November 19, 2006

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview with Damaris Dugan!

November 19th, 2006

Melissa Strom
One of the reasons Jersey Boys is the hottest ticket on Broadway is because of the amazing fans that can’t sit still in their seats, and keep coming back again and again to experience this incredible production! As a tribute to these loyal fans, Jersey Boys Blog has created a new feature on the blog: Fantastic Fan Interviews! We are especially excited to present our first interview in the series with one of Jersey Boys’ biggest fans–Damaris Dugan!

JBB: Tell us a bit about yourself.

DD: My name is Damaris Dugan and I am a huge fan of Jersey Boys. I live in New York, and I am the Assistant Vice President of the New York office for Roanoke Trade, which is an International Insurance Broker. I love musical theatre, and my favorite shows are: Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Light in the Piazza, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Evita and Phantom of the Opera. I try to go to the theatre as much as I can as I have a passion for it and truly love and respect what these actors do on stage every day. It puts a smile on my face every time.

JBB: How did you first find out about Jersey Boys, and what sparked your interest in seeing the show for the first time?

DD: I first found out about Jersey Boys last year when it was in previews. I was notified via e-mail that the story of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons was going to be told on Broadway. Being a person who always loved the music of Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons, I was curious what the play was about, so I got tickets for October 28th, 2005 and I went to the show.

JBB: What was your reaction the first time you saw Jersey Boys?

DD: Well, needless to say I loved it! I was so touched by the stories each individual told on stage, and I found it fascinating that a group as successful as the 4 Seasons had such difficulty during what seemed like such a successful time in their lives compounded further by the tragedy Frankie Valli suffered from his daughter’s death.

I came out of the theatre thinking OMG! I must share this experience with my family and friends. So I did, and continue to do so till this day to let everyone know how great this show is and continues to be told every night with such passion. I brought my older brother and his wife the second time. They grew up with this music, and he was completely blown away by the story. So many things he said he never knew, and was glad that Des brought this story to the stage for him to experience.

You see, I was born in 1962, so I really grew up with the songs of the ’70′s of Frankie Valli’s like, “My Eyes Adored You,” “Swearin’ to God,” “Who Loves You,” “Grease,” and “December 1963.” So, when I saw them perform songs like “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Dawn Go Away,” I was blown away! I loved it! I remember from my older brothers and sisters who played these songs in our basement in our home when they had parties, which I was never allowed to attend because I was too young. But I do remember humming the tunes.

JBB: What is it about the story and the music that makes you feel so connected to Jersey Boys?

DD: My connection to Jersey Boys is my own struggle to find success and personal happiness. Growing up in a blue-collar family, I understand their desire to rise above humble beings and chart a path to success. To be rewarded and blessed for all my hard work through the years, I can completely relate to this story.

JBB: How many times have you seen Jersey Boys thus far? What keeps bringing you back?

DD: I have seen Jersey Boys 13 times so far. It would have been more but over the summer, I had a freak accident and broke my right hand and was in a cast, so I ended up selling the tickets. Each time I’ve seen Jersey Boys, I’ve brought a family member or friend. I have even told my clients about Jersey Boys and they tease me and say, “You should be their promoter!” They called me the very next day and thanked me. They told me it was the best show they had seen on Broadway. Each time I have seen the show, I still see something that I did not pick up on or notice before. I still see it as a fresh production that always keeps my interest. And yes, I am still touched by the stories told by everyone on stage. Speaking of everyone on stage, I should mention that the supporting cast, like: Michael Longoria, Donnie Kehr, Jennifer Naimo, Peter Gregus, Erica Piccinnini., Heather Ferguson, Mark Lotito, Sara Schmidt, Steve Gouveia, Kris Coleman, and the drummer Ken Dow are all simply amazing in this production. And let’s not forgot the understudies, Dominic Nolfi, Matthew Scott, and John Leone, who cover for the Jersey Boys when they are out. All these actors make this show. They compliment the Jersey Boys. Without them, there would be no show. I love all of them. Each one of these actors does an amazing job everyday to make the Jersey Boys show a complete success every night.

JBB: What’s your favorite scene in Jersey Boys?

DD: Wow, there are many. I have to say when little Joey introduces Bob Gaudio to the group when they are looking for a fourth guy. Michael Longoria, who plays little Joey, is hysterical! I love him, he still cracks me up. I would say my second is when Gyp DeCarlo asks Frankie to sing “My Mothers Eyes” and then, Gyp breaks down and bursts into tears. I never expected that to happen. I was in tears laughing the first time I saw this.

JBB: What’s your favorite song in Jersey Boys?

DD: ” Dawn Go Away.” I love the way Daniel (Bob Gaudio) comes out and says ‘our fans didn’t have flowers in their hair; they didn’t try to levitate the Pentagon. They were the ones working at the diner, pumping gas; they were the ones who understood our music.’ Then, the video clip comes up with “American Bandstand” showing the young fans on the screen. I love the way this is done in the show and the drummer, OMG! he is amazing! When I brought my older sister to the show last April, she started to cry when they did “Dawn” on stage and I asked her ‘Are you O.K ? and she said, ‘Yes, it just brings back so many memories for me,’ and we hugged each other.

JBB: What do you think about the upcoming Jersey Boys national tour?

DD: So glad to hear this show will be touring. It’s great that people in other parts of the world will be able to see this amazing story. I have been fortunate since I live in New York to see the show with the original cast members, but I understand the touring actors are just as good. Good luck to all the actors on tour with this production.

JBB: How would you describe Jersey Boys to people who have not seen the show and may not be familiar with the Four Seasons’ music?

DD: For those of you who have not seen Jersey Boys: This is not just a Jukebox Musical. It’s a story of triumph and success. It enlightens the audience to the struggles of the musicians on their road to success. It is not only a true story, it is a good story! Go see it, you will be glad you did.

I must also mention the four actors who play the Jersey Boys–they are amazing, each one of them. As each actor narrates their own version of the band’s success, the audience member walks away truly believing that they have seen the real Four Seasons. That is how authentic their performances really are. Each one of them in their own way connects with the audience.

JBB: Is there anything else you would like to share about Jersey Boys?

DD: Finally, I would like to say being a part of the audience so many times, I am noticing more and more younger people attending the show than when I first went last year. When I attended a couple times last year, I noticed I was the only one in my 40′s in the audience. I felt like the youngest person there because everyone around me was like 55-60 age group. Now, I am noticing there are people in their 20′s, 30′s, 40′s sharing this experience. So that tells me the word is getting out that this story being told is not just for our parents to enjoy, its for everyone who has ever struggled with something and wanted to make it in their craft. And, its a great story and told beautifully for everyone to enjoy. And that’s a good thing!

Jersey Boys Blog would like to thank Damaris once again for taking the time to share her wonderful thoughts about Jersey Boys! If you would like to be featured in an upcoming JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, please click on the Contact Page and send us your contact information.


  1. Hi Damaris,

    Great interview. I agree with you totally about how fantastic the show is. If there is anyone out there reading this blog & on the fence about seeing JB’s or not….this interview will get you to buy a ticket.

    Damaris, Were you at the stage door after the Sept 6th, 2006 8pm show….I believe walking with a cane? We may have been chatting with you. We were there with our young son.


    Comment by stacey — November 19, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

  2. Hi Stacey,
    No, I was not there on Sept.6th. In September I was there on the 13th, and I did
    not have a cane.

    Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Comment by Damaris Dugan — November 19, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  3. Love the interview! I love to hear from the fans as well.

    Damaris and I have seen the show the same number of times!

    Comment by Elle — November 19, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

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