June 11, 2008

An Adventure in Vegas for the Jersey Boys Cast!

June 11th, 2008

Theatermania.com reports that Jeremy Kushnier has spent many months touring the country as Tommy DeVito in the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, which tells the true story behind the legendary musical group The Four Seasons. But even he admits that the audiences in Las Vegas, where a somewhat revised version of the show is playing the new Palazzo Theatre in the Venetian, has been among the most vocal he has encountered. “The problem isn’t that they’re not liking the show, it’s that they’re liking it too much,” he says.

Kushnier isn’t the only member of the show’s cast to find performing on the famed Strip a new experience. “Every night’s an adventure when there are cup holders in the seats,” laughs Erich Bergen, who plays Four Seasons co-founder Bob Gaudio.

The biggest adventure of them all, however, was the show’s official opening night last month, which included a huge party where an enormous projection surface dropped away to reveal two-dozen go-go dancers. The performance was held on the 74th birthday of the group’s lead singer Frankie Valli, and it allowed the chance for the Boys cast — including Rick Faugno, who plays Valli, and Jeff Leibow, who plays Nick Massi — to meet some of the show’s real-life counterparts. “The party was pretty impressive,” says Leibow, “but bowing with those guys was really amazing.”


  1. “(Jeremy)…admits that the audiences in Las Vegas…has been among the most vocal he has encountered. “The problem isn’t that they’re not liking the show, it’s that they’re liking it too much,” he says.”

    I don’t know about liking it too much, but I saw a small example of this last month, mid-May: When Jeremy was saying his good-bye speech and got to the part about being named Man of the Year 2002, the audience took an unexpected liking to that line and went nuts. it started small, and grew…Jeremy had to pause several seconds til it stopped, and he filled the time with gestures and facial expressions as if to say, “Pretty cool, huh? Not too, shabby, ya know what I mean?” But he looked surprised too, and it seemed like a genuine “moment” of spontaneity, sincerity, and a connection between the audience and the cast.

    I love it when the audience’s enthusiasm draws, or even forces, a response from the players. That’s why they call it live theater, right?

    Comment by stubbleyou — June 12, 2008 @ 10:59 am

  2. We’ve seen the Jersey Boys in Chicago on two occasions. We recently saw the Jersey Boys in Las Vegas and it is definitely a more boisterous, interactive crowd. The performace was great and, once again, Jeremy was outstanding. Thanks for a great show!

    Comment by Mary Ann — June 12, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  3. I like to think of it as the cast interacting with the audience, which they do throughout the performance. And the audience responds! That is the mark of a GREAT show! Jersey Boys is a GREAT SHOW with every cast and in every venue.

    Comment by irene eizen — June 12, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  4. I saw Jeremy when he was still in the Chicago show. The fact that Las Vegas is a lively audience is complimentary to the show. Las Vegas might react to the show differently than other cities do. It could be worse: they could not like it at all.

    Then again, who doesn’t like Jersey Boys?

    Comment by Beth — June 12, 2008 @ 7:05 pm

  5. Well, I’ve never seen the show in Vegas, but when I saw it in Costa Mesa, in Erich Bergen’s (Bob Gaudio), final monologue there was an unexpected crowd reaction. when he said “I may be the one Italian out of a hundred who’s not into the drama,” the entire audience started cheering, more so than I had ever seen at a different performance. Then I couldn’t stop laughing after he said, “I don’t have that kind of ego.” I don’t know, but I guess I found it a little ironic after that round of applause. Whatever, different audiences react to different things, but the main thing is everyone reacts to it in a a really great way! Go jersey Boys!

    Comment by mrsvalli — June 12, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  6. The Vegas audience was very vocal the night I went. Definitely rowdier than most, but not to the point of rudeness. The cast seemed to be enjoying it.

    Comment by Leanna — June 12, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

  7. I was just in Las Vegas last weekend to see JB. The audience was louder and rowdier – the drunks in the row in front of me were annoying – but overall the show was great.

    Comment by Elizabeth — June 13, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

  8. I saw Jersey Boys in Vegas and the show was awesome, the crowd was great, and the seats where awesome, Thanks to all the cast, what a great job!!!!! I live in vegas so i plan to see Jersey boys over and over, I just loved it, next month i am going to new york and hope to see it there too…….

    Comment by Mari Gaines — June 13, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

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