October 6, 2011

JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Rick Faugno, Part Two!

October 6th, 2011

In continuing with “Rick Faugno Week” as he ends his JERSEY BOYS Las Vegas run on Sunday, October 9, we’re excited to present Part Two of his JBB EXCLUSIVE Interview! Rick talks about the challenges and the joys of creating two completely unique one-man shows in Las Vegas; starring in “Virgin Alexander”; his “dream roles”; and his exciting plans for the future!

Jersey Boys Blog: We’ve chatted a bit before about the challenges of creating, producing, and starring in a one-man show, back when you were doing ‘Songs My Idols Sang and Danced.’ Now that you’re in a brand new show, ‘Body and Soul,’ are there similar challenges?

Rick Faugno: As a performer in my solo shows in Las Vegas, the thing that I had to learn most is how to carry the show on my own. Especially since I am paying homage to great entertainers like Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra, I could honestly say it’s haunting. They were such great entertainers and I don’t want what they did to get lost; I want to keep it alive. These were the entertainers that I idolized and it’s always what I’ve gravitated to and I want to keep doing this.

It’s surprising, the one-man shows at one time were the dominant form of entertainment in Vegas, and now this genre has almost disappeared on The Strip. One guy being on that stage, doing what he does best—by yourself, enjoying and appreciating it all. It’s so much work and dedication to do what you love to do and it takes courage and seasoning as a performer to do it by yourself.

Each Monday night through the end of the year, I’ll be doing ‘Body & Soul’ at the Shimmer Cabaret at the Hilton.

JBB: I’m curious about the name of your new show, ‘Body & Soul.’ Did you name it after the song that was recorded by so many artists, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, or is there something more to it?

RF: That was part of it, but to tell you the truth, there is such an eclectic mix in my new show and I was talking to my musical director about how we’re going from ‘Summertime’ and segwaying into ‘Body and Soul,’ with this really interesting rhumba, Latin groove feel. Then, I was on the phone with Joyce, giving her the rundown of the songs in the show. She said right away that ‘Body & Soul’ should be the title. So that’s what I went with!

As I say in the show, ‘Song and dance allow the body to free the soul, so that it’s able to express its true identity.’

JBB: So, are you pondering going back to New York in the coming year or do you think you’d like to stay here in Las Vegas?

RF: I love living and working in New York, but it’s been great here in Las Vegas to have had the ability to do Jersey Boys, plus to create my solo shows. Joyce and I bought a house here in Las Vegas, so we now have roots here. We appreciate what this city has to offer and love this city!

Another great reason to live in Las Vegas is its proximity to LA, so that I can audition for movies, TV pilots, and all sorts of projects.

JBB: Speaking of movies, we loved your role in ‘Virgin Alexander’! It was so much fun to see you take on such a different role, after playing such a major pop icon. I completely forgot about your ‘Frankie’ role when I was watching the movie!

RF: Good, you were supposed to forget about that role (laughs)! It is so fun when you can stretch yourself as an actor. Alexander was such an introvert and such a character contrast, totally different than playing Frankie Valli.

‘Virgin Alexander’ won three film festivals: The Washington, D.C. Film Festival, The Black Hills Film Festival (South Dakota) and the VisionFest NYC Festival in Tribeca. It will be going to the Colorado, Kansas and Orlando festivals next and is currently searching for a distributor.

And, of course, I hope it continues to do well and hope it will be a great segway into my future with other films.

JBB: Rick, you’ve done absolutely everything in show business: stage, screen, recordings, and television. Where do you see yourself heading? Is there a dream role in mind?

RF: There are all kinds of things that I want to do. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. I’m the idiot in the room who wants to do everything (laughs)! I wanna do everything and that sometimes can be a difficult task.

Definitely interested in film, TV, and Broadway. I don’t want to limit myself and I’ll do whatever comes my way, that I can sink my teeth into. I want to try not to do work that’s just fluff. I will be gauging everything based on Jersey Boys, since that was so great.

I enjoy doing everything, but you asked me if I have some dream roles. One would be to play Jerry Mulligan, the role Gene Kelly did in ‘An American in Paris.’ I’d also want to play Terry Malloy in ‘On the Waterfront,’ and if there’s ever a remake of ‘Raging Bull,’ I’d love to play the Jake LaMotta character.

I shoot high; I may not reach as high as I’m aiming, but I ways try and give it my best shot.

JBB: Something tells me you’ll be reaching your goals, Rick!

RF: I’m thrilled to be headlining my own show at a major hotel. That will keep me very busy through the remainder of the year. As far as anything else I’ll be doing, I don’t really know. That’s really part of the fun of it.


  1. Rick Faugno is a terrific performer! My mom & I came to Vegas twice & he truly was “Frankie Valli” up on that stage! Really loved this two-part interview and finding out more about what he’s hoping to do in the future. We wish him all the best as he moves on!

    Comment by Marci — October 7, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Rick, You are truly a talented young man with a great future ahead of you. Hope we’ll see you again next time we come to Las Vegas in your Body and Soul show, and hope you make all your dreams come true.

    Comment by Toni — October 7, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  3. Wishing you all the best, Rick, as you move on to new opportunities! You delighted us on stage in “Jersey Boys” and we know you’ll do great in whatever you do.

    Comment by Bill — October 7, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

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