October 17, 2007

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With Wanda Libardi!

October 17th, 2007

Like that bunny on TV with the battery, JBB Fantastic Fans just keep going and going back to see Jersey Boys! They also become JBB Fantastic Fans! We’re delighted to present the 27th JBB Fantastic Fan interview with Wanda Librardi, who tells us how she became interested in seeing JB way back in La Jolla, what keeps bringing her back, her favorite scene, line, and songs from the show, and so much more!

JBB: Tell us about yourself.

WL: My name is Wanda Libardi and I live in the beautiful Berkshires, home to Norman Rockwell, Stockbridge Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage Company (world premiere of Spelling Bee) to name a few. I’m an actress/singer and perform in Williamstown every summer in a cabaret. I belong to the cabaret group, “Miss B. Haven” and perform throughout the year with them, as well as appearing in local theatre productions. I’m also a partner/actor in a murder mystery company, StageBlood Murder Mysteries, and travel throughout New England performing at resorts and hotels. However, to pay the bills, I work as a Clinical Support Rep. at The New England Pain Center here in Pittsfield, which is part of Berkshire Medical Center. It’s a great job and I really enjoy the people I work with. I’m also a member of The Earth Angels. We’re a local group of 75 volunteers – singers, dancers, stagehands, set designers and front end. We stage a musical variety show every year and have been doing so for the past 11 years. Everything we do is for charity and we’ve raised just under one million dollars for local charities here in the Berkshires and neighboring New York State.

JBB: When did you first hear about Jersey Boys and what sparked your interest in seeing the show for the first time?

WL: I was going on vacation to San Diego in October 2004. I went online to see what was going on for theatre there and I came upon Jersey Boys at the LaJolla Playhouse. I grew up listening to The Four Seasons and have always loved their music. I was fortunate enough to see them perform here at Tanglewood (home of the Boston Pops) in Lenox, MA. So I knew I had to see this show. I have since seen Frankie Vallie in concert and that was an incredible evening. He so deserves this new found recognition and admiration from all who grew up with The Four Seasons as well as a whole new generation who love him and the music of this incredible group.

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

WL: I was totally blown away by the show! The music was one thing, but like many others, I never knew the story behind the music. I just loved it and was so moved by the book. Then, of course, there were the actors. There was a question and answer period after the show and several of the actors in the LaJolla production are still in the OBC. That was my first introduction to these amazingly talented, kind and caring people. I’d read in the program that several of the actors had performed in Williamstown and Stockbridge so when I introduced myself, I said I was from the Berkshires and they cheered.

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

WL: I’ve seen JB 9 times now and have tickets for at least 3 more performances. I always see something different every time I see it. I love the music and story so much, and that keeps me coming back, but the main reason is the amazing cast! I love to watch these talented people perform and to be able to say hello to them after the show, well, that’s the icing on the cake!

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

WL: I’ve brought several friends to see the show and their reactions are all the same, they totally fall in love! I brought my friend, Michele, as a total surprise for her birthday, she had no idea she was seeing the show, even as we stood outside the theatre. With some help from Jen Naimo, she finally realized she was going to see the show and was overwhelmed. It was great!! We spent the weekend with Michele’s relatives in New Jersey who share the Castelluccio name with Frankie. They also lived right across the street from Frankie’s uncle and would see Frankie when he came by. Michele played with his daughters when she was growing up, so seeing the show was special for her.

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

WL: I think the music is the main attraction to begin with, most people know the music but not the story, and so they’re going to the show to hear the music of The Four Seasons. But because the JB story is about real people, their struggles and their success, you become hooked and have to see the show again and again. It makes you believe that anything is possible.

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

WL: I’ve met everyone in the cast and several people who work behind the scenes. When I was in San Diego, I ran into Jennifer Naimo at my hotel the morning after I saw JB for the first time. I recognized her right away and was so excited I just had to say hello and tell her how much I loved the show and the cast and how terrific she was. We chatted for a while and Jen mentioned the show was going to New York. I asked her who would be going from the LaJolla cast and at that point in time she didn’t know. I told her that if she went, I’d definitely see her in NY and the rest is history. We’ve become close friends and keep in touch via email and text messaging, always fun!! We also discovered that we actually met years ago when she was doing cabarets in Williamstown, MA and I’d seen her in the touring company of Full Monty. She’s the very best! Jennifer is such an incredible human being, so talented, warm, kind, caring, so beautiful inside and out and I so cherish our friendship. We’ve found that we have so much in common and we have so much fun together whenever I’m in the city, which is quite often to see the show and spend time with Jen. Because Jen is so outgoing and introduces me to everyone, I’ve gotten to know the cast through her. Again, what awesome people, kind, friendly, caring and so very talented……I could go on and on. I saw Daniel’s Summer Mix Tape cabaret only to discover that his backup singer, Amy Wren, is related to me by marriage, so the JB connections in my life go on and on.

