April 28, 2007

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With Samantha Roberts!

April 28th, 2007

As with the music of the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, the megahit Broadway show that tells the story of the group’s rise to fame appeals to all generations! Over the past several months, JBB Fantastic Fan Interviews have featured Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers, in addition to high school and college students who can’t get enough of Jersey Boys!

We are delighted to present our 15th JBB Fantastic Fan Interview with one of JB’s youngest fans, eight (almost nine)-year-old Samantha Roberts, who was introduced to Jersey Boys thanks to her grandmother, another JBB Fantastic Fan, Irene Eizen! Sammy talks about why she likes Jersey Boys so much, her favorite musical numbers from the show, what it was like to meet the cast members, and the wonderful time she had at the JB Actors’ Fund party!

JBB: Hi Sammy, please tell us all about yourself.

SR: My name is Samantha Rose Roberts. I was born on October 22, 1998. I am eight and one-half. I love to laugh. Mostly I smile. I have a brother, Jacob, who is 5 years old. My mom and dad work at Disney in Florida.

JBB: What’s your favorite subject in school?

SR: I love math because my grandmother, Irene, is a math teacher. I am able to figure out problems in my head just like my grandmom can. Some problems I have to figure out on paper. School is fun.

JBB: What do you like to do when you’re not in school?

SR: I love to sing and dance, play with my friends, play ball with my grandfather. I am on a softball team in Celebration, Florida, where I live. I like to watch the Disney Channel. I like to go to the Disney Parks and since I live in Celebration, Florida, the parks are very close.

JBB: We know that your grandmom loves the Broadway show, Jersey Boys and you’ve gotten to see it with her! Tell us what you think about Jersey Boys.

SR: I like Jersey Boys because I think it is a cool show and I love the songs. My brother and I sing the songs with my mom in the car all the time. I also really like the actors. They are very nice. They also are great actors, singers and dancers. I have pictures with John Lloyd Young, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer.

J. Robert Spencer recognized me the last time I went to the show because my mom and I sent him a picture of him and me at the stage door. When his baby was born, we sent his baby a big Mickey Mouse.

JBB: How many times have you seen Jersey Boys?

SR: I have seen it four times, including April 15. If I didn’t live in Florida, I would see it more. My grandmom Irene has seen the show 13 times.

JBB: What do you like best about the show?

SR: I loved all the songs and I loved how Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli had a contract on a handshake because it tells people that not everything has to be written to make sure people commit to something. It shows people can trust each other.

JBB: Do you have a favorite song from Jersey Boys?

SR: Yes, “Beggin’” is my favorite song, just like my grandma and my mom. I also like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” and “Walk Like a Man.”

JBB: You’ve had the chance to meet some of the actors and actresses from Jersey Boys. Who did you get to meet and what did you guys talk about?

SR: I got to meet John Lloyd Young. We talked about if I really liked the show and stuff. He signed my shirt and my show books. He is very nice. My grandma told him about how she prepared me for the show because of some of the language and the shooting scene. My grandma and my mommy talked to me about the language, to never use the language but that it was used in the show for a reason. Sometimes the kids who were the real Jersey Boys many years ago talked that way so to make the show more real, some of the language was used.

I also met Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard, Jennifer Naimo and Donnie Kehr, Mark Lotito and Peter Gregus. I also met Michael Longoria after a Saturday matinee. All the actors are very good and very, very nice.

JBB: You just came back from a Jersey Boys party with your mom and grandmom. Tell us all about the big party.

SR: Michael Longoria, Kris Coleman, Travis Cloer were the first actors I saw. Then I saw all the Jersey Boys. I was the youngest person at the party. I told everyone that I am going to be a Fantastic Fan. A lot of people asked me how I like the show. I told them to read the Jersey Boys Blog and check out my answers.

There were a lot of people at the party. After the show, the actors talked about The Actors Fund. I learned that sometimes actors only get to do their jobs for a year. They really have no where to go after that. The Actors Funds helps them.

