September 9, 2007

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With Crissy Terawaki Kawamoto

September 9th, 2007

We’re excited to present our 26th JBB Fantastic Fan interview with Crissy Terawaki Kawamoto from Hawaii, who’s also an old friend of Christopher Kale Jones! Crissy talks about how she became interested in JB, her reaction to seeing Jersey Boys for the first time, her favorite musical number, line, and scene, some stories about Chris Jones from their school days, and more!

JBB: Tell us about yourself.

CTK: I’m a theater nut from Honolulu. We don’t get too many shows out here these days, so I get most of my show exposure through TV, cast albums and trips to the mainland.

By day, I work in cancer survivorship research. I’m also a big Chicago Cubs fan.

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

CTK: I don’t follow new shows as much as I used to, but who HASN’T heard of Jersey Boys already, right? I’m not sure when I first heard of it, but I became more interested in the show when I heard through the grapevine that my friend Chris Jones had been selected as Frankie for the national tour.

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

CTK: It was AMAZING! I had been listening to the cast album for months, but like most other shows (and I emphasize, *most*), Jersey Boys live on stage is SO much better than any recording. There’s so much more to the show than what’s on the CD — so much humor, for example. When I first heard that “Sherry” doesn’t come up until halfway through the first act, I was a little wary of how interesting that first half of Act I would be, but it was fabulous. They just really make it work, and nobody puts any less energy into the lesser known numbers. That’s pretty impressive.

And, of course, I was totally stoked to see Chris perform again. Even though we’ve kept in touch all this time, it had been a few years since I’d actually seen him on stage (the last role I’d seen him do was Roger in A New Brain at Northwestern).

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

CTK: I’ve only seen it once so far, which is totally embarrassing, considering how many times all the other fans interviewed here have seen it, but believe me, even though I have to take a jet plane to see it, I WILL be back. I already told Chris that if he transitions to the Broadway production, I am there!

JBB: Who did you bring with you to see Jersey Boys, and what was their reaction to the show?

CTK: I took my husband, Todd, who also knows Chris, and he really enjoyed it! I’d love to take my parents.

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

CTK: There’s so much that resonates with people — the whole blue collar roots aspect, the great acting, the dialogue — but I really think it’s the music. Gaudio and Crewe’s music is so vibrant that even in the 60s, it couldn’t be crushed by that of the Beatles, even though the Four Seasons’ story wasn’t as well-known. Also, once you’ve seen the show, the music takes on new meaning and context — but still, it’s the music that you carry with you and that inevitably brings you back.

JBB: You’ve mentioned that you went to high school and college with Christopher Kale Jones. Any stories about you and Chris from your school days?

CTK: You know how everybody says, ‘Oh, such-and-such is such a great person’? Well, Chris really is. Anybody who’s spent an hour with him will tell you that. He’s gracious with his time, has a great sense of humor — he’s the kind of person your parents love, too (believe me, mine do). He’s also a major nerd — which was always OK with me, because I’m one, too. ;o)

I don’t have any really big stories to tell, but Chris and I sat next to each other in homeroom freshman year and again at high school commencement, and we had a lot of classes together (including at least one at NU that I can recall), and he was at our wedding, so there are just a lot of little things. Like one time in phys ed, we were doing our warmup stretches, and Chris was visibly grossed out because I have always been very flexible (I could touch my forehead to my knees when my legs were stretched out in front of me). I gave him a hard time recently because what does he do now in the show? The splits! And that’s a lot more painful for a guy, right, so hello!

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

CTK: Unfortunately, the night we went to see the show in L.A., there was some kind of press thing with a station from Tempe (future Sherry Company destination) going on backstage after the show, so the big four couldn’t really spend much time, if any, at the stage door. I chatted with Chris and Eric Gutman, who had played Bob Gaudio that night. They were great, of course, and Chris presented Todd and me with an autographed poster, which is now on display at my office!

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

CTK: I think that would have to be Nick’s outburst at Gyp’s about Tommy and the towels. Hilarious!

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

CTK: That would have to be “Dawn.” The melody is so great. I love that for the cast album, they kept the whole song intact, instead of broken up like how it is in the show. I like how they play it out in the show, but still, the song itself is fabulous, and the scoring is fabulous. I also really like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

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

CTK: I’ve only seen it once, so I can’t decide! I did, however, like Bobby’s line at the end (I stole this from my friend Wendy’s website because she knows the show better than I do): “I’m not drawn to the old neighborhood, my life never revolved around the old neighborhood, I don’t give a f*ck about the old neighborhood.” That little outburst at the end was totally unexpected, so it really packed a little punch!

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

CTK: Yes, I was familiar with the music because I grew up listening to oldies, but I didn’t really know how many of those songs I knew were Four Seasons songs. My fav would have to be “Dawn.” I just love the harmony!

