May 27, 2012

The Unique Challenges of Jersey Boys

May 27th, 2012

The JERSEY BOYS first national tour company begins playing in Tulsa at the Chapman Music Hall June 6 through June 24. Tulsa World Scene Writer James D. Watts, Jr. has a marvelous feature interview that discusses the unique challenges of JERSEY BOYS with JB production supervisor Richard Hester and co-writers Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice. Below is a preview:

For the past few years, at any given time, there are 25 Frankie Vallis in the world.

One is the Frankie Valli whose distinctive falsetto helped the Four Seasons become one of the most successful groups in pop music history, with hits “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry.”

The other 24 are the actors capable of looking and sounding enough like the real Frankie Valli to star in the musical “Jersey Boys.”

“We’ve got six companies right now,” said Richard Hester, production supervisor for “Jersey Boys.” “Two national touring groups, and permanent companies in New York, Las Vegas, London and Australia. And each company has four performers who are able to perform the role of Frankie.”

“Actually, the whole show is challenging to cast,” said Hester, who has been involved with “Jersey Boys” since the show began as a project at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 2005.

But when writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman, who shared the Academy Award for writing the film “Manhattan” with Woody Allen, started talking with surviving members Gaudio, Valli and DeVito and learned about the real history of the Four Seasons, “we said right then, ‘there’s your musical,’ ” Brickman said.

“For one thing, it was a story that hadn’t been written before,” Elice said. “We asked them why, and Frankie Valli said, ‘We weren’t written about at the time because the Four Seasons had no glamour quotient.’

Visit to read the entire article.

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