JBB: What’s your favorite Jersey Boys scene & why?
WL: Well, I love every scene, but I absolutely love the pizza scene and the car ride to Bloomfield, I mean Fairfield. LOL!! Both scenes are so funny! Also, the lighting for “Fallen Angel” gives me chills every time and Des McAnuff’s direction is wonderful!

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

WL: I’m in love with all the songs in the show but I think my favorites are My Eyes Adored You, Beggin, Walk Like A Man and Dawn, I don’t have just one. The whole scene between Frankie and Mary gets to me every time and My Eyes Adored you just makes that whole scene so sad. I’ve always loved Beggin, Walk Like A Man and Dawn when growing up, so that hasn’t changed, I just love the way those songs are done on stage.

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

WL: That’s a really tough question, there are so many great lines. What Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman have written is pure genius! I love all of Jen’s lines in the pizza scene, they’re great, and Michael’s lines as Joe Pesci are really funny.

JBB: You’ve said that you’ve always loved the 4 Seasons music. Do you have a special favorite Seasons’ song?

WL: Having grown up with the music of The Four Seasons and loving all of their songs, I was very familiar with their music. I still have my 45’s! Now I’m really dating myself!! I really love all of their songs and I can’t pick just one!

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

WL: Jersey Boys is an experience like no other I’ve ever had. I’ve been seeing Broadway shows since I was 14 years old and I’ve never loved a show this much or felt such a connection like this before. So many things in my life have a connection to Jersey Boys and/or the cast, it’s amazing. It seems every time I turn around something comes up that ends up relating back to the show or a cast member. I’ve met so many wonderful people on the JBB and we’ve all become family, it’s a great feeling. I guess “it’s a sign” and I’m loving every minute of it. Thank you Susie and Dale for bringing us all together!

Thank you so much to Wanda Libardi for this incredibly in-depth interview about her marvelous experience she has had and her love for 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. Hi, Wanda,

    What a great interview! I cannot wait to meet you in person! IE

    Comment by irene eizen — October 17, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  2. Wanda and I met and went to Daniel’s Summer Mix at Joe’s Pub in September. She is totally a Jersey Boys Fantastic Fan and a new friend of mine. What a great interview and terrific photos. I’m so glad you were interviewed Wanda. You’re one of the many fans that are a part of the ever growing Jersey Boys family. Have fun on the 21st!!

    Comment by LindaL — October 17, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

  3. Wanda, so now I can put a face to the person in my spam folder! Good interview! Lulu

    Comment by LuluThompson — October 17, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

  4. Hey Wanda, how nice to learn so many nice things about you..Can’t wait till Sunday, now I know what you look like.:-).See you soon..Jody

    Comment by Jody Cardillo — October 17, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

  5. Wow, Wanda, I’ve met you, but never really knew your story..and the pictures were sensational. And now we know what gives Jen all that energy on stage and in her cabaret shows…that special $5 coffee bean with the French name at Starbucks!! And to think, I’ve been drinking that 50 cent diner coffee all these years! You’re right–Jen is so great at answering e-mails and keeping in touch with everyone–and thanks everyone for even the slightest gesture–I’ve never heard a negative word about her.

    The other part I relate to is your saying we all have some connections to the Four Seasons and the cast. Having grown up in Clifton, NJ, and living in Newark and Elizabeth, I once met Bob Gaudio’s cousin Maureen and my best friend’s wife grew up with Frankie’s niece, Donna. Cousin Kevin in “The Who’s Tommy” was my friend Anthony Barrile, acting alongside our own Christian when they were “kids”–I guess, compared to us, they still are, huh?? And of course, Forbidden Broadway alumnus Daniel worked with my friend Chris Bradley’s best friend, Gerard Alessandrini…..and the list goes on and on.

    After having met you and shared our Bulletin Board postings, it’s such a pleasure to read your story. Would be interested to know how your friend Michele didn’t realize she was seeing “Jersey Boys” although she was at the theatre already? She wouldn’t be interested in buying a 100 year-old refurbished bridge that connects two New York City boroughs, would she??

    Comment by Howard Tucker — October 17, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

  6. Great interview Wanda. I hope we all get to see you perform some time. See you Sunday.

    Comment by Melissa — October 18, 2007 @ 6:58 am

  7. What a great interview. Wanda thankyou for all the publicity..I promise to give the required 10% commission. Really though..Wanda has a huge heart and is a true friend and fan of this show. Can’t wait to meet you all Sunday night…xo jennifer

    Comment by jennifer — October 18, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  8. Wanda, great interview and as others have said- at last, a face can be placed with your name… and better yet, a name that ends in a vowel! You obviously have great taste in shows, geographical areas (Berkshires), friends and clothes. I look forward to meeting you this Sunday.

    Comment by Audrey — October 19, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  9. Wanda ~ What a great interview! It’s quite a story you have! I look forward to meeting you next Sunday!

    Comment by Dina — October 19, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

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