March 10, 2006

John Lloyd Young’s Journey from Brown to Broadway

March 10th, 2006

Taylor Barnes of the Brown Daily Herald provides an insightful interview with ’98 alum John Lloyd Young, who is garnering much Tony nomination buzz for his portrayal of Frankie Valli in the Broadway blockbuster hit Jersey Boys.

When asked why he chose Brown University over a conservatory to further his theater career, Young tells Barnes that Brown’s liberal philosophy allows “you (to) become the best version of yourself that you can be.”

As for playing Frankie Valli, the lead singer of the Four Seasons, in the rock-musical Jersey Boys, Young said he found the challenge “irresistible.” The production covers Valli’s life from age 16 to 60 in the span of two hours. Young was interested in portraying the unique character of Valli, who he described as a “fighter” who is “constantly dissatisfied.” Young’s short stature and Italian-American heritage made him a good physical match for the role.

Young’s career began long before this lead role in a Broadway production. He attributes his initial attraction to the theater simply to “the chance to get out in front of people and entertain them.” Before coming to Brown, Young had already established a semi-professional theater career.

As far as a college choice, Young says that Brown was the only place he wanted to go, due to Brown’s liberal curriculum, which allowed him to spend his entire junior year in Spain and study subjects other than theater, such as art history and poetry.

While at Brown, theater consumed most of Young’s time. Thinking back to those days, Young says, “Doing theater at Brown is as intense as being on a sport’s team,” naming Falsettos and Sweeney Todd as two of his most memorable productions.

1 Comment »

  1. Wonder which record labels are pursuing John Lloyd Young for a music career? He could certainly do that if he wanted to. Charles

    Comment by calexan — March 10, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

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