JBB: Other than Jersey Boys, have you seen other shows on Broadway?

SR: I have seen Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Hairspray. Soon I will see Wicked.

JBB: What’s the best part about going to see shows on Broadway?

SR: It is really great because you get to do lots of stuff like meet the people who are in the shows, just like my grandma Irene, who knows John Lloyd Young, Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer and Daniel Reichard.

Jersey Boys Blog would like to thank Sammy, as well as her grandmom Irene Eizen and her mom Jennifer Roberts for this wonderful interview about Jersey Boys! If you would like to be featured in an upcoming JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, we’d love to interview you! Please click on the Contact Page and send us your contact information.


  1. Hi, Sammy,

    Bub and I are very proud of you. You are a sweet and beautiful girl. You have been a joy in our lives since the day you were born, October 22, 1998. You and I share the same birthday and that has been the “highpoint”, the best.

    Your answers are great. I know everyone who reads the blog will enjoy reading your fantastic fan interview.

    Love, Grandma Irene and Bub

    Comment by irene eizen — April 28, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  2. Sammy, what magnificent insight; you’re wise beyond your years. I don’t think anyone could have better analyzed the Gaudio-Valli handshake–they set the standard for people trusting each other–and have done so for over 40 years!

    I’m also glad you mentioned the Actors’ Fund. Until the Jersey Boys’ Actor’s Fund presentation, I too never realized that, while so many of us count on a job lasting for years, an entertainer’s future may be far more uncertain, and it’s wonderful to know there is help available. John Lloyd also noted that the Fund isn’t limited to actors, but is open to anyone involved in the entertainment industry.

    Sammy, so many of us were privileged to meet you, mom, and granddad and grandmom on the night of April 15. Thank you for a great interview!

    Comment by Howard Tucker — April 28, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  3. Awesome interview. Your comment about the handshake shows how mature you are even at a young age. By the way, thats me in the background with your pic with Daniel!

    Comment by Brian Lim — April 29, 2007 @ 12:38 am

  4. Great interview Sammy! 8 years old, wow, it is great to see such young fans of the show. You are very right, the whole cast is very nice! once again great interview, and very cute pictures!

    All my best

    Comment by Kathryn H. — April 29, 2007 @ 3:46 am

  5. Great Interview Sammy!
    Its nice to see the young ones enjoying the show as much as the adults. Sammy is just too cute!

    God Bless.

    Comment by Damaris Dugan — April 29, 2007 @ 7:40 am

  6. Sammy, it was so nice to see your interview and great pictures here and meet you at the Actors’ Fund event. You are a real conversationalist with lots of enthusiasm.

    It’s also great to see another fan of “Beggin’”. I have only seen JLY do that song and I must say, it’s hard to imagine anyone else singing it quite like he does. But, like you, I will be back many more times (so I’ll catch someone else one of these days). I’ll be tied with your grandmother next week when I see JB for the 13th time.

    Beautiful Celebration, FL or the August Wilson Theater- it’s nice to be torn between two such wonderful places. If I don’t see you at the theater soon, maybe I’ll catch you (and Mickey) in Florida sometime.

    Considering the countless JB fans all over the country, you have entered a very special ‘Fantastic Fan’ club (as has everyone commenting on your interview before me). Hopefully you will continue the tradition of your grandparents and parents by taking your children and grandchildren to see Jersey Boys someday.

    Comment by Audrey — April 29, 2007 @ 10:39 am

  7. Wow, I am very happy that the Jersey Boys fans ages range from 9 years old to 100!! I am glad to see that Sammy enjoys the show as much as I do. (Sammy, I just read the book, “Celebration, U.S.A”. It is about life in Celebration and how they built the town. It is cool that I “know” someone who lives there!).

    Irene, you must be so proud of your granddaughter. I agree with a comment you made in my interview that all the Jersey Boys Fantastic Fans (and other fans!)should get together. Maybe we can have a party with some of the cast members…if it would be possible. It would be so great to meet true and dedicated fans that know what they are talking about! What does everyone think?

