July 22, 2013

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview with Jo-Ann Wordley!

July 22nd, 2013

Jo-Ann Wordley with Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young

We’re so excited to bring back one of our old features–the JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, especially with SUPER FAN Jo-Ann Wordley, who has just celebrated her 350th time seeing the show!

Jersey Boys Blog: Tell us about yourself.

Jo-Ann Wordley: I am Jo-Ann Wordley. age 60, retired from 28 years in insurance. I am a sports fan, baseball, football, and hockey. I root for New York teams. I have been a fan of the theater since the age of 17 when my parents took me to my first show. I got hooked then and it has been a love affair ever since then. I have mostly seen musicals and did not see my first dramatic play until I was 40 years old. Certainly, the musicals out number the dramatic ones.

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

JAW: I first heard about Jersey Boys in the fall of 2007. One of my dad’s friends saw it and told me all about it. He first asked me if I knew of the group (and of course I did) and recommended that I go see it. I called shortly after that and saw my first show on 4/25/08. I was hooked from that moment on.

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

JAW: I was amazed at the music. I grew up on this music (though I was only 9 or 10 at the time) and what great memories I had of that music. I still love it to this day. I had to keep coming back for that music!

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

JAW: As of this writing, I have seen the show 338 times – yes, that amount is correct and my goal is to reach 350 which I should attain in about two weeks [Jo-Ann reached that goal over the weekend!]. What keeps bringing me back is the music and the fantastic acting that I have seen from the Broadway cast. They never fail to deliver a wonderful performance.

JBB Who have you brought with you to see Jersey Boys, and what was their reaction to the show?

JAW: I have brought three relatives (two who live in NYC) a number of friends and believe it or not, the girl who does my hair. I would tell her so much about it when I was at the beauty salon, that I felt I owed her a trip and one weekend, I had an extra ticket and she was able to go with me. They all had the same reaction, great music and fantastic acting and all of them were grateful that they came.

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

JAW: I think people feel a strong connection if they have struggled trying to do something. The Four Seasons struggled to get where they ended up – on top of the world – only to fall, but never giving up and eventually reclaiming their glory despite a lot of hardships along the way.

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

JAW: Of the current Broadway cast, I have met the following: Quinn VanAntwerp, Nathan Scherich, Dominic Scaglione, Jr., Russell Fischer, John Edwards, Jared Bradshaw, Erik Bates, Mark Lotito, Peter Gregus, Jessica Rush (my first Jersey Girl), and all four of the current Four Seasons, Matt Bogart, Drew Gehling, Andy Karl and original Frankie Valli – John Lloyd Young. I have gotten smiles and waves from two other “Jersey Girls” Katie O’Toole and Sara Schmidt. My friend and I got a partial backstage tour (last December) from then cast members Jeremy Kushnier and then Frankie Valli actor Jarrod Spector. It was only partial due to the fact that I walk with a cane (bad knees) but hope some day to get the full tour. We found it very interesting. We were given a “technical tour” dealing with what happens on stage and some behind the scenes activities. We asked a lot of questions and they were both very gracious in answering every one of them.

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

JAW: That’s a tough one. Every night, it changes, but if I had to pick one, I’d have to say is when the Four Seasons finally makes to the top – namely when they step up and perform “Sherri,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man”.

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

JAW: Can I have two? My two favorites are “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “Fallen Angel.” My reason – whoever is performing those numbers never fails to deliver in their performance. “Can’t Take My Eyes” brings people to their feet and “Fallen Angel” brings some tears to the eyes of the people in the audience. I am included in those numbers.

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

JAW: I gave this a lot of thought. While I have a lot of favorite lines, my most favorite one has to be two simple words – “Sit Down.” It takes place when the group is trying to figure out what to do with Tommy’s gambling problem and they have gone to Gyp for help. They listen to Tommy yell and finally Frankie stands up and utters those words calmly and eventually he lets Tommy have it – in words with both barrels rolling. A very powerful scene.

JBB: You mentioned earlier that you were already familiar with the Four Seasons’ music. What are your favorite Seasons’ songs?

JAW: Yes, I was very familiar with them. In fact, I live only twenty minutes from where Bob Gaudio grew up in Bergenfield, NJ. As far as a favorite song, another tough one to answer. Again, can I have two? I’d have to say “Walk Like a Man” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” They are all so good, it really is hard to make a selection.

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

JAW: People ask me if I have gotten tired of attending so many shows. I tell them no. I see different performers and each do their part in their own way. I have seen six men handle the Frankie Valli part and each of them have done it in their own way and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. I have also made many new friends through Jersey Boys and I have met people from all over the United States and quite a number of people from around the world with Australia being represented the most. It’s a show you will never get tired of. A lot of my friends have seen the show over 100 times, so coming back time and time again is contagious! Go see it and you will understand why so many people keep coming back.

Thank you so much to Jo-Ann for sharing her wonderful JB story!

If you’re interested in a JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, we’d love to hear from you! Click HERE to send us your contact info!


  1. Wow Jo-Ann what a fantastic fan you certainly are. I can understand how much you love it because I feel exactly the same. I only saw my first show here in September ’12 and left the theatre that night knowing I was definitely going to see it again. I’ve been hooked ever since and have followed our Australian Jersey Boys to four different states. Unfortunately my tally of 50 will never get any higher as our JB production finished its run only a few weeks ago. And what a night it was…a very sad and emotional one!!
    All the best Jo-Ann and I hope you get to see many many more yet.

    Comment by Dianne — July 22, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

  2. I sat next to Jo-Ann last June 21 (D105)and she was so warm and friendly even if I had just met her that night. I am from Asia (the Philippines) and went to NYC (alone and straight to the theater fr JFK airport)to watch JLY before his run ended. Before the show started she had answered so many of my questions about JB and even helped me take off the cellophane fr the CDs I had bought. During the show she would quietly explain a jersey joke or comment and point out the different actors on stage. After the show she showed me and led me to the stage door even if she had trouble walking. Jo-Ann Thank you for your company and care that night. I was so lucky to be sitting next to you – THE JB EXPERT. You make me smile everytime I remember you -such a devoted FAN GIRL especially of JLY.

    My story – I saw JB in Melbourne, Australia (was there for a medical convention) last Feb,and it was the sound of the original Cast album that made me search the internet about JB in Broadway. The voice and interpretation of the songs by JLY is at another level,it touches the heart and soul.. My watching the JB on Broadway was really worth my time and effort. I remember the scene when Frankie receives the news about the death of his daughter on the telephone-
    JLY is wordlessly (just by facial expression and action) able to show surprise, denial, pain, sadness, anger,and remorse in just a few seconds.His acting is so good.
    I was vaguely familiar with the songs before as they were my parents songs and were musical soundtracks. I think that JB appeal is universal.

    Comment by Jovi Panlilio — July 25, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  3. Great interview Jo-Ann!! So glad I was with you for the 350th show!

    Comment by Patty — July 30, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

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