June 12, 2007

JBB EXCLUSIVE: Howard Tucker Interviews Christopher Kale Jones–Part Two!

June 12th, 2007

Christopher Kale Jones and Howard Tucker

Part II: Jersey Boys and the 4 Seasons

HT: As you assumed the role of Frankie Valli in the National Tour, did you get any advice from either Frankie Valli or John Lloyd Young?

CKJ: Yes, both were very generous. Frankie told me how he basically taught himself to sing and how he’s still always learning. John was extremely helpful in advising me how to deal physically with a demanding 27 songs six times a week.

John has also advised me how to stay hydrated through each performance and maintain my stamina with weekly routines.

HT: Speaking of John, how did it feel being the next actor cast in the role of Frankie after he won the Tony for the role? Those are some big shoes to fill!

CKJ: Well, Howard, it was daunting to say the least. I have a huge admiration for the job that John has done, and I realize that without his efforts I might not even have a job right now. As for those shoes, I learned in my first costume fitting that he and I have the same size feet, so filling those shoes has been a snap!

HT: (laughs) Chris, what are the major differences between the locations of Broadway, San Francisco, and Los Angeles?

CKJ: Several things, Howard. First, certain references get varied reactions in certain cities; Deven’s line about “buying an Oscar and an Emmy” gets huge applause in LA, where it went a bit more under the radar in SF. But I think the biggest difference is that there are limited runs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, which are boosted by subscribers to the theatre programs.

HT: That also makes it difficult to establish a fan base in a city, I imagine.

CKJ: Well, more so than in New York, where it just may run forever. But already, several fans at the stage door have told me they’re planning to see the show again. Not to mention the countless fans that came to embrace the show in San Fran and continue to e-mail me with their support.

HT: Have any aspiring actors written you for advice about how to develop and sustain a successful acting career?

CKJ: They have, and the best counsel I can give is to stay grounded. I am grounded by my faith in God and my love of family.

HT: Isn’t that good advice for anyone in life?

CKJ: I guess so, but particularly for actors, since we never know how long each job will last, what it will pay, etc…. I’d love to have a job like Jersey Boys forever, but one never knows. For instance, I’ve now given up my apartment in New York City, so I can tour the country with this show. Who know where I’ll be this time next year!

HT: In your performance, in addition to the singing, you are an awesome dancer! The audience and I were astounded by your acrobatics in the song, Beggin’, and the crowd gave you a thunderous ovation.

CKJ: We work closely with our choreographer, Sergio Trujillo, and he really wanted to make a specific choreographical impression with that song. So we stretched me out every day, working through the pain and sweat, and now we have a fun difference between the Broadway and Touring shows. Besides, such exercise is good for the heart!

HT: Good for the heart, but hard on the legs, no?

CKJ: (Laughs.)

HT: I met Des for the first time backstage tonight, and he was thrilled with your performance and tells me you’re “on” every night for him. Yet I hear he can sometimes be tough to work with.

CKJ: Maybe some people look at it that way, but his suggestions continue to make a wonderful show even better. I consider most shows to be a benevolent dictatorship, and ours is no exception. Des is very open to suggestion, but, when push comes to shove, I think you have to give way to the man with decades of experience and director of two Tony winners.

HT: (laughs) You told me you’re turning 29 years old, Chris. Had you been exposed to the music of the Four Seasons?

CKJ: Sure had. Growing up, I didn’t listen to a lot of pop radio, but I saw a lot of movies, and heard the music of the 4 Seasons all the time. I particularly remember hearing the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” playing in the movie “Conspiracy Theory,” and thinking it was an amazingly beautiful song.

HT: Remember when “Oh, What a Night!” played in Forrest Gump?

CKJ: Absolutely! Speaking of which, Deven told me Gary Sinise came to see the show recently and was very gracious. I continue to be blown away by the effect and appeal of this show!

HT: One last personal question, Chris. What is the origin of your middle name?

CKJ: It’s Hawaiian for Charles, my paternal grandfather’s name.

HT: OK, my friend. Now, could you help me get up from this couch; I’ve sunk in too deeply.

CKJ: Sure. (laughs)

HT: Thanks Chris. Let me know when you’re in New York, so I can call you to help me down from one of those high stools in Starbucks!

CKJ: Thank you, Howard. It was a pleasure.


  1. I enjoyed this interview, thanks for doing it Howard. Chris is such a talanted actor and a great guy all around. I’m sure his career will explode in the future.

    Comment by Mike — June 12, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  2. Hi Chris! We miss you in SF, but LA is only a short plane ride or drive away. Anyways, we have the Tonight Show’s teaser, KTVU’s “Mornings on 2″ piece and the ET interview on our DVR to watch you guys until we hit SoCal.