    Comment by A — April 29, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  8. Wonderful idea, A and Irene, if we could manage a FF get-together logistically, with a lot of us spread all over the country.

    We’d certainly need to include our great Blogmaster and tech guru, Susie and Dale. We’d also perhaps want our “honorary” or “unofficial” Fantastic Fan base there–the frequent commenters/posters/guest performers like Audrey, David Cace, Len Gersten, Catherine, Kyrsten, etc. If we were to ask some cast members, Sunday after a show would be a good choice, as it still won’t be too late, and the theater is dark on Monday.

    But we’d need to have plenty of notice for the out-of-towners and for those like me who are on the road frequently for two or three weeks consecutively.

    Maybe we could even have prizes as with our high school reunions: longest traveled, most performances, youngest fan (not oldest though!), and some special awards, such as to Kathryn for running all the JB MySpace groups, Brian and Susie for creating the trivia quiz, Kyrsten for best performance by a Featured Fan, Sammy for most photogenic, and so on.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — April 29, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

  9. I enjoyed reading your interview about Jersey Boys. I think you are the youngest person to do a Jersey Boy Fantastic Fan interview. I am rememebering a posting John Lloyd Young has on his blog. He was around your age when he began to go to plays on Broadway and he even put a picture of himself getting an autograph at the stage door. You should take your interview into school and share your writing with your teacher and classmates. You should feel really proud!

    Comment by Beverley Micciche — April 29, 2007 @ 4:29 pm

  10. Just returned from NYC, seeing Jersey Boys for the 14th time. Matthew Scott played Frankie Valli today and did a great job. Each time I go, I love the show more and more. Today’s audience was one of the most enthusiastic I have seen. This show is a phenomenon and I can see myself going an indefinite number of times. Bought tickets for two more dates today.

    So I am ready and willing to form a committee to plan a HUGE Jersey
    Boys Party for fans and the actors, if possible. I will be in Las Vegas in two weeks an hope to meet Susie for lunch. Maybe we can start the ball rolling.

    I am anxious to read your ideas for how to get the plans underway. Maybe some of us could meet in NYC. I am happy to come up from PHila anytime. Tell me your thoughts.

    Thanks for all the great comments about my Sammy. She is as sweet, smart and wonderful as she looks.

    Warm regards to everyone. Irene Eizen

    Comment by irene eizen — April 29, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

  11. Sammy,

    Thank you for your delightful interview! It’s amazing to know that some of the music that was created 45 to 50 years ago is being appreciated by people of your age group!! It’s also nice that your family is exposing you to many of the other musicals currently playing on Broadway. Besides being a fan of Jersey Boys (and the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons), we have at least one other thing in common: I also play softball (on a Sunday morning men’s team and a co-ed team on Wednesday evenings). It’s a great recreational activity and I’ve been playing it since the time The Four Seasons broke onto the charts with their initial success “Sherry.” Hopefully you enjoy the sport as much as I do and will continue to play for many years to come!!

    As for a party/get together for all Jersey Boys Fantastic Fans and other fans of the show and original group, The Four Seasons, I think it’s a great idea! It would be fun to meet some of the old-time fans of Frankie Valli and the Seasons, as well as the newer Jersey Boys enthusiasts. I live just north of NYC, in Westchester County, and would be willing to assist with the planning of such an event. Hopefully additional people could volunteer to assist since it seems this has the potential to be a rather large party.

    Comment by Len Gersten — April 30, 2007 @ 12:57 am

  12. Len,

    I am creating an e-mail list of volunteers. Can I have your e-mail? Do you live in NYC?

    Thanks. IE

    Comment by irene eizen — April 30, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  13. Len,

    I have a question that I’ve been dying to ask ever since I saw your name on the Blog. Are you related to my Dad’s cousins Dave & Selma Gersten (both now passed on, and both born about 1900)who grew up in Newark, NJ (on Renner Ave.) and had a drug store/luncheonette? They had two children, Hilliard (“Hilly”) and Sheila.


