May 27, 2013

@JeffMadden Shares His Top 5 Jersey Boys Moments That Make His Heart Ache

May 27th, 2013

Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio), Jeff Madden (Frankie Valli), Ant Harkin (Tommy Devito), Glaston Toft (Nick Massi)

Jeff Madden’s Taking The Wheel blog has provided readers with a marvelous glimpse into his journey of playing the Frankie Valli role in JERSEY BOYS, first in Toronto, and now in Australia. As the Australian JB run comes to an end soon, Jeff is continuing to reflect on his amazing time with the show.

Truth be told, Jeff’s reflections in the blog post entitled, “JB Top 5′s: 5 Moments That Make My Heart Ache” is one of the most wonderful, heartfelt, tearjerkers you’ll ever read. Below is a preview:

1. Singing “My Eyes Adored You”.
Prior to this song, you watch Frankie meet the Jersey girl of his dreams in Mary Delgado. They fall in love, get married and have a kid before you can say, “Call your mother, you’re gonna be home late.” You watch as Frankie and the band overcome their early struggles to score three Number One hits in a row. Then, the guys struggle with their new-found success and the constant touring, and you witness the toll it takes on Frankie and Mary. And finally, after returning from a successful tour, you watch as Frankie engages in a shouting match with Mary that ends their marriage.

I’ve worked with many different Mary’s in my Jersey Boys days. They say, you always remember your first – and how could I forget ‘Jenny from the Block’, the amazing Jenny Lee Stern. She was scary good. I also had the pleasure of working with two other Marys in Toronto – the lovely and talented Jennifer Copping and Cleopatra Williams, and the fantastic Elise Brennan in Sydney. On Tour here, Mary is played by Lisa Adam, the best actor in the current company by miles. And I don’t think anyone would dispute it, either. She is the only Jersey Girl in all the productions worldwide to be nominated for a best supporting actress award for Jersey Boys. And it was well-deserved. She can be funny as hell one moment, rip your head off the next, and then break your heart. What a gift it is to work with her.

Frankie and Mary had two girls together, and Mary had a daughter from a previous relationship. Frankie was on the road a lot, doing his best to provide a decent living for them all. Frankie’s future certainly looked like it would continue to be full of traveling. They were growing apart. How long would it go on?

It doesn’t take much effort or creativity for me to relate to this moment, being married with two little girls of my own at home, seemingly millions of miles away. I know too well the complexity of feelings involved in choosing to live a life on the road, doing the thing that I’m really good at and passionate about, and providing for a family that I dearly love but rarely see. My heart aches just thinking about it.

It’s interesting. When I sing this song away from the show – in a concert or cabaret setting; even in rehearsal – I usually sing it, in a word, better. More technically pure, prettier even. But in the show, it comes out more raw, rougher around the edges. A bit ‘haunted’, perhaps. At first it used to bother me that I wasn’t singing it as nicely as I could. But then, I realized – don’t fight it. Embrace it. When I sing it in the show, my heart is aching. It’s more believable.

Click HERE to read the rest of this poignant blog post.

1 Comment »

  1. What a great article. It was wonderful learning about Jeff’s own experiences and how he related them to JB. Thanks, Jeff, for those beautiful words. All the best.

    Comment by Rose — May 28, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

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