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January 22, 2010

Gritty, Soul-Bearing Four Seasons Story Begins in Memphis Next Week!

January 22nd, 2010

Frankie Valli & Bob GaudioAs a preview to JERSEY BOYS’ opening in Memphis next week, GoMemphis.com’s Christopher Blank has a terrific interview with original Four Seasons’ member Bob Gaudio and JB national tour’s “Frankie Valli,” Joseph Leo Bwarie.

It’s no surprise that a few years ago, when it seemed as though every major artist was having their catalogs turned into Broadway shows — Elvis, ABBA, The Beach Boys, John Lennon among them — the two men who controlled The Four Seasons’ canon, lead singer Frankie Valli and songwriter/keyboardist/vocalist Bob Gaudio, were interested.

Unlike those other efforts, which have come to be known as “jukebox musicals,” this one didn’t rely on a story that critics could trash as derivative or cheesy. It was their story, warts and all, as soul-baring as could be depicted in a two-hour show.

“When Frankie and I were in opening night at La Jolla (2004), we both looked at each other at halftime — or intermission — and said, ‘My God, imagine if this gets to Broadway,’ ” said Gaudio during a recent visit to Memphis, his first since he was a teenager. “La Jolla was Beach Boys territory, the worst place you could open a show about The Four Seasons. But they extended it from six weeks to four months. Then we thought, OK, well, if it goes to New York and the critics don’t destroy us, at least we’ll have the bridge and tunnel crowd. The reviews were terrific. Then we won the Tony.”

“It’s an odd feeling watching it,” Gaudio said. “Once the story of our lives became theatricalized, we kind of became fans of what we were seeing. Back then, we were criminals! Well, some of us, at least.”

Read the full interview, along with some fascinating stories behind some of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons’ biggest hits on GoMemphis.com.

3 Comments »

  1. Great photo of Frankie and Bob together! Go Memphis!

    Comment by Chiara — January 22, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

  2. Frankie & Bobby,

    The Jersey Boys is the “BEST” its so true your not only seeing a play but also a concert both rolled into one,so many feel the same way its a show you want to keep seeing over & over again. Its done well & so real except for 5% of it. Ha! Ha!
    Great shot/dad is smiling right down on you with Love.
    Best Wishes to the Boys in Memphis…..

    Love Ya!
    Blessings Always,

    http://www.nickmassiart.com
    WorkHard/Dream/Bekind

    Comment by Patti-Massi-Candeliere — January 22, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

  3. I hope that Memphis embraces “Jersey Boys” as much as we did in Chicago. As a lifelong 4 Seasons fan “Jersey Boys” it was a great reprise of good memories of the best group of all time. To Frankie and Bob, thanks for the great music. My kids, and now grandkids, have grown up with the music. My 23 year old daughter, who once had her hand kissed by Frankie during “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” at a concert in Merrillville, IN when she was just 7 still is a great fan. And most recently at the last Chicago concert Frankie kissed my grand daughter’s hand at the end of the concert and she now is another “Frankie follower”. Great memories for them as well. Bob, what great music! And to Patti, I wish your father was here to enjoy the adjulation of the fans. What a talent! I’ve been fortunate to get the autographs from Frankie, Bob and Tommy and wish I could’ve had the opprotunity to meet your dad. It’s something that a real 4 Seasons’ fan has missed. Memphis, please take advantage of this great show, you’ll be sorry if you miss it!

    Comment by Stan Burczyk — January 25, 2010 @ 10:45 am

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