October 28, 2007

Four Seasons Popularity Soars Thanks to Jersey Boys!

October 28th, 2007

Louis R. Carlozo of the Chicago Tribune reports that it’s official: Jersey Boys is a hit in Chicago, and with glowing reviews and two midshow standing ovations at last week’s opening night, odds are excellent that LaSalle Bank Theatre-goers will want to know even more about the group, whose story remained untold for decades.

On the Small Screen spoke with original Four Seasons member and songwriter Bob Gaudio about the group’s history — and resurgent popularity in the wake of “Jersey Boys” and the “Jersey Beat” set that followed it. Here’s a sample of what Gaudio had to say:

Q: With the success of “Jersey Boys,” do you feel you should have told the story sooner?

Gaudio: To hear people come out of that theater saying, “Oh my God, I had no idea” is rewarding. The book for this show is as good as the music, and if you like our music, it’s a perfect combination. I mean, doing any show is a risk, so the odds of being successful are horrendous. The option was a TV movie, of which we had many offers. But when I spoke to Frankie, theater was already in my blood — a quick infusion. There was a little bit of talk of bird-in-hand, bird-in-hand. But the risk was worth it.

Q: Frankie Valli was given a lifetime achievement award by the National Italian American Foundation last year. What did being Italian mean to the Four Seasons as the group took shape?

Gaudio: It’s what we grew up with. The thing I can pick up on is passion — it’s the passion in Frankie’s voice. He could sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and make you cry. It’s the Italian soul in his voice: the cry, that pain, that love in his voice. That was a big part of it, and that was certainly what inspired me to write for the voice. It’s not operatic, but there’s a certain passion in Italian tenors — and Frankie’s got exactly that. And everybody in the Four Seasons rallied around that, especially with the harmonies and me with the songwriting.

1 Comment »

  1. Being a Jersey Girl it was WONDERFUL to see Jersey Boys in Chicago. It brought back so many memories of growing up back East I cried. I also enjoyed learning many things about The Four Seasons that I was not aware of. You always think of Stars as having it all, Jersey Boys brought you to the real human side thst all of these Talanted Men have or had.

    Comment by Karen Trembula — October 29, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

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