May 14, 2012

JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Dominic Scaglione, Jr. and Quinn VanAntwerp!

May 14th, 2012

Dominic Scaglione, Jr. and Quinn VanAntwerp!
Dominic Scaglione, Jr. and Quinn VanAntwerp during their JBB Exclusive Interview

Nicky was right, “Sometimes it just clicks with people.” During our JBB Exclusive Interview last month with castmates Dominic Scaglione, Jr. and Quinn VanAntwerp, we had the awesome experience to chat with the guys not just about their amazing journeys that they’ve had playing pop icons Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio over the past several years in various companies, but also what they’ve learned from each other both on-stage and off-stage!

Jersey Boys Blog: You guys were amazing as Frankie and Bob at yesterday’s matinee! Thinking back, you have both been in three Jersey Boys’ companies, right? Quinn, you’ve been in Toronto, the first national tour, now Broadway, and Dom, you’ve been in Vegas, Broadway, Chicago, and back to Broadway. I’ve been curious: How tough is it to play the same role in so many different companies?

Quinn VanAntwerp: Thanks! What’s funny about it is that every foursome I feel is wonderfully different. I think what has been interesting from an acting perspective is that you either decide, ‘This is my performance—always–regardless of who’s opposite of me.’ Or, you kind of realize that the best part of changing companies is that the new foursome changes your performance in a very big way.

What happened with us (looking over to Dom), we had never met each other before, and Richard Hester (JB Production Supervisor) came in and said, ‘Have you guys been rehearsing together?’

We said, ‘No, today was the first time we’ve ever done any of the scenes together.’

But, sometimes you just click with people.

Dominic Scaglione, Jr.: It’s respect, too. The click is what’s most important, but sometimes, you feel that organic chemistry with people. For my Frankie, I always love respecting my Bobs. I always develop a certain relationship with the guys who play Bob.

When Quinn and I got together, it was very special. There was something there. Even my parents, who have seen the show so many times, and also a lot of people have said that about our chemistry. It was there from the very beginning and we’re still growing, but it was really quick (snapped his fingers). Not to take anything away from the other companies…

QV: I actually feel that way with you and with this group of five guys right now. We spend a lot of time together; we hang out a lot on days off. Me, him, and Matt Bogart spend almost all of our days off together. We used to have a Facebook fan page, much to the chagrin of his wife. (massive laughs from Dom & Quinn).

DS: We’ve become his other wives, which is pretty great (laughs)!

Sometimes in New York, everybody has their lives, they run around and do the show and they don’t really come together. But we find the time to spend a lot of time together and it shows on stage. Hopefully, it shows on stage. We feel it on stage—that camaraderie that we’re supposed to have.

I forget who was telling me, but how Bob is with Frankie: Sometimes Frankie is walking around at the airport and Bob is guiding into a certain direction. That’s kind of how Quinn is with me—guiding me. He takes care of the little incidental stuff (laughs).

JBB Tech Half: It sounds like you guys hit it off, right from the start!

QV: Really, to be honest, He took me in a little bit. I don’t know how you decided that, but I spent Christmas at his family’s house. I’ve become very close with them. It’s been really fun to be part of that.

DS: And, he fit right in. I have a quick story: On Christmas, when I knew it was really, really right, about 3 or so in the morning and I was walking up to go to bed because I had enough, and I looked downstairs and he’s sitting at the dining room table with a tank top on, eating my mother’s gravy with 3 manicotti, 4 meatballs, and he goes, ‘Sorry, dude, I had to heat some up, it was unbelievable.’ (Quinn laughs throughout the story).

That’s when I knew it was a match made in heaven.

JBB: Yeah, especially if you’re eating his mom’s gravy…?!

QV: And, I gotta tell ya, it’s the best!

DS: It’s known. We sent a batch of it to Michelle Bosch (JB Broadway Stage Manager) at one point and she kept it to herself. My mom thought she was serving it at Christmas Eve—this huge, huge portion! (laughs)

QV: That being said, change is always different, I guess, from company to company. I think the most exciting thing is finding what the chemistry will be like in that company and allowing for that to happen.

