July 7, 2009

Jeff Madden’s Night at the Dora Awards and His Acceptance Speech!

July 7th, 2009

Jeff Madden and his wife
Jeff Madden and his wife Christine at the Dora Awards

Last week, as you all know, JERSEY BOYS Toronto’s Jeff Madden won the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role – Musical!

On his Taking the Wheel blog, Jeff has a fabulous recap of his magical evening. Here’s a preview:

It is such an honour to be recognized by my peers in this way, and a week later, I’m still kinda of stunned. I have received tonnes of emails and facebook messages from you all wishing me congratulations. Thank you all so much, from the bottom of my heart. It means so much to have the support of friends and family. However, in lieu of sending a hundred individual emails thanking you all and telling you how it went, this blog post is my attempt to do just that.

It was about 9:30pm by the time JERSEY BOYS’ 1st category came up. When Sergio Trujillo didn’t win for Best Choreography, my heart sank a bit. I thought, ‘Oh no, maybe it’s not our night!’. But that feeling quickly disappeared when we won our 2nd and 3rd categories; Des McAnuff won for his brilliant direction, and then JERSEY BOYS won the coveted Audience Choice Award for Best Show.

It must have been 10:30pm when they finally got to my category. Cast mates and fellow nominees Michael Lomenda and Quinn VanAntwerp sat to my immediate left and right. We three shared a nice glance at each other as the presenters came on stage. It was a special moment for me, one that showed our support and respect for each other.

C. David Johnson and Cynthia Dale (both of “Street Legal” fame) read out the nominees in alphabetical order, and in the pause before “and the Dora goes to…” you could hear a pin drop. I know I was holding my breath. It’s interesting – I don’t remember looking at the stage when I heard my name being called. I’m still not even sure which presenter said my name. In that moment before my name was called, I went somewhere… it felt like I was dreaming.

But, it was no dream. I did hear my name. And I remember hearing applause, and feeling Michael pat my left arm. I turned to my right and looked at Christine, then hugged her and kissed her. I stood up, and there were my parents, proud as could be. I kissed my Mom and shook my Dad’s hand as I made my way out the aisle to go up the stairs to the right of the stage.

And–here’s a snapshot of Jeff’s moving acceptance speech:

First I want to thank Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice for writing such wonderful words to speak, and Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe for writing such amazing songs to sing.

And I want to thank Des McAnuff, Ron Melrose and Sergio Trujillo for shaping this masterpiece for the stage, who, along with Richard Hester, Michael Rafter, and everyone at the Dodgers in New York City entrusted me with this incredibly demanding role, for some absurd reason.

Thank you to Tara Rubin and Merri Sugarman, along with Sherry Dayton and Michael Walters for not casting, I don’t know, Zac Efron or something. (audience laughs)

*(The Get-Off-The-Stage Music starts to play – it’s soft, and pretty, and believe it or not, it’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You’ played on keyboard)*

(Ad Libbing)
Oh – this music is perfect for this part! (audience laughs)

(Calmly carrying on over the perfect musical underscore)
To my wife, Christine… (audience laughs)… you have made several huge sacrifices to allow me to follow my dream … (I get choked up, part 3) and I can’t begin to thank you enough. I love you so much.

(Growing brazen and Ad Libbing some more)
Look, I’m just a regular guy with a Science Degree who had a passion for performing. So, for all you Science students out there who want to get into show business (holding up my Dora) stick to it, you’ve still got a chance! (audience laughs)

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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