July 26, 2010

Vocal Coach Katie Agresta & Joseph Leo Bwarie Talk About the Demands of Playing Frankie Valli

July 26th, 2010

With the JERSEY BOYS national tour arriving in Louisville at the Kentucky Center Wednesday (playing through August 15), reporter Erin Keane has a fantastic preview that features an in-depth interview with vocal coach Katie Agresta and Joseph Leo Bwarie! Agresta and Bwarie candidly talk about the challenges and demands of playing the Frankie Valli character in the Tony-Award winning show. Here’s a sneak peek:

“The No. 1 challenge is that you’re trying to sing like someone else,” said Katie Agresta, who runs the vocal portion of the intensive three-day training session for hopeful Frankies in New York. “This someone else is an iconic voice that’s sold well over 200 million records, is known all over the world and has been heard in the background of everybody’s life since the ’60s. It’s not you singing the way you sing. You’re supposed to get on stage and convince everybody that you are Frankie Valli.”

“Frankie’s voice is one of a kind. It’s a pop phenomenon,” Bwarie said. “It has a certain timbre to it, a certain weight to it and a certain cry within it. I have the range to get in there, but I’m not saying it’s easy to get up to those notes every night.”

Bwarie is candid about what that “something special” is in Valli’s voice.

“I think it’s pain,” he said. “They’re love songs, but they’re not just about being in love. A lot of the Four Seasons songs are about love that’s not perfect. He doesn’t shy away from the pain a lot of these songs are about.”

Visit CourierJournal.com for the full interview.


  1. I really enjoyed this article. It’s so interesting to learn about the audition process. Joe is certainly a master of his craft and will undoubtedly have a very long and successful career in show business.

    Comment by Gary — July 26, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  2. Joe does Frankie Valli proud! He’s awesome.

    Comment by Rose — July 26, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  3. This is a fantastic article about a fantastic talent, Joseph Leo Bwarie. He is perfect in this role. And it was very interesting reading about the audition process, as well.

    Comment by Pamela — July 27, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Very interesting article. I’m not surprised that Ms. Agresta knew right from the start that they “got a live one” with Joseph Leo Bwarie. He is a fantastic Frankie! Rock on, Joe!!

    Comment by Shelley — July 30, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  5. I have never seen a better show. I thought Mr.Bwarie was absolutely fantastic. I never wanted the show to end.

    Comment by connie — April 17, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

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