You never get really that much rehearsal with everybody, so you’re kind of finding that every night on stage. Looking back over it all, there’s a wall of my different foursomes up there (motions to his shelf), you kind of grab friends as you go along with everybody. You’re still friends with lots of your former castmates.

DS: Yeah, Jeremy Kushnier is across the street. He was my first Tommy; he was his first Tommy.

QV: We spent the day yesterday with him and his kids between shows.

JBB: So, it’s like a major growing and discovery process right on stage for you guys?

DS: Exactly. I remember flying into Vegas, you guys remember, we go way back (chuckles)! They sent me in for a vacation and I had no rehearsal, got off the plane and jumped on stage, and it was like, ‘Here, make like you’ve known these guys your whole life.’

Maybe now, because we’ve both gone through that, now we’re here standing on the stage and we’re able to feel each other out and adapt better, because we’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different people and learn.

Like he said, the Dodgers are great. Although I don’t have too much experience with other shows, but when you go to a lot these shows, a lot of times, they want you to do it the same. Although the show has become a brand, they give you the opportunity to explore and do the role, like Quinn was saying—differently—and make it your own. Which is great to a point, but it could be tough to learn those things (snaps his fingers) right on the spot.

QV: Sometimes as an actor, you fall in love with a way you’ve done it with one person, or a choice that worked with one person. If you try to force that choice onto somebody else, the only person who looks like an idiot is you, actually. So, you have to kind of let those things go and kind of figure out what is going to work with this person.

DS: And, you know when you feel it.

JBB: I’ve always loved the diner scene between Frankie and Bob, but I swear, yesterday, it seemed even more intense. I tapped Dale on the shoulder and said, ‘Hey, these guys are really must be really tight!’

DS: Thank you! Coming from you, that means a lot; I appreciate what you said about that scene. Even in my heart sometimes, when I feel that—when I’m ranting…Des McAnuff was here recently and he made a comment on how that worked between us. He even said how he would have never thought about Bob pulling Frankie back from the ranting and staring into space kind of thing. Quinn brought that out in me and you feel it and you see the audience react to it.

I guess everybody has a best friend or a family member that they’ve taken care of, or they’ve been the one that needed the taking care of and they’ve gotten pulled back into reality and pulled back into comfort. That’s a really cool thing. Every show, I look forward to that moment.

JBB: This is so interesting about this scene! Yesterday, I was noticing an older gentleman sitting with his wife who was really getting into the diner scene, as well as the whole show—belly laughing, reminiscing about the music, and he completely broke down when you found out that Francine passed away.

DS: I love it! Say what you want about TV and film—everybody would love to aspire to that in their lives, but live theater, to hear those things—that energy is instant gratification, like Wow! I’m doing my job right, I’m serving the work right. It’s really cool!

JBB: Since you’ve been playing the roles of Bob and Frankie together over the last several months, what have you learned from each other?

QV: To be quite honest with you, I’m the tall, kind of European mutt from California. I was up in Toronto and I was on the road. I did a lot of research and did a lot of trying to figure out who Bob was and Bob was always kind of the outsider of the Jersey group. But to be here with Dom and to be part of his circle, to be able go out to Orange, and to be part of the real deal, has been really fascinating. I feel I have gotten as close to it all as I can.

DS: Quinn does this look—he has this intense look sometimes—I said to him, ‘It’s such a Bob look. Did you study him?’

QV: I watched a lot of tapes of Bob.

DS: He’s got him down. I’ve worked with a lot of great guys, man, but you feel that protection. You feel that older brother kind of connection, even though Bob is younger than Frankie.

When I’m going off and I’m ranting, and ranting, and ranting…that towering—and not only because he’s a giant (massive laughter from Quinn), he has that presence. It’s almost like having a ‘Tommy’ that you’re intimidated by and look up to. It’s very important and he embodies that whole thing about Bob.

QV: I’m going to play Tommy next (laughs)…

DS: Yeah, I’m going to play…

QV: Well, you are Tommy DeVito…

DS: That’s what everybody says. Maybe after Frankie, I’ll play jump into the Tommy role…(massive laughter).

QV: That would be pretty funny, actually.

