September 28, 2007

Graham Fenton–Local Jersey Guy Now A ‘Jersey Boy’

September 28th, 2007

Deborah Marko of The Daily Journal has a terrific story about Graham Fenton, one of the latest additions to Jersey Boys’ Broadway cast!

At the start of the summer, Graham, a former Millvillian, was waiting tables in Orlando when the casting call went out for the Broadway production of Jersey Boys. He knew the show was a great success, so he perfected his falsetto and planned to woo the casting directors with “Barbara Ann.” Graham said,

“I was a little nervous, you want to do your best. I was thinking, this could be it for me.”

And it was. That fateful audition was the beginning of Fenton’s transformation from a struggling actor to rising star. He was called back again and again. The contender pool got smaller. Judging got tougher. He was summoned to New York City where he spent a week at “Frankie Camp,” learning how to be the perfect Valli guy. At one point, Fenton, 24, was asked to sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” to a casting panel, which included Frankie Valli himself.

“I tried not to look at him too much. I didn’t want my nerves to get the better of me,” he said.

Read the full story on Graham Fenton on TheDailyJournal.com website.

34 Comments »

  1. A group of out-of-town friends and I were fortunate to see Graham in his debut performance as Norm Waxman on September 15, and he captured every nuance of the part. And he was as humble and gracious at the stage door and he is talented on the stage itself. It was a pleasure to meet you, Graham, and thanks for being so attentive to my friends.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — September 28, 2007 @ 9:55 am

  2. Graham is a great guy! Met him backstage after the show on 9/8, he’d just watched the show from the stairs in the Mezz. We met up again at Daniel’s Summer Mix Tape concert. He’s delightful and so kind and said he was “ready to go on”. Good luck Graham, will see you this coming Sunday!!!

    Comment by Wanda — September 28, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  3. Graham has an older brother, Jack, and a younger brother, Alec, and I had dated Alec for about 2 and a half years until our relationship ended in 2004. I have to say that Graham and the entire Fenton family are the most amazing and warm-hearted people I have ever met. All three of the Fenton brothers are tremendously talented, and it was certainly a treat to see and hear their talents in person. I always knew Graham would make it to Broadway, probably even before HE knew he would make it to Broadway. Words cannot express how elated I am for him and Nicole, and I cannot wait to bring out old candid photos of him from the “old days”! Congrats Graham! You deserve it more than anyone I know!

    Comment by Kimberly — October 1, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

  4. I met Graham when he was a server and a singer at Miceli’s restaurant Universal City, CA. I didn’t give much thought about casting him as Eddie Cantor in the new musical “Bert ‘n’ Eddie” until I noticed that he was singing in the center area of Miceli’s. I asked my friends to see if he could pass for the Eddie character. They agreed that he would do. I waved him over and asked if he was an actor, too. (You know the answer to that if you saw him in “Jersey Boys.)He said he graduated from Carnegie-Mellon. Bingo! I asked him if he knew who Eddie Cantor was. He drew a blank and said, “I have no idea.” Being a trained actor myself (Stella Adler Academy) I knew that not being aware of Eddie Cantor didn’t matter, that his training would get him there.

    A week later, the producer, Dick DeBendictis was excited that we found our “Eddie Cantor.” It was a thrill for me after joining the production team two years later to see Graham nail the character! Each show was a standing ovation for him and the other great actors. You can see photos and a clip of “Bert ‘n’ Eddie” at http://www.insidetheindustry.tv or
    http://www.bertneddie.com.

    Go get ‘em, Graham!!

    Julian Vazquez
    Executive Producer
    JennTess Productions/Inside the Industry
    http://www.insidetheindustry.tv (not .com don’t go there!)

    Comment by Julian Vazquez — October 5, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  5. Congrats Grahm and belated Happy Birthday!!! Hope to see you soon in the production!!! So happy for you!

    Love ya, Mom L

    Comment by Donna Lippincott/McGoldrick — October 14, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  6. Jim and I saw the Saturday Dec. 1st afternoon performance and Graham owns the part of Franki Valli. He brought the house down with his stellar performance and we hope to see him perform again. We hope this engagement is extended so that we can purchase tickets for the rest of our large family. Please come back after the Dec. 30th run.

    Comment by Carol McConnell — December 3, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

  7. Just a correction for Carol, you saw Joseph Leo Bwarie (the alternation Frankie), not Graham.

    Comment by Brian — December 9, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

  8. I just wanted to say I saw the Jersey Boys show at the Palazzo in Las Vegas on Aug 31/08. It was the 10:00 PM show that Graham Fenton performed in.

