May 15, 2007

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With Courtney Liddle!

May 15th, 2007

Jersey Boys fans from all over the country keep coming back to Broadway (and the national tour!) to catch the show again and again! As we’ve said before, the response to the JBB Fantastic Fan Interviews has been amazing! Jersey Boys Blog is thrilled to present our 16th Jersey Boys Blog Fantastic Fan Interview with Courtney Liddle from Michigan. Courtney talks about what sparked her interest in seeing JB for the first time; her favorite scenes, musical number, and lines, and what it is about the show that keeps bringing her back!

JBB: Tell us about yourself.

CL: My name is Courtney Liddle and I’m a 26 year-old Mechanical Engineer from Michigan. I am an avid Broadway fan and even though I live in MI I’ve managed to see nearly 50 shows in NYC during the last few years. I love all kinds of music, but you’ll most likely find me listening to the Jersey Boys soundtrack and if I’m not listening to it I’m probably singing something from it. In addition to singing, I also really enjoy acting, riding roller coasters and trying new things whenever I can.

JBB: When did you first hear about Jersey Boys, and how did you become interested in the show?

CL: I vaguely remembered seeing the cast perform in the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but I didn’t give it much more thought until I was in NYC in Mar ’06 when my brother suggested we see it. I was a little reluctant because I really didn’t know much about the show and I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend all that money on a full-price ticket, but when I found out that there were student tickets available and my student ID was still valid I thought “what the heck?” and bought tickets.

JBB: What was your reaction to the show upon seeing it for the first time?

CL: I got the last two student tickets available (the furthest seats to the right, one behind the other, in rows A & B) so the view of the stage was quite obstructed by the circular staircase and the speakers are directly overhead. I was pretty sure I recognized the first notes of “Ces Soirées-La,” but when they started singing and I didn’t understand the lyrics I was confused. It was very loud and we were so close to the speakers that, initially, my brother thought that the sound was distorted and we weren’t going to be able to understand anything. We were relieved when we realized they weren’t singing in English, but in French. Still, during intermission my brother told me his first thought was “I can’t watch this show!” Despite that, though, it almost immediately became my favorite show. I never really had a favorite show before I saw JB; there were definitely shows that I liked better than others, but nothing stood out quite like Jersey Boys did.

I usually look through the playbill and read all the cast bios before the show starts, but I didn’t have time until intermission the first time I saw JB. I really enjoyed Act I and was looking forward to a great Act II, so I was eager to get through each bio and learn more about the cast. Anyway, when I was reading and saw that Daniel graduated from The University of Michigan, which is my alma mater as well, I felt another connection to the show.

JBB: How many times have you seen JB and what keeps bringing you back?

CL: I’ve seen the show seven times and there are so many things that keep bringing me back that I’m not sure I could ever name them all. Because I enjoyed the show so much the first time I saw it, I wanted to see it again so I could remember individual things more vividly. It’s amazing to me the number new things I’ve noticed each time I’ve seen the show. Each performance is different and the show is constantly changing, that’s the great thing about live theatre.

The last time I saw the show, a cell phone rang in the silence right after Nick Massi begins his rant “I’ve been rooming with this guy (Tommy) on and off for what is it 10 years?” in the second act. Without missing a beat, Bobby turned to the audience and said, “Get that.” This little ad-lib sent the crowd into hysterics and I think the other actors were having a hard time maintaining their composure, too. Unique moments are what make every experience special, create great memories and give people funny stories to tell.

JBB: Why do you think people have such a strong connection to Jersey Boys?

CL: The authenticity of the show is what makes the strongest connection with the audience. The dialogue can be vulgar in spots, but only because that’s the way these guys spoke. The show wouldn’t seem real without it. People who grew up in the ’60s with The Four Seasons’ music love it and are thrilled to share it with their children or grandchildren and though a lot of the songs were written 40+ years ago everyone still enjoys them. Even if some people aren’t really familiar with the music, almost everyone recognizes “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like A Man.” Once “Sherry” starts the show becomes more like a concert than a Broadway show for the rest of Act I, it’s almost like getting two things for the price of one.

JBB: Have you met any of the JB cast members?

CL: I have met all 4 Jersey Boys (5, really, including Michael Longoria) and they are great. One time I was talking with JLY thanking him for being so nice to all the people he meets and I said “Thanks for being so…” (I couldn’t think how to finish my statement) so, with a smile on his face, he looked me in the eye and said, “available?” That was it, available. Michael, Daniel, Bobby, Christian and John really do make themselves available to the fans and they are always so gracious. Having met and talked with Daniel & John so many times they actually remember me!

