November 4, 2010

Jersey Boys – Vegas Style, Part Two

November 4th, 2010

Photo Credits: Photos 2, 3: Patti Massi-Candeliere

By Patti Massi-Candeliere and Audrey Rockman

My schedule, while in Las Vegas, was packed full. It was critical to me, though, that I make time to visit with two special women, who I’ve known for ever – it seems…the daughters of Nick DeVito (and nieces of Tommy’s) – Mary DeVito-Porter and Cathy DeVito-Ballaro. Most of you remember that Nick and Tommy DeVito, along with my father played together in the Variety Trio and later the Four Lovers, as noted in the show when they perform ‘Silhouettes’ and ‘My Mother’s Eyes’ (which reminds me of one of my favorites from that time: ‘You’re the Apple of My Eye.’)

It was a special day because Mary, Cathy and I got to go for lunch and spend hours together, just sharing memories we had of our dads. Our parents have been friends for ages and that connection continues through us. We jumped on the chance to take a photo of the three of us in front of the Jersey Boys store. I imagine most of us have had the experience of getting together with someone you haven’t seen in decades and yet it seems like you never missed a day – the connection is always there. We had good memories together and I’m so proud of them and the life that they made for themselves and their families.

The cast member which Cathy and Mary have a connection with, of course, is Jason Martinez who plays Nick DeVito, (as well as Stosh, Norman Waxman, Charlie Calello, etc.). Not only do Cathy & Mary adore the show and seeing Uncle Tommy’s prominent part in the plot, but they also appreciate the role that Nick DeVito plays in the earlier years. Like my father, Nick DeVito did not live to see the show on stage, having passed away on April 23, 2003; his sweet wife, Mitzi who died on December 14, 2007, knew the show was destined for greatness. Nick and Mitzi will always be remembered with love.

Speaking of a packed schedule, it wouldn’t be a Vegas trip without shopping and where would I most like to go to pick up some gifts? The Jersey Boys store, of course!! I was like a little girl in a candy store, just looking at all the fun clothing and items that are available. I love the Las Vegas poster, and a couple of Vegas t-shirts, along with Jersey Boys shirts for gifts. Did I mention that the salesgirl, whose name was Shirley (or was it Sherry?) was very cheery? Although I prefer picking out gifts in person (and getting the nice, bright bags!), there is an online store for those of you who can’t make it. There is something for everyone!

Such thanks to Frankie and Tommy – both of whom Dad knew since they were teens – and Bobby, who my Dad first met in 1960. Those men, along with my Dad, Nick Massi gave us that sound and style, which is uniquely theirs, even through the ups and downs. Your music was a real contribution – perfectly combining the chemistry of each one of you.

Thanks to…
Frankie Valli for that amazing voice that is one of an angel. You have always kept your eye on the music, from the being the lead in the group to branching out into your solo career. My Dad and I knew you would go to the top. We supported you all the way and sang each song you had out. You were always destined for great things.

Bob Gaudio for your many songs, voice and keyboard talents, along with Judy Parker-Gaudio, your beautiful wife and sometimes co-writer, (Who Loves You, Oh! What a Night). And for coming up with the seeds of another brilliant idea for this magical show, after hearing the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” in the movie, Deer Hunter.

Nick Massi- Thank you for being my Dad, which was MOST important. For your creative contribution to this successful group. Your wonderful bass voice and guitar as well as your vocal arrangements – we hear them all loud and clear …”Why don’t you come out..?.”

Tommy DeVito – Your lead guitar which strummed out such rhythm and your voice, which was the completion to the harmony. Especially, Come Si Bella, and, of course, so many others.

Joe Pesci- Dad so enjoyed knowing you and seeing all of your films, especially Home Alone, Easy Money and My Cousin, Vinny.

Marshal Brickman & Rick Elice’s book with its timeless lines and creative molding of a complicated story; I’m so thrilled you took on this project TOGETHER. (And, Rick, thanks for helping to bring Marshall around.:)

Des Mc Anuff for nurturing and directing a vision you saw in this true life tale and Sergio Trujillo for the fabulous choreography. I love what you put out there. Dancing with the Stars is eating its heart out.

And for you, Richard Hester, overseeing all of the companies is a job in itself. So many people work hard behind the scenes to make the show the big success which it is.

It was wonderful, right from the beginning on November 6, Opening Night on Broadway, now the longest running show at the August Wilson Theater. Standing on stage was John Lloyd Young (Frankie Valli), J. Robert Spencer (Nick Massi) Christian Hoff (Tommy DeVito) and Daniel Reichard (Bob Gaudio); the first cast to bring it under the big, Broadway spotlights. No one could ignore the record breaking attendance in La Jolla, Ca. The original Broadway cast led it straight to the Tony Award in 2006.

And then to learn that the Jersey Boys OBC recording won a Grammy and went on to go Platinum, with a celebration in Vegas, to mark the occasion! I’m proud to be a fan from day ONE with the original guys, who I looked up to and always will, but then I guess you can tell by the t-shirt I’m modeling of the Original 4 Seasons. It’s important that I say – Happy fifth anniversary to this magnificent show, too!!!

Along with the orchestras and cast members all over the world …you all ROCK and make this play what it is – a blessing for everyone involved! I want to just thank the Vegas Jersey Boys (Travis, Deven, Jeff, and Peter). It was fun hanging with you Boys! You all were fabulous. “Bravo…a job well done!”

Jersey Boys continually reminds us how very special the Four Seasons were and always will be. Let their music live on.

My Love, Best & Blessing to All,
Patti Massi-Candielere

Work Hard/ Dream/ Be Kind


  1. Great articles Patti – thanks for sharing this with us.

    Comment by Cathy — November 4, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  2. Patti, It is so much fun to continue learning more about our all time favorite group. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tidbits of info and thanks also to the Jersey Boys for keeping the Four Season’s music in our hearts and minds. Mike G.

    Comment by Mike G. — November 5, 2010 @ 11:41 am

  3. Dear Patti,

    I truly enjoyed this article that you created. It was a work of love. You are one of the sweetest people I know. Thank you for remembering my parents so fondly and for sharing your wonderful memories.

    Your father was an incredibly gifted man and I have some fantastic memories of him. I can say one thing for sure – HE WAS NOT RINGO! He was more like the George Martin of the Four Seasons, as he was a brilliant arranger.

    I love you dearly, and hope to spend some more time with you soon.

    - Cathy DeVito Ballaro

    Comment by Cathy DeVito Ballaro — November 5, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  4. Dear Patti,

    I know this will make you happy so I will tell you who George Martin is. As I said in my comment, “He was more like the George Martin of the Four Seasons, AS HE WAS A BRILLIANT ARRANGER.
    George Martin arranged for the BEATLES! =D

    Comment by Cathy DeVito Ballaro — November 7, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

  5. Hey! Cathy,
    Since we both know George Martin, it’s nice to let the nice folks out there know, who don’t.

    Yes! you made me happy :)
    Thanks for sharing.

    Work hard/Dream/Be kind

    Comment by Patti Massi-Candeliere — November 9, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

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