August 16, 2011

Columbus Dispatch Chats with Rick Elice & Quinn VanAntwerp!

August 16th, 2011

With the JERSEY BOYS first national tour beginning its three-week tomorrow at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Michael Grossberg has a terrific preview with reflections from JB co-author Rick Elice & Quinn VanAntwerp, who plays Bob Gaudio in the tour.

They wrote their own songs in an era when pop groups didn’t commonly do so. They came up with a sound in which the falsetto of the lead singer blended with catchy melodies and honest lyrics about falling in love, being manly, feeling lonely, hanging on and breaking up.

Jersey Boys, opening on Friday for a three-week run in the Ohio Theatre, charts the ups and downs of the quartet that became known as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. “It’s an everyman’s show,” said Quinn VanAntwerp, who plays Four Seasons songwriter and keyboardist Bob Gaudio in the national tour.

“Their life story is so much more interesting than anything anyone could come up with. This working-class story of guys making it from nowhere is what makes everyone feel uplifted.”

Co-writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman structured the two-act musical in four “seasonal” parts.

Tommy DeVito, the lead guitarist who put the Four Seasons together, narrates the opening Spring section.

Gaudio handles Summer, the period when the group hit the top of the pop charts to become the most popular rock group before the Beatles.

“Gaudio narrates Summer because that’s when things bloom,” Elice said. “He was the boy genius with the gift of the hook who wrote the songs that made them superstars. Without him, they were a cover group.”

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