June 21, 2010

Jersey Boys Toronto–A Sizzling HOT Heat Wave–Part Two!!

June 21st, 2010

JERSEY BOYS Toronto—Toronto Centre for the Arts—May 26-28, 2010

As reported in Part One, we truly hit the trifecta in Toronto–catching JERSEY BOYS three fabulous times! As The Four Seasons, Michael Lomenda, Jeff Madden, Daniel Robert Sullivan, and Quinn VanAntwerp were beyond magical in their portrayal of the chart-topping group, not only singing the hits flawlessly, but also telling four completely compelling versions of the band’s rise and fall.

In addition to the four extraordinary leading men, there was the entire multitalented, hard-working ensemble cast, playing numerous and varied roles throughout each evening! So many exceptional performances, especially during Friday night’s show–second row, RUSH seats, where we could see so many nuances going on, up close and personal, among the cast members! Here are some of the marvelous highlights:

The Jersey Girls played so many dozens of roles with so much energy!

  • As the newest cast member, Cleopatra Williams is Mary Delgado is outstanding–with her Jersey Girl attitude and telling it like it is as Frankie’s new girlfriend. The audience went nuts when explains to Frankie why “You gotta end in a vowel…” As the troubled wife, her beautiful vocals on “My Eyes Adored You” during their breakup scene were haunting.
  • Elodie Gilett as Lorraine gives a fantastic performance, especially in a very intense breakup scene with Frankie in her apartment. She also shines in her amusing portrayal as Miss Frankie Nolan in “I Still Care.”

  • As Francine, Alison Smyth shows some strong teenage angst and attitude on the phone to her dad, along with spunkyness similar to her mother’s. More kudos to Alison for her fantastic lead vocals in “My Boyfriend’s Back” and her amusing portrayal as Nick’s date in the church scene.
  • On Thursday evening, we were treated to another Jersey Girl surprise: Dance captain and swing cast member Victoria Lamond was also fabulous as Lorraine. She had some phenomenal dance moves during “My Boyfriend’s Back” and gave the attitude right back to Tommy at the bar when she said, “Well, you tutored him very well.”

The actors in the ensemble cast were sensational as well!

  • Matthew G. Brown’s vocals are absolutely WOW! as the French rap star in “Ces Soirées-là,” as well as an amazing falsetto as the pimp wearing the Santa hat in the “Oh, What A Night” scene. The audience loved his take as the Ohio cop who says, “Make it out to Love Muffin” and as the program director who told Bobby that he’s “tearing up”!
  • As Bob Crewe, the man with the best ears in the business, Shawn Wright was spot-on as the flamboyant record producer! Flawless delivery of some of the show’s funniest lines from “all my body parts are outstanding…” to “Bobby–this is the music business. These guys don’t have mothers,” the crowd went wild!
  • Bryan Hindle had the comedic timing down perfectly as the wound-up, overly excited Joey–so excited to arrange a “sit-down”!
  • As Gyp DeCarlo, Timothy Sell comes off as a very believable Mob boss, a negotiator, and a father figure to the guys. Loved it when he comes apart and says, “You’re a good boy, Frankie.” Sell also does a great job as the judge in control, as he lists Tommy’s crimes and states, “…quite a resume”; the rather sleazy, not-so-forward-thinking record executive; and the priest who consoles Frankie during his darkest hour.
  • Norm Waxman, who is played by Jade Elliott, comes off as the boss who means business with the guys. Loved his delivery as he says to Frankie, “They want their money now, before something unfortunate happens to one of you and it all goes up in smoke.” Jade also rocks on stage during his time as Joe Long during “Bye, Bye Baby”!
  • Joe Matheson and Gabriel Antonacci played so many roles throughout the evening. In particular, Joe did a bang-up job as Billy Dixon on “Trance” and as Handsome Hank, makes a statement as he tells Tommy, “Of course they left. They don’t understand the nuances of my material.”

Following Friday evening’s amazing performance, we were invited to a fantastic backstage tour with two amazing JERSEY BOYS as our tour guides—Dan Sullivan and Quinn VanAntwerp! Who knew what an extraordinary behind the scenes tour it would be?! Along with seeing the assorted wardrobes of the primary cast members, the understudies, and the swings, we were up close & personal in the wig room—one of my favorite places in the building. Those wigs were paradise for me—made from real human hair. So much hair glamour all in one room—including The Angels, Mary, and Lorraine! We also had the marvelous opportunity to see where the orchestra performs, a piano hanging from the ceiling, and the riser for the Rag Doll scene. So many details—the shoes, the wardrobe, the wigs, and the various microphones from the various Seasons’ eras represented in the show, and so much behind the scenes technical equipment that helps to make the magic happen on that stage eight times a week. Speaking of the stage, we were up there, too! It was amazing to see all the spike marks—the colored tape on the stage where the set pieces end up being placed throughout the show.

We even had the opportunity to hang out with the guys in their respective dressing rooms, each with their own unique style! But both guys had one thing in common—their dressing rooms were decked out in Canadian memorabilia. Turns out, their Canadian castmates decorated their entire rooms the morning of the Olympic gold-medal hockey game between Canada and the US.

If that wasn’t enough, as we were saying goodnight and thanks to Dan and Quinn for the tour, we were introduced to and received a warm welcome from Dancap Founder and President, Aubrey Dan!

The ENTIRE JERSEY BOYS Toronto cast gave us three of the most spectacular and memorable experiences as JB fans during our visit! The entire company is top-notch in all areas! If you want to experience another stellar JB cast that delivers, may I suggest a trip up North this summer?!!

Special thanks to the entire JB TO cast for their amazing welcome, in addition to Amy Orfanakos of Flip Publicity and Aubrey Dan for everything!

**Coming Soon: Part Three: Photo Coverage from JBB Fantastic Fan Frances Fong-Lee, which includes a BIG surprise for Jersey Boys Blog!

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