I’ve met a lot of other cast members, too. The girls always slip out so quietly from the stage door, but I think they really deserve praise so I always try to say something to them and without fail they turn to thank me or ask my name and we have a little conversation.

One time, waiting for tickets, I met Matt Scott — he is such a sweet person. I think he was performing as Tommy for the first time or something, he seemed a little nervous or something because he kept coming into the lobby to look at the seating chart and talk to the box office manager. I was sitting inside on the steps by the box office and he smiled and said hello. He has the cutest dimples and I thought he did a great job as Tommy!

JBB: What’s your favorite Jersey Boys scene & why?

CL: Initially, I probably would have said the “Sherry” sequence because it’s so important in the show, but I really like the first time Frankie, Bobby, Tommy and Nicky perform together during “Cry For Me”. This scene is what really kicks off what becomes “The Four Seasons”, in my opinion, plus Daniel Reichard really gets to show off what a great voice he has.

JBB: How about your favorite musical number in Jersey Boys & why?

CL: It has to be “Sherry”. The lead up to it gives me goose bumps of anticipation and when JLY starts perfectly on pitch for that first “Sherry” it doesn’t get much better than that. It is, absolutely, the most memorable number in the show. The way the performance is being “recorded” and projected on the screens above is incredible. During intermission my brother and I were talking about how we both thought the video was The “real” Four Seasons and couldn’t believe how much JB looked like the originals. We laugh about it now, but I’d guess a lot of people have had those same thoughts. Things like that are what give Jersey Boys its unique character.

JBB: Do you have a favorite line from the show?

CL: I don’t know if I really have a favorite line, but this one always cracks me up:
Bob: “Forget the clubs, what we want is a record contract.”
Tommy: “What record contract? We can’t even book a f***in’ bowling alley.”
Another good one is the last line of Daniel’s (Bob Gaudio) “sign-off”: “None of this could have happened…without…me.” Because his character is so unassuming and humble during the rest of show that it catches a lot of people off guard, but it’s hard to deny what he says is the truth.

Pretty much every word that comes out of Michael Longoria’s mouth makes me smile, too.

JBB: Prior to seeing Jersey Boys, were you familiar with the Four Seasons’ music? If so, do you have a favorite 4 Seasons’ song?

CL: I had definitely been exposed the music having parents who grew up in the ’60s, but even though I knew the most of the popular songs (“Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” etc.), I don’t know that I would have been able to tell you who sang them. In fact, I would have said “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)” was a Billy Joel song before I saw JB. My favorite songs, outside of those in JB, are probably “Betrayed” & “Peanuts.”

JBB: Anything else you’d like to share about Jersey Boys?

CL: There are so many subtle things that happen in the show that make it so wonderful. Most people probably don’t know this, but “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” is actually in the show. It’s not sung, but the orchestra starts playing it after Bob convinces Frankie that he’s “a single” and tells him “this is your time” in the second act. I think it was the sixth time seeing it when I heard it, it clicked in my head and I thought, “Wow, that’s really cool.”

I would encourage people to spend the time and money to get a good ticket. Granted, the show is mostly about the music but if you’re constantly shifting trying to get a better vantage point because your seat is partial view the experience will be diminished. I have spent many mornings and afternoons waiting for the perfect tickets and after seeing the show 7 times, it’s still worth it. Once I have the ticket for that great, unobstructed seat in the orchestra it’s like a little victory!

Thank you again so much to Courtney Liddle for taking the time to share her wonderful thoughts (and photos!) about Jersey Boys! If you would like to be featured in a JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, feel free to contact us! Please click on the Contact Page and send us your contact information.


  1. I’ve seen the show fifteen times, and I have never noticed “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” riff during that scene! I’ll be sure to pay more attention the next time I see the show.

    Comment by Michael — May 15, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

  2. I totally agree with Courtney because even though the Four Seasons started in the 50′s-60′s, we hear little snippets of their music in movies, TV shows and in commercials and they definitely stick in our minds, until we watch “Jersey Boys”, then learn how the group and these songs originated from.

    I would also agree with you regarding their “availability”, but in a sense, they are “starstruck” by the fan base built around their play. At the Curran Theatre in San Francisco, all four of the “boys” were gracious after a grueling two performance day on Mother’s Day. They signed our Playbills and chatted it up with everyone that approached them. If our kids were not with my wife and I, we would have offered to purchase a drink for Steve Gouveia from the LaJolla/Broadway cast, who is our new Nick Massi, because he mentioned he wanted to look for a lounge/bar after the autograph/photo session with the fans at the stage door. All class acts and down to earth guys!

    I really hope you are able to purchase “full view” tickets next time. I sat in the mid orchestra section in the August Wilson and it was excellent! Good luck!

    Comment by Mike B. Magbaleta — May 15, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment