March 21, 2011

The Challenges of Casting the Frankie Valli Role in Jersey Boys

March 21st, 2011

JB Natl Tour
Front from left, Quinn VanAntwerp, Joseph Leo Bwarie, Matt Bailey and Steve Gouveia perform with the company of Jersey Boys. (Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)

The JERSEY BOYS national tour production opens in Tampa this Wednesday and runs through April 17 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and St. Petersburg Times Performing Arts critic John Fleming has an interesting preview that discusses the challenges of casting the Frankie Valli role in the Tony Award-winning show. Fleming interviews JB production supervisor Richard Hester and Joseph Leo Bwarie, who give readers a peek into the casting and playing the “Frankie” role.

“Walking into the room and seeing Frankie and Bob there was the most nerve-racking, intense . . . ,” says Joseph Leo Bwarie, who plays Frankie in the tour. “I don’t know how to describe it. That man (Valli) was the reason I was standing there. It was a whole different level of ‘I have to be good here.’ ”

Hester has seen some pressure-packed auditions for Jersey Boys. “When it comes down to it, casting is completely subjective,” he says. “It depends on everybody’s mood on the day. It depends on how the guys audition. Sometimes they go belly up because of nerves or something that happened at home. The thing about auditioning is that you have one shot to make it right. You either hit it or you miss it.”

Visit to read the full article.

1 Comment »

  1. There is a guy who works at our local Sears store and everytime I see him, I immediately think of FV and JB, this guy is short, dark very good looking and would be perfect in the role, probably doesn’t sing or act though!!

    Comment by sharon wardlow — March 21, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

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