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

CTK: I thought this was interesting: I was boarding the plane home from L.A., and I was exhausted because our flight had been delayed a number of times. Just as I was about to step onto the jetway, a blue collar-looking guy asked me, ‘How was the show?’ I was confused at first, but then I remembered that I was wearing my Jersey Boys hat. I told him it was great, and he said something like, ‘Good. It’s about time they got recognition.’ It’s really cool that Four Seasons fans’ have that kind of respect for the guys. I think that the show will continue to perpetuate that and earn Frankie and company the respect they deserve!

Thank you once again to Crissy for taking the time for this terrific interview and for sharing her joy of 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. Each FF interview has its own twist. Many of us would say we started out as fans and, on some level, became friends with the cast. You, Crissy started out a friend and became a fan… it all works out the same in the end- one big Jersey Boys family, coast to coast to island.

    I enjoyed your conversation with the man as you were boarding the plane… And Nick’s line at the sit-down is so funny and yet conveys the raw tension that had simmered in the group at the same time.

    Your memory is good for only one time; the first time can be a blur of awe… you have so much to look forward to when seeing it again- and maybe even… again!

    Thanks for another FFan interview!

    Comment by Audrey — September 9, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

  2. Wow, Crissy, what a great story

    I too feel for the Chicago Cubs. I was always a diehard Mets fan, but my heart did ache a bit in 1969 when Leo Durocher’s Cubs blew an 8 1/2 game lead. And even worse in 1984–there is not one person I knew who was rooting for the San Diego Padres (didn’t know Christian Hoff or Steve Gouveia then) to beat the Cubs in the playoffs! And in 2003, with the Marlins and the Steve Bartman ball–let’s not even go there!

    I do agree with your assessment of Chris as a truly nice guy. We had never previously met but spent well over an hour in LA, speaking as much about my career and travels as his. He is a funny guy, but behind the humor, he is very much humbled and grateful by the great opportunity he’s been given in “Jersey Boys.”

    Re the “nerd” moniker…I can join you in the club. Back in high school, I asked one of my best friends if I was really a nerd. The response was, “I don’t know how to answer! If I say yes, you’ll be mad at me, and if I say no, you’ll know I’m lying!” But, from what I understand, we also have a genius in Chris…1500+ on the SAT’s and high school salutatorian.

    Now, a question? What role did Chris play in “Oklahoma”? He’s a great actor, but I’m having a hard time picturing him as Curly, especially in the big fight scene. But, if he does do a CD, he’d really knock ‘em dead on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”.

    Thanks for sharing, Crissy. The story is a great testament to Chris and his theatrical talent and you and your literary and comedic talents.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — September 9, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Howard: He did play Curly and did a great job with that role. I don’t recall too much about our fight scene, but I don’t think it was too rough-and-tumble. :o )

    Comment by Crissy — September 9, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

  4. This was a fun read, Crissy. Thanks for the mention!

    Comment by Wendy — September 9, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  5. Hi Crissy,

    That was great! It was nice to know more about Chris and his early theatre work. I love the pictures too. They’re fabulous! Thank you for sharing and Aloha :)

    Comment by Angel — September 9, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  6. Nerds of the world unite! :D

    I’ve never met Christopher before, but I WILL be seeing the First Tour in Arizona next month, so maybe…? We’ll see.

    Great interview!

    Comment by Logan Roberts — September 9, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

  7. [...] I agreed to be interviewed for the Jersey Boys Blog. I also submitted pictures for extra dork points. Check it out here. [...]

    Pingback by Too Busy to Be Hip » Archive » Because I Am a Dork — September 10, 2007 @ 12:17 am

  8. wow! this is an awsome interview!
    good job!

    Comment by Yvette — September 10, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  9. Hahaha, sorry, don’t mind my linkback there (#7). In addition to being a nerd, I am also a big dork. :o )

    Comment by Crissy — September 11, 2007 @ 3:16 am

  10. Thanks for the great insight in you and Chris’ friendship, not to mention another great addition to the Fantastic Fan Family! As a fellow Pacific Islander, I’ve had the the good fortune to “pass through” Hawaii but sadly, before non-stop flights between the Far East and US mainland were instituted, the inside of the Honolulu Int’l Airport terminal was as far as I got….. Anyways, it’s great to hear from someone that knows a cast member from your HS days to the present! The photos of you guys and Chris are great!

    There is a pattern of how we become Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons/Jersey Boys fans and yours is a perfect blueprint! Knowledge of the music is usually the first thing, but we somehow don’t remember the artist’s names when the DJ says it on the radio, but we can always remember the songs. “Dawn” is one of my family’s favorites as well!

    Also, it does not matter how many times someone has watched the show, because I’ve seen the reaction of most people after their first show and they’re just blown away from the Jersey Boys experience! Most of them end up as repeat patrons, then they build up friendships with cast members too!

    Thanks for your entertaining and informative contribution, hopefully Chris will remain on top as “Frankie”, and welcome to the group!

    Comment by Mike B. Magbaleta — September 11, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  11. Chrissy: Since you’ve known Chris since at least high school, maybe you can tell us whether all the girls were crazy about him? I think so. He projects a lot of charisma on stage and connects well with the audience.

    Comment by Margie — September 12, 2007 @ 6:11 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment