July 21, 2008

The Success of Jersey Boys

July 21st, 2008

With Jersey Boys opening in Dallas on Wednesday, Lawson Taitte of Dallas Morning News has an interesting feature on jukebox musicals that includes interviews with Bob Gaudio and Rick Elice.

“People don’t realize how hard it is to put a catalog of songs together and make a show work,” says Bob Gaudio, the member of the Four Seasons who wrote the music for all their songs and helped create Jersey Boys. “It may be easier to just start from scratch and write book and music together.”

For Jersey Boys, Marshall Brickman, Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning collaborator and a former musician himself, and Rick Elice, a playwright and former ad man, turned the lives of the Four Seasons into a finely wrought work of art.

Although Mr. Gaudio doesn’t mind the comparison with Mamma Mia!, Mr. Elice isn’t comfortable with calling Jersey Boys a jukebox musical.

“I would bet that they went about the process of creating Mamma Mia! exactly the opposite of what we did, that they came up with a list of songs and then retrofitted the plot around them,” he says. “With us, it was here’s the story of this group. Let’s use the song to move the story forward.”

Read the full story on DallasNews.com.


  1. Mr. Gaudio may not mind a comparison with Mamma Mia, but the truth is that, perhaps with the exception of generated revenue, there IS no comparison.

    In Mamma Mia the plot was cut and pasted to fit ABBA songs; that much was exposed in the weak, melodramatic story line.

    In my opinion, Jersey Boys succeeds at a much more complex task. It not only uses the songs to further a (true) story, as Mr. Elice notes, but it also brings brand new meaning to some of the most familiar tracks in the world.

    Mamma Mia vs. Jersey Boys = Rotten apples to fresh-picked oranges ;)

    Comment by Jill — July 22, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  2. Just got back from Dallas seeing Jersey Boys for my first time.This was the first Broadway show I have ever seen before. I’ll admit had I not been a Four Seasons, fan I probably never would have. I was very impressed with the actors and singers.This Broadway show is truly a salute to in my opinion the best sing groups I ever heard–The Four Seasons. Thank so much Jersey Boys.

    Comment by ikie Wayne Durham — July 29, 2008 @ 11:44 am

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