JBB Tech Half: What about the movie?

QV: I’ll play Knuckles (laughs).

DS: It’s going to be a great movie!

JBB: With you guys starring in it, perhaps?

DS: From your mouth to God’s ears (Laughs)!

JBB Tech Half: Susie wants a Jersey Boys reality series.

JBB: Yeah, not just about the audition process, but a real behind the scenes insider’s view!

QV: There’s been talk about it a couple of different times, including a touring show, what it means to be on the road, the load in and the load out.

DS: It’s such a beast. There’s so much that could be done.

JBB Tech Half: It must have been great being on the road with such a big hit show, but on occasion, did it almost feel like the life of a carny?

QV: You know what? I’m really glad for that year that I spent out there. You do a show about guys on the road and what it means to be on the road. Touring, I think for The Four Seasons, was different, because you’re doing four to five nights a week, one night at a time and that has its own set of hardships of never knowing where you are. You literally drive in on the bus to the stadium, then drive out, then you’re at another stadium.

We were really lucky out there on the road. We never were in a place less than three weeks. We were in Philly for ten weeks and it was awesome—I loved Philadelphia! You also really get a taste of what it means. The road is the road and there are in things that you forget after a couple years. Being out there is a reality. Especially when you’re in a show that never closes or takes time off. At least The Four Seasons at some point will come home for a bit, and go back out again.

Some of those people have been out there for six years straight. That’s a lifestyle that I really respect and it’s really tough, but I’m glad that I had that experience. I feel like it has informed my performance here. That’s the great thing about this show. You play 40 years of somebody’s life and you connect to different things at different points in time, because you’re going through them. ‘Oh, that’s what that is…that’s what they mean…’

In our time here, people have gotten married, had kids, gotten divorces—all these kinds of things that happen in our show; you get to really live out a lot of it—like it or not.

DS: It’s real life. Entertainment life is different. Like you said, ‘carnies’—you don’t go by certain rules; certain rules are different and skewed. You get a little more leeway in certain situations. It’s a little more of an unpredictable lifestyle and with that comes drama, craziness, and intensity.

QV: For me at least, something that’s hard to deal with in my time here is the idea of adrenalin. You have such adrenalin at the end of the show. Frankie talks about it in the car scene and about affairs. I’m not talking about actual affairs, but you’re ten feet tall after a show, and what are you supposed to, go home and rinse out your socks?

You have all this energy, and what you spend that energy on at night is really a hard question to blow off steam a little bit. And then, the build-up of that over years and years—you either burn yourself out or you don’t. So, how do you figure out how not to burn yourself out? We’re both into our fourth year with the show.

JBB Tech Half: Wow, it seems like four years is a really long time with one show!

DS: Four years, and trying to keep it new and exciting, not to burn out, keep the lifestyle, and get stronger. I never stop working at it, and neither does he.

JBB: What about your respective favorite scenes, when you are together on stage as Bob and Frankie?

QV & DS (together): The diner scene!

DS: The diner scene is cool, because in my world, it’s slowing me down and it gets me into the end because it makes me realize when he says, ‘Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.’ They’ve written it so well that when you’re playing Frankie, you don’t think about that yet. So, when he says it, you’re just like, okay, now I’m the guy and you just break into being the guy at that moment. It’s a really a pivotal point for me.

I like the beginning, too. We joke around so much when we’re in the studio and the handshake scene is a great moment, too.

JBB: In your real lives, are you guys anything like the two men that you play on stage?

DS: That being said, it’s that support system. I’m even older than him, like Frankie is, but he’s the responsible one (both guys laugh) in the management of our lives.

QV: Our vibes are different.

DS: Yeah, our vibes our different. He calms me down in a lot of ways since I’m a short-tempered Italian guy from Essex County, New Jersey. Also, that give and take that Frankie and Bob both have. They both wanted to be great. I know him and he knows me pretty well, the same way the real guys do.

QV: Well, I also think that we both love music and we love the show for different reasons and I think that’s kind of similar to Bob and Frankie. They love the same things, but for different reasons, if that makes sense. I feel that it’s been such an awesome ride to play these people that are around and that you look up to.

