become interested in the show?

FFL: I first heard about Jersey Boys near the end of Grade 12, around April to May of 2007 over the internet. I became interested in the show when I saw a few ads and video clips for the show over the internet. I thought: a musical about guys in the 60s who were mixed up with Mafia members – that sounds cool!

JBB: What was your reaction to the show upon seeing it for the first time? What keeps bringing you back?

FFL: When I first saw the show in New York, my reaction was “WOW! That’s one of the best shows I have ever seen!” What keeps bringing me back to this show are the fantastic songs, the immense and incredible talent of these actors and actresses in these various companies of Jersey Boys, and the amazing story behind the group, The Four Seasons.

JBB: Congratulations on your 100th show milestone and happy birthday to you! We’d love to hear about your big celebration!

FFL: Thank you very much! It was definitely one of the best birthdays ever! The big 2-0 and 100 celebrations started off with dinner with 16 of my friends at Moxies Bar and Grill. Then after dinner, we went over to the Toronto Centre for the Arts to see my 100th Jersey Boys show. When we sat down in our front row seats, the company manager of the Toronto Jersey Boys came over to me and told me to stay seated in my seat during the intermission because he was going to come get me ‘cause they had a surprise for me! Then when intermission came, the company manager brought me and my friends to the VIP Lounge inside the theatre and there was a big chocolate cake for us, and he presented me with a personalized autographed Jersey Boys poster/plaque! There were of course lots of pictures taken during that night!

JBB: Sounds like an amazing evening! I think I’ve lost track on all the places you’ve seen Jersey Boys? In what cities have you seen Jersey Boys thus far?

FFL: I’ve seen Jersey Boys in New York, Las Vegas, London, Toronto, Rochester, NY, Nashville, Raleigh, NC, Boston, Detroit, and soon to be Buffalo :)

JBB: Why do you think people have such a strong connection to Jersey Boys?

FFL: I think that people have such a strong connection to Jersey Boys because of the incredible story and the amazing songs. Even if you’re not familiar with the songs, the story is so captivating and it draws you in, and the characters are so interesting. And if you’re already a fan of the songs, then you’ll just love the incredible talent that these actors and singers have – they sound JUST like the original Four Seasons.

JBB: Have you met any of the JB cast members? What about the original Four Seasons?

FFL: Yes, I have met a lot of the JB cast members. And if I’m allowed to say, my favorite JB cast members (including past JB-cast members) are: John Lloyd Young, Christian Hoff, John Gardiner, Matt Bailey, Buck Hujabre, Dan Sullivan, Matt Cassidy, Josh Franklin, and Jade Elliott. :)

And yes, I have also met the original Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Joe Long as well. I met them at a BC/EFA event in New York in October of 2007.

JBB: What’s your favorite Jersey Boys scene & why?

FFL: I think my favorite Jersey Boys scene has to be the “sit down scene” in Act 2 because you really get to see depth of the characters of Tommy, Nick, and Frankie get brought out. And I just love how angry Nick gets at Tommy and the way in which Tommy reacts to the whole situation.

JBB: How about your favorite musical number in Jersey Boys & why?

FFL: I don’t think I have ONE favorite musical number in the show, but I do have a few: “Who Loves You,” “Beggin,” and “Working My Way Back to You.”

JBB: Do you have a favorite line from the show?

FFL: Hmmm, favorite line from the show? I have two actually: :)

“Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them, some achieve greatness — then f*** it up” – Frankie Valli

“You think it’s easy running a group? Dealing with the club owners, the managers, the record companies, everybody trying to f*** you five ways from Sunday!” – Tommy DeVito

JBB: Prior to seeing Jersey Boys, were you familiar with The Four Seasons’ music? If so, do you have a favorite 4 Seasons’ song?

FFL: I actually didn’t know much about the Four Seasons before I saw the show (they were before my time, HAHA!), but my dad did listen to their music while he was growing up.

JBB: You must have some amazing memories over the past 100 shows! What are some of your most memorable experiences?