    Comment by Howard Tucker — April 30, 2007 @ 7:30 am

  14. I am getting excited about this party idea…hopefully some cast members would be able to attend. I will get in contact with Jennifer when she comes back from vacation to see if she would like to join us.


    Comment by A — April 30, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  15. Okay, fellow JB fans. We have a great idea. Let’s get working on it!
    My e-mail is [email protected]. Let’s start to communicate about this and we WILL make it happen. That will be a “High Point!” IE

    Comment by irene eizen — April 30, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  16. Loved reading your interview, Sammy! It’s great to know that Jersey Boys fans run the gamut of all ages. Excited also to read about a possible get together for ‘FF’s’ and all fans. GREAT idea! I’d love to help out in any planning.


    Comment by Pamela — April 30, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  17. Irene,

    I contacted the administrator of the blog requesting she share my email address with you. I’m not sure if you received it yet, but since you listed your email on the blog, I figured I’d do the same. You can reach me at [email protected], my work email address. I live about 35 miles north of New York City, so I am certainly within relatively easy commuting distance of the City. Hope to exchange emails with you in the coming weeks.


    Comment by Len Gersten — May 1, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

  18. Howard,

    I asked the only two surviving individuals in my family who might know about your relatives from Newark: my mom and my dad’s brother. Although my dad and uncle did have family in Newark, it was an uncle of theirs named Jake Gersten. Jake had three sons, one of which is none other than Bernard Gersten, the Broadway producer. Unfortunately, Bernard never kept in touch with our side of the family, and although I’ve thought about making contact, I have not done so to date.

    My uncle does keep in touch with another one of the sons, Leon, who lives out in San Francisco. Next time they speak, my uncle will ask him if he remembers any other relatives who may have lived in the area.


    Comment by Len Gersten — May 1, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

  19. HI, Len,

    I am compiling a list of e-mail addresses as we begin to plan what will be an amazing Jersey Boys fan-initiated event. I will be in touch. IE

    Comment by irene eizen — May 1, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  20. Irene,

    Are you going to continue posting updates on this article? Because this is where I keep checking for updated news!

    Comment by A — May 2, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  21. Hey is this the most comments ever received by a FF interview….of course half of them are party planning…..
    Jen (Sammy’s Mom)

    Comment by Jen — May 2, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  22. Party planning is great – inspired by Sammy’s interview.

    IE (Jen’s mom and Sammy’s grandmom).

    “Is that class or what?” IE

    Comment by irene eizen — May 4, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

  23. It’s interesting how “Beggin’”–Audrey’s comment #6 above–and Sammy’s favorite–has sort of taken on a life of its own….so many of my friends love the song after seeing JB and the guys did a great job of it on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” w/great choreography.

    Also read or heard JLY quoted fairly recently as saying it’s his favorite number (in one of his very first interviews on NY1 in 2005, he says it’s a tie between “Sherry” and “CTMEOY.”)

    My mid 1960′s recollection is not what David’s or Len’s is, and I recall the song, but not as clearly as “Let’s Hang On”, “Opus 17″, “Stay”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, or even “Watch the Flowers Grow.” You may be right, Audrey–JLY may be the reason for its new (or renewed) popularity!

    Comment by Howard Tucker — May 4, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  24. Any updates on the planning, Irene?

    Comment by A — June 17, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  25. Howard, I saw the “New Years Rockin’ Eve”, and was also surprised at the new life of its own “Beggin’” has had since. Oddly enough, a few years ago, before JB took off, my wife was transferring a VHS tape to DVD that her late mother had taken in Las Vegas, probably in the late 1990s. I was surprised to hear “Beggin’” playing in the background on the recording. My local Top 40 station did play “Beggin’” for a few weeks back in 1967.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — May 29, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

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