October 5, 2007

Four Seasons’ Story In Chicago!

October 5th, 2007

Terry Loncaric of the Northwest Herald has a terrific preview of Jersey Boys, which opens this weekend at the LaSalle Bank Theatre in Chicago! The reporter notes that many stage dramatizations of pop stars are airbrushed, fluffy “jukebox” musicals with little substance. The story serves as window dressing for an evening of greatest hits. Winning four Tony Awards for its Broadway run, Jersey Boys, breaks the mold in every way. Jersey Boys carries the cache of Broadway success with big production numbers and triple-threat performers, who can sing, dance and act. But the show is, first and foremost, anchored in the rags-to-riches story of the Four Seasons.

Loncaric’s story includes commentary from co-writer Rick Elice who said he was drawn to the saga of four poor Italian guys making huge personal sacrifices to achieve their success.

“It’s kind of like the Wild Mouse ride at Coney Island,” the New York playwright said. “You think you’re going in one direction, and by the end of the ride, your brain feels like it’s guacamole. It is remarkable to see the emotional effect this show has on an audience.”

This story also includes Q&A time with Jarrod Spector, who will be playing the legendary Frankie Valli in the Chicago Run. When asked what are the acting challenges of playing a living rock ‘n roll legend, Spector replied,

What makes the show challenging and wonderful is it’s not a jukebox musical; it’s a great story with a concert thrown in. For two-and-a-half hours, people forget you’re not Frankie Valli and not a real rock star. He goes through an absolute roller coaster ride. If you’re not drained by the end of the evening, you’re not doing your job.

1 Comment »

  1. Newspaper columnists often feel the need to comment on Frankie Valli’s falsetto in a less than positive way even when praising him, forgetting that he has a three and one half octave range.

    I was an instrumental musician in my early years, and the research I have done about voices recently does not surprise me. Many musical instruments have register keys which alter the resonance frequency of the intstrument. With the human voice, the resonance phenomena lie in different parts of the body. In the case of a falsetto, the nasal passages create the falsetto resonance range. Even basso profundo voices can develop this falsetto range, and it greatly increases the versatility and freqeuncy range of the voice.

    Frankie became famous for his falsetto voice, and I guess it typecast him just as William Shatner will always be typecast as Captain Kirk. But you can’t argue with either’s success.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — October 5, 2007 @ 8:41 am

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