    It was the best show I had ever seen. I loved it. You and the rest of the cast deserved a Tony Award for your performances. Congratulations on a wonderful show.

    C

    Comment by C — September 7, 2008 @ 2:00 am

  9. I just saw ‘Jersey Boys’ at the Palazzo & I’m floored by Graham Fenton’s performance!!! I’ve been a Broadway Musical Fan all my life & I’ve seen Fantastic performances, believe me – Graham was exceptional!
    What I heard from the Audience responds were amazing mostly saying that you believe Graham was Frankie valli, & Yes, he deserves a Tony Award for his performances!
    Wish you a Great Broadway Career ahead of you Graham!
    Thanx for a most memorable show.

    Comment by DAVID — October 1, 2008 @ 5:48 am

  10. I also had the pleasure of seeing Graham last week at the late show on Tuesday. He was excellent. His CTMEOY shook the theatre it was so powerful. I also had the pleasure of meeting him backstage with a friend after the Thursday performance and he was very gracious.

    Comment by David Cace — October 1, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  11. Graham, I saw you on Dec. 23rd 2008 for the matinee in Denver. I was so taken wtih your talent that I tried to get additonal tickets to see your performance again. Tickets are sold out. I was heart broken. Your are a true star! I am an older want to be Rockett or Broadway person but those days are gone. I love true God given talent and he certainly gave that to you! I will look forward to the next time and perhaps a Tony real soon!!!

    Comment by Cheryl — December 27, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  12. I’m not sure if you remember me from our CMU days, but I am so thrilled for your Jersey Boys debut. Your talent will undoubtedly continue to take you far. Best of luck for an exciting future.

    Comment by Kristin Juhasz — January 11, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  13. I saw Jersey Boys at the Palazzo last April with Rick Faugno as “Frankie”. It was fabulous, and when it was announced that Jersey Boys was coming to Pittsburgh, I got tickets for two shows. My first show was this past Saturday, January 10th, with Graham Fenton as Frankie. I can honestly say that Graham Fenton IS Frankie Valli. He has every single move perfected. His voice is phenomenal and I swear I was watching Frankie Valli for the first time. He is absolutely amazing. Erik Bates (Tommy), Steve Gouvela (Nick) and John Franklin (Bob Gaudio) were also amazing. I loved, loved, loved this tour show in Pittsburgh. . . and I’m happy to say that when I see it again on January 25th, Graham will be Frankie again. I cannot wait. “Beggin’ for more Jersey Boys”

    Comment by Cheryl Pagano — January 12, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

  14. Graham, I’m sure you don’t remember exactly who I am, but we did the Jesus Christ Superstar Benefit in LA together. I saw you last Saturday afternoon at the Benedum, and you did an AMAZING job!

    Comment by Cindi Verbelun — January 24, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

  15. GRAHAM,JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW I BROUGHT 2 BUSES TO THE BENEDUM CENTER IN PITTSBURGH…104 PEOPLE WHO ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE SHOW AND YOUR PERFORMANCE. WE SAW THE SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MATINEES. YOU NOW HAVE 104 FANS IN YOUNGSOWN, OHIO. BRAVO.

    Comment by JAN CEFALU — February 6, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  16. Graham, saw your performance at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT on Saturday, 2/21/09. You were SPECTACULAR. Do you by any chance have a CD available? You have a fan for life. Hope to see you in more productions.

    Comment by Brian — February 23, 2009 @ 8:35 am

  17. Graham, I saw your performance at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT on Saturday February 21, 2009 as well. You were OUTSTANDING and i was thrilled that i got to see you. I enjoyed your performance so much that I bought more tickets when Jersey Boys goes to Rhode Island and Boston. Since you did such a great job, knowing me I will probably be disappointed with the show because your probably not going to be Frankie Valli when I go but i will still enjoy it. I’ve been to a countless number of Broadway plays that were all fantastic, but this one was my favorite, and will always be!

    P.S. Your not bad looking either : )

    Comment by Carly — February 23, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  18. Graham, I just got back from Jersey Boys at TPAC in Nashville. I got to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons live in 1968 and this afternoon, I thought I had seen a replay! Bravo! You did not try to reinvent the part, you WERE Frankie Valli. Awesome! I will see Jersey Boys again, but if you aren’t Frankie it won’t be the same.