FFL: Some of my most memorable Jersey Boys experiences have to be when I got to meet Bob Gaudio and Rick Elice for the second time at the Jersey Boys Toronto one-year anniversary show. During the curtain call at the one-year anniversary show, THE Bob Gaudio pointed and winked at me when Aubrey Dan, the president of DanCap acknowledged that I had seen the show for the 66th time that night – that was such an honor, getting a point and wink from THE Bob Gaudio! Another memorable experience from that night was when one of the Jersey Boys Toronto cast members, Aaron MacKenzie, snuck one of my best friends and I into the post-show after party – we got to mix and mingle with all the Jersey Boys cast members and Bob Gaudio and Rick Elice again.

Other unforgettable memorable experiences from Jersey Boys has to be when Brian Silverman, the guitarist from the Jersey Boys Touring Company, and Desiree, one of the girls from the wig department in the JB Touring Company, brought be backstage after one of the performances from Toronto and Boston, respectively. Another memorable experience was when Dan Sullivan, the Tommy DeVito from the Toronto Company, brought me and my friends from work backstage after one of the shows. All those backstage tours were so much fun!


  1. Congrats Frances. What wonderful memories!

    Comment by Rose — May 7, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  2. …..and awesome pictures!!

    Comment by Rose — May 7, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  3. Way to go Frances! Great interview, you guys.

    Comment by Chiara — May 7, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  4. Congrats, Frannie! I just love looking at all your wonderful pictures!

    Comment by Nancy — May 8, 2010 @ 3:46 am

  5. I am so jealous….you actually got to meet the “man”. No one desearves it more than you. I will be at 20 by the end of the year, but 100 is absolutely amazing.

    Comment by gladys — May 8, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  6. Fabulous photos. It’s like a who’s who of JB. Congratulations on your 100th show and your 20th B’day.

    Comment by Linda/Tiggerbelle — May 8, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  7. Great pics, Frances. I’m glad your 100th show and birthday went well. Congratulations on achieving this milestone!

    Comment by Gary — May 8, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  8. My thought exactly, Linda; the photos are a Who’s Who of JB! Unfortunately I haven’t been to Toronto YET, but more than once, it has come across that DanCap is really a ‘stand up’ company. So nice to hear about that chocolate cake waiting for you in the VIP lounge.

    Frances, you’ve inspired me to offer a free ticket to my Four Seasons Old Neighborhood Bus Tour for anyone who reaches 100 performances. (Hmmm….but then what could I do for those reaching 200?) Be in touch the next time you’re going to be in Jersey.

    Comment by Audrey — May 9, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  9. Audrey, if I take your bus tour 100 times will you give me a free ticket to Jersey Boys?

    Wow, Frances – front row AND chocolate cake. I guess you got your cake, and seated, too! Congrats on a fantastic night AND photo collection!

    Comment by stubbleyou — May 9, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  10. Frances, this is a wonderful tour down memory lane; thanks so much for the slide show.

    I do have one question, though. How did you get Philip Bulcock to pose for such nice pix? I was with a group at the stage door in London, and as soon as we called to him, he disappeared quicker than Mary Delgado after “My Eyes Adored You”. When he was a safe distance, he gave a slight wave, pleased he’d made a clean getaway!!

    Stubbleyou, when you take Audrey’s 100th tour, you get the CD of “100 Jersey Boys Fans on the Bus”, 100 Jersey Boys Fans, One Gets Down and Stands on the Ground, 99 Jersey Boys Fans on the Bus, etc., etc.

    Comment by Howard — May 9, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

  11. Thanks for all these wonderful comments, everyone! :) And I’m glad you like these photos! (I still have more photos, but these were some of my favourites)

    Audrey: I would LOVE to take the Old Neighbourhood Bus Tour one day! Hopefully I’ll be in the NY area sometime in August; I’ll have to make a little stop in NJ for sure! :)

    And Howard, Philip Bulcock was such a nice guy whenever I saw him at the stagedoor. He was always willing to stay for a bit to chat and take pics. And it doesn’t hurt that I told him he was my favourite Nick ;)

    Comment by Frances — May 9, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

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