June 13, 2009

New Jersey Boys Are Rocking the Windy City!

June 13th, 2009

Chicago Jersey Boys May 09 (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

Philip Potempa of NWI.com has posted a terrific feature on Chicago JERSEY BOYS newcomers–Michael Cunio (Tommy DeVito), Dominic Scaglione, Jr. (Frankie Valli), and Shonn Wiley (Bob Gaudio), who have joined veteran cast member Michael Ingersoll who portrays Nick Massi.

For Shonn Wiley, being cast as songwriter Gaudio, the youngest member of the group, represented both an honor and a career challenge. He shared his thoughts about playing this exciting role with Potempo.

“Both Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio are involved with the final approval for the casting for the lead roles,” said Wiley, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, who moved to Chicago from New York, where he lives with his actress wife Meredith Patterson.

“And when we are being trained to step into these men’s lives, we are told by the producers to study the previous actors and ‘lean on the shoulders of those who have already played these roles.”

And although Wiley recently met the real Valli face to face while he was performing in concert in Chicago this spring, he has yet to “officially” meet Gaudio.

“While performing in New York in ‘No, No, Nanette,’ I had the chance to meet quite a few people, like Rosie O’Donnell, newsman Brian Williams, Patti LuPone, Ann Miller, Sandy Duncan, Rod Stewart and Joanne Woodward. But it’s different when you’re playing someone in the spotlight. It gives you an even greater reason to want to shake hands with that person.”

Wiley said joining the cast was one of the most welcoming experiences he’s ever encountered during his stage life.

“It’s the story, the chemistry of the cast and the audiences that make this show so special,” said Wiley, who added many audience members enjoy seeing “Jersey Boys” repeated times.

“Audiences will comment that they can notice a shift in the stage story when Bob matures and really begins to become the driving force for the group along with Frankie. These are the men who helped make music loved by generations.”

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