    Comment by Steve Hammond — April 4, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

  19. Graham, I saw Jersey Boys in Fort Lauderdale on April 9 and I am still reeling. Your performance was absolutely amazing. I am an avid broadway fan and have attended many shows(many in NYC)but,I cannot remember being this wowed or moved by anyone. You went beyond playing Frankie and singing his songs, you were Frankie Valli.
    The entire cast was fantastic(praise to Matt,Josh and Steve as well) but you were just spectacular. I am thrilled I got to see you perform and I expect I will be seeing your name many times over in the years to come.
    Thank you for a wonderful theater experience.

    Comment by Barbara — April 13, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  20. Hi Graham, I want to see you in Orlando but want to make sure I have your schedule of performances – matinees or what – still thrilling from your performance.

    Comment by Barbara — April 19, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  21. Ok Graham
    I have tickets for Saturday May 16 matinee in Orlando – hope to see you again.

    barbara

    Comment by Barbara — April 24, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

  22. Graham…have heard nothing but NICE about you. Want to see you in Atlanta. Are you still doing matinees?

    Comment by Carol — May 12, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  23. Hi Graham
    I got to see you for a second time in Orlando on Saturday May 16. Once again, you were absolutely
    spectacular – your talent is amazing and I look forward to following your career. The very best to you and thanks again for a terrific afternoon at the theater and for your unforgettable performance.
    Barbara

    Comment by Barbara — May 18, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  24. Graham,

    Just saw your fabulous matinee performance yesterday at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta – 3rd row seats so you were up close! You are absolutely phenomenal as Frankie Valli. What an awesome talent you are, Graham, such an amazing voice, such energy. The audience loves you as I’m sure you could tell. I definitely hope to see you in more productions. The very best of luck to you.

    Comment by Marilyn — June 14, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  25. I saw Graham play Frankie in the show in Atlanta and could not imagine anyone else playing Frankie Valli really did a great job. I was completely blown away by the tour.

    Comment by Amanda — June 23, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

  26. Graham rocked as Frankie Valli in Boston today. Great performance!

    Comment by Linda — July 30, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

  27. I saw Graham as Frankie in “Jersey Boys” last weekend in Boston, and for the entire show he had me convinced that he truly was Frankie Valli because he truly is a brilliantly talented performer and vocalist.

    Comment by Colleen — August 8, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  28. We were privileged to have orchestra seats to see Graham Fenton in the starring role as Frankie Valli on Saturday afternoon in Boston.
    The entire show and cast were outstanding—but most of all Graham. His spectacular voice and precise interpretation of this demanding role will remain with us forever. We live in New Jersey and frequently see Broadway shows, but Graham’s performance will be at the top of our list forever!

    Comment by Renard and Bunny Ferrari — August 11, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  29. Graham, i just want to say i saw you yesterday at the Shubert and took my mother for her 75th birthday she has seen many shows more than me but you made this the beast birthday present she has gotten in 75 years she was crying with such joy i was too even though having to climb 72 stairs to get our seats would like to meet you when you are here in boston you made this for me who turned 50 this and a HUGE fan of Frankie Valli the best day of my life

    i will never again experience such a performance or production you are superb hope to hear from you and see another performance with you without having to do 72 stairs

    you are the best

    all the best to you in your future shows and bravos to all of the other cast and crew for a show so well done my mother and i don’t stop talking

    Comment by stephen hager — August 23, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

  30. I just saw Graham as Frankie last night at the National Theatre in DC. The entire cast was superb, but Graham’s voice and performance were truly phenomenal. Thank you Graham for a wonderful evening!

    Comment by Cathy — November 23, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  31. Saw you at the Barbara B Mann in Ft Mers Fl. You were great.

    Comment by helen — March 8, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  32. I’m not that big into musicals.But that all changed on wednesday night at the 2pm show at the kravis center in west palm beach.Graham Fenton was absolutely amazing.He was for me the best front man for frankie valli they could have chosen.They showed a story that I never knew and did it perfectly. That cast for that show ,you should never change.I had the greatest time with my mom .thank you.P.S.my mom has seen it 3 times, now I see why. I’m just not sure I’ll be happy with any other cast. I guess I’ll have to risk it.

    Comment by john m. harvey — March 26, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  33. I was fortunate to see Graham Fenton in Charlotte, NC two ago singing the role of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. He was absolutely awesome and did a fantastic job in the role. We were so lucky he joined the tour.

    Comment by Joyce Elliott — April 16, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  34. Me and my mom saw the Jersey Boys production in Charlotte, NC on 04/18, the last show staring Graham Fenton as Frankie Valli and I was blown away. You did an amazing job. Congrats on the roll and keep on cause you got a talent that can’t be beat.

    Comment by Stephanie — April 20, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

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