    Good luck, and hope for continued success for the entire “Jersey Boys” family! Thanks for your time and kind words to my son! He’s taking the advice from you, Jarrod and John Lloyd Young, and always keeping his dream alive in musical drama.

    We also hope to see your cast again as well. We love watching the 2nd cast very much, but want to relive the 1st cast performance once more before you leave CA. Thanks again!

    Comment by Mike B. Magbaleta — June 12, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

  3. Hey Howard. All of my feelings about Chris are coming true. He’s a fabulous actor, sings like an angel and he sounds like an angel in person! Thank you so much for your great interview. You did a fantastic job.

    Here’s a wonderful side story about Chris: My daughter emailed him and asked him to contact me for Mother’s Day since I’ve seen the show 8 times, drove to LA from SF to see him at the Ahmanson, and I talk about him all the time, and he did! He must be an amazing person to take time out of his busy life to respond so personally to his fans. He’s got a very, very bright future ahead of him.

    Thanks again! Vicki

    Comment by Vicki — June 12, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

  4. Yeah, Chirs actually responds to e-mail from fans, takes him some time but he does. I sent him one thanking him for the performances he gave in SF and a week later a response from him is in my mailbox.

    Comment by Mike — June 12, 2007 @ 4:12 pm

  5. Super job, Howard. Until CKJ makes it to NYC, I’ll be happy to rescue you at any Starbucks location in the five boroughs. Cheers, Charles

    Comment by Charles Alexander — June 12, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  6. Chris, your amazing personality really comes through in this interview. After seeing you twice in LA, I really got a sense of who you are from this interview, and like you even more. Howard, nice job, as always.

    Comment by Debbie — June 12, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  7. What a wonderful interview, Howard. Chris seems like a great guy, and you did a fantastic job of letting us get to know him, both professionally and personally. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Catherine — June 12, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  8. Hi Howard,

    Great interview with Chris. I have enjoyed all of your reports, pictures & interviews so far. What/who will be your next one? Keep up the great work.

    Stacey S. From SINY

    Comment by Stacey S. — June 12, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

  9. Great Job with this interview. Its not often that you actually feel as if you there when the interview took place

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Dennis — June 12, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  10. Howard and Chris,

    Great interview. I hope I get to see you, Chris, in Jersey Boys. What’s the next stop for National Tour Jersey Boys?


    Comment by Irene Eizen — June 12, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  11. Howard- Nice job my friend. Hope to see you soon.
    Keep it up!!!!

    Mike L.

    Comment by michael — June 13, 2007 @ 11:28 am

  12. I agree w/ Dennis. This was a great interview. I felt like I was there on the couch w/ Howard and CKJ. He seems like a fun guy. I haven’t seen him play the role yet though.

    Comment by Lauren — June 13, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  13. What a great experience for you, Howard. I am sure you had a lot of fun.

    Comment by A — June 13, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  14. A, a great experience is an understatement. I’ve seen many, many musicals and plays and include several actors among my personal friends. But I’ve never seen actors make themselves so available as our “Jersey Boys” nor a Website so welcoming of contributions and comments, for which I tip my cap to Susie and Dale.

    Here I was, face to face with a thespian who just acted, sang, and danced his heart out before over 2,000 people. I had prepared some questions, but once we started, these two Jersey Boys knew no bounds. There were no restrictions on time or content, and Chris never once looked at a watch, yawned, sighed, or lost his focus. Not only was I in the presence of someone with talent, but also of someone with sensitivity, tact, humility, and humor–the quintessential Jersey Boy.

    It was a lot of fun, A, but it was so much more too. Thanks for writing.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — June 14, 2007 @ 6:10 am

  15. a great 2nd parter of an excellent interview, howard for sure we can crown you “the 5th season” jp

    Comment by james petrecca — June 14, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

  16. Congratulations, Howard!!

    I think you are a star also of this production!!

    Keep up the great work in promoting The Jersey Boys.

    You are a true jersey boy.

    Good Luck and Best Wishes.

    Marie, Your Friend

    Comment by Marie — June 15, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  17. Great interview Howard anc Chris! Howard I am glad that you got to do this with Chris!

    Love the interviews, keep them coming!

    Kathryn H

    Comment by Kathryn H. — June 16, 2007 @ 3:58 am

  18. Hi Howard!

    Another great interview! Let Chris know that the scene in the Deer Hunter where Christopher Walken et al sing “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” as they are shooting pool in the local bar is a classic. Keep up the good work!


    Comment by Michael Heath — July 2, 2007 @ 9:50 am

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