I keep trying to get Dominic to get at least Twitter account, if not a reality show (chuckles), because Dominic is one of the most vibrant, alive people that I’ve ever met in my life!

DS: I just have a cell phone, man; I don’t have a computer, but I’m learning about the whole thing, but I’m kind of old school, I guess.

QV: But, it’s fun to be around somebody who has that much inner-power and energy. It’s pretty amazing with you around.

DS: Thanks, brother…

Dominic Scaglione, Jr. and Quinn VanAntwerp
Quinn VanAntwerp and Dominic Scaglione, Jr. at the August Wilson Theatre stage door


  1. I attended a matinee performance last month on 4/14. Were you guys there on that day as well? Quinn VanAntwerp & Dominic Scaglione were absolutely terrific, as was the whole cast!

    Great observations about their scenes in your interview. These guys really know the characters inside & out and do a fantastic job!

    Comment by Karen T. — May 14, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  2. Loved reading this interview! It’s cool to see two actors have such a great friendship and respect for each other.

    Comment by Joe — May 14, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

  3. Great interview, Susie and Dale. These days, I think it’s easy to take true friendship for granted. One measure now is to compare how many Facebook friends we have, so the connection between Quinn and Dom is indeed rare. Both fellows are in that rare contingent that will go the extra mile for others.

    Scags, I’m not buying your being “a short-tempered Italian guy”…seriously, I can’t forget the humanity, patience and respect you always show me and my friends at the stage door and at various functions.

    Now, Quinn, 3 manicotti and 4 meatballs with gravy at 3 AM and you retain that svelte figure??? Scags, has your mom published a cookbook yet..that’s a diet I need to follow…

    Comment by Howard — May 14, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  4. Great interview with two exceptional young men both on and off the stage. I saw Dominic’s last show in Chicago and Quinn’s last show in Toronto. These are two of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had in live theater. It’s amazing these two actors have ended up on Broadway together. Can’t wait to see you on stage again soon.

    Comment by Tiggerbelle/Linda — May 15, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  5. What a wonderful interview. Perhaps you’ve done other co-interviewing – I don’t recall at the moment – but this was fascinating. Just as they described the differing chemistry of various combinations, this interview was life imitating art because the synergy of both of them sharing was exponentially more interesting than 2 separate interviews.

    As I read, I realized that I had seen each of them in their big finale, Dominic in Chicago and Quinn in Toronto. Dominic has a presence that’s undeniable and he uses it so well. When I saw Quinn in Toronto on the last day, I thought ‘they’ better not let him get away. I was relieved when he joined the tour and thrilled when he came to Broadway!

    In his show, “Uncharted” last evening, Russell spoke about friends asking him whether he got tired of several years with the same show (I believe his reply jokingly mentioned something about the joys of job security), but these guys have put a little spotlight on the ever-changing nature of their characters. Nothing cookie cutter about going out there on stage, even though it is over so many performances. As one actor organically causes another to evolve, then that shifts the interactions with others. Sounds like a big, artistic chemistry lab.

    I have to say, it was surprising, to put it mildly, that there aren’t a lot of rehearsals with new combinations of guys. I’m impressed with that immediate adaptability. (I guess it’s called being a ‘professional’) They mentioned Jeremy being the first Tommy for both of them, a fascinating shared experience yet they each would have been playing opposite him from a different angle.

    Now, I can’t wait to see… the pull back in the ranting scene… or the pivotal moment when Dominic transitions to Frankie Valli AND the Four Seasons…or the reality show (what a brilliant idea!) …or ‘from your mouth to God’s ears’ on the movie gig.

    Time to read this article again.

    Comment by Audrey — May 15, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  6. This is a fabulous article! I love how it captured the camaraderie and chemistry between Dom and Quinn, both on stage and off.So looking forward to seeing them as Frankie and Bob soon!

    Comment by Pamela — May 15, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  7. I’ve had the opportunity to see Dominic as Frankie Valli and Quinn as Bob, but never on stage together.

    After reading this interview and the details on the diner scene, I need to see these guys perform together.

    Thanks to all for such a great interview!

    Comment by Jay — May 17, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

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