November 27, 2011

Jersey Boys Is a Dream Come True for Rick Elice!

November 27th, 2011

Rick Elice in NZ
Rick Elice at The Civic (Photo Credit: Lawrence Smith/Fairfax NZ)’s Kate Mead has a marvelous feature with co-writer Rick Elice, who was at Auckland’s The Civic, on a flying visit to see where JERSEY BOYS will play in April! Check out a preview below:

Elice was an actor briefly and a creative director at an ad agency for 20 years. Jersey Boys was the first script he wrote (not the songs – music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe) and he has continued writing for the stage and collaborating with Brickman again on the productions Turn of the Century and The Addams Family.

“Frankie and Bob weren’t sure that they wanted us to write [Jersey Boys] so we kind of had to audition as writers for them … and we wrote a couple of scenes that are still in the show,” says Elice.

They approached director Des McAnuff (who had directed Elice in The Death of von Richthofen in 1982) in 2003, and he gave them a deadline to finish the show in a matter of months.

“We’d never written a show before and it’s especially challenging, I think, when you’re writing the story of real people because they’re really there and you have a responsibility.

“[The Four Seasons] are the guys who made the records, they’re the guys who understood what the sacrifices of a life on the road meant, they’re the ones who felt the pressure of success and the constant threat of failure, they’re the ones who were aware of the Mafia in and around their lives as a constant presence.

Click HERE to read the full interview.


  1. What a wonderful article! I have had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with Mr. Elice on past occasions, and he is as down-to-earth and delightful in person as he comes across in this interview. Continued success to you Mr. Elice, and my wife and I eagerly await the Broadway opening of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

    Comment by Len Gersten — November 28, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  2. I almost didn’t read this interview. I mean, how many hundreds of JB articles, reviews, and interviews have already been written? With the volume of PR that the JB cast and creatives do, one wonders how they can keep it fresh and sincere… but, as Rick Elice does here, they do.

    It reminds me of something I read in one of those many articles that stuck with me. One of the actors – I forget who – was asked if it gets boring doing the same show night after night, and how he manages to give it 100% every night. I liked his answer. He said something like, “Each night I know there are many in the audience for whom this will be the one and only one time they see JB. And there are probably a few for whom this night may be the only night in years that they go to the theater, period. I remind myself I’m performing for those folks, and that I want to give them the best experience I possibly can.”

    So I’m glad I read this interview. Mr. E. came up with some insights and perspectives new to me, anyway, and I had never heard that story about the mysterious phone call to the phone booth either. Funny! I wonder if it’s true… ;-)

    Comment by stubbleyou — November 29, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  3. Thanks for reminding us of that great quote, Steve. It has always resonated with me, and speaks to the high caliber of dedication of all the actors affiliated with Jersey Boys. Similarly, no matter how many interviews Rick Elice does, they always feel fresh, with new insights and anecdotes.Like the man himself, Rick’s words are always charming and entertaining!

    Comment by Pamela — November 29, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  4. Rick has been a great leader and has become a friend to so many of us over the past six years. I still recall his very touching comments at the 5 year anniversary celebration at Gallagher’s.

    Marshall and Rick indeed brought the Four Seasons to a whole new generation. Before “Jersey Boys”, whenever I’d mention Frankie Valli to any of my colleagues, the reaction would be, “Oh yeah, I think I’ve heard of him; my granddad loves him!” Now, the same colleagues will wait months to get JB seats!

    Stubbleyou, I think I heard something about the call, but not in as much detail as Rick describes. Anyway, although perhaps it could have been a prank call from Rod Stewart, Bonnie Tyler, or Kim Carnes, I’m glad Rick sent the fax just to be safe!!

    Finally, I hear that Rick’s Tony is getting lonely and wants its matching bookend; “Peter and the Starcatcher” is waiting in the wings.

    Comment by Howard — December 1, 2011 @ 12:17 am

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