August 27, 2010 Interviews Joseph Leo Bwarie!

August 27th, 2010

Joseph Leo Bwarie
Photo by: Joan Marcus

Joseph Leo Bwarie recently spoke to’s Olin Meadows about becoming the icon Frankie Valli, the intensity of the show, and keeping the show fresh after three years of performing six shows a week. Here’s a sneak peek to the in-depth interview:

OM: What is it like being in a show as huge as Jersey Boys?

JLB: Well, this is a different show with a different kind of role, but I think I am still the same person. The best part of being in a show like Jersey Boys is the amazing production quality – it is like no other show on earth. This show has one of the highest quality levels I have ever been a part of.

But even after doing this show and getting kind of spoiled, I would be thrilled to be able to go back to California and work in a black box theatre with folding chairs – because the real reason I do this is because of the passion I have for entertaining people. Above all the glitz and fame of Jersey Boys, I truly love this art form. I have made it my life, it is my craft, and love each day in the theatre.

OM: What is it like being Frankie Valli?

JLB: First of all, I am not Frankie – I know that. I am still Joseph Leo Bwarie, and my family calls me Joey. I portray Frankie Valli – it is my job, not who I am. I can only try to live up to the legend that is Frankie Valli. It is enough pressure playing him on the stage.

It is fun having a job where I get to pretend to be Frankie Valli. I try to stay as grounded as I can – I mean, Frankie Valli is an international sensation. It is an honor and privilege to be able to play Frankie Valli.

It is definitely a dream role. In fact, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be playing Frankie Valli.

OM: How has being in Jersey Boys changed your life?

JLB: Jersey Boys is such a “buzz word” that it is unbelievable. People will see me on the street or in Whole Foods after a show, and they will be like “Hey Frankie”! And I often have to introduce myself and say I am not Frankie Valli, but I do portray him in the show.

But you know, I really love doing theatre – and I love being in this show, even after three years of playing Frankie Valli, six nights a week. I still don’t ever get sick of singing “Sherry Baby.” My friends back home in California think I have lost it; they all want me to come back and play with them.

I had lots of amazing opportunities before Jersey Boys. In fact, I worked with one of the greatest theatre companies, the Troubadour Theatre Company, and that experience was equally as rewarding as touring with this show – because for me it is all about the art and the emotion you create.

For the full interview, visit

1 Comment »

  1. I really love this interview! Joe’s passion for his craft really come through in this terrific interview. That passion is evident in each and every performance…that’s why he’s such a wonderful actor and performer.

    Comment by Shelley — August 28, 2010 @ 9:42 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment