April 28, 2008

JBB Fantastic Fan Interview With Stephanie Lanari!

April 28th, 2008

Stephanie Lanari

We’re excited to feature our latest JBB Fantastic Fan Interview with Stephanie Lanari! Stephanie talks about how she became interested in Jersey Boys, her favorite parts of the show, and what keeps bringing her back for repeat performances.

JBB: Tell us about yourself.

SL: I am a totally blind music therapy student from Minnesota. I am currently living in Arizona, and I will soon complete my internship at a school for blind children. I enjoy surfing the Internet, playing with my two guinea pigs, talking with my friends, watching movies, and listening to music (especially show tunes!)

JBB: When did you first hear about Jersey Boys, and how did you become interested in the show?

SL: I first heard about Jersey Boys when I was watching the 2006 Tony Awards. I enjoyed the performance by the cast, and when Jersey Boys won the award for Best Musical, I figured the show had to be really great. A few weeks later I bought the cast recording. (Incidentally, when I heard the first track of the album, I thought I’d bought the French version of the recording by mistake! Luckily I heard the rest of the album, and I figured out why the first song was in French.) This past March my mom and I decided to go to San Francisco during my spring break. Mom bought Jersey Boys tickets for us, since we both enjoy musicals. I had seen Phantom of the Opera for the first time at the Curran Theatre, so that building already had some nostalgic significance for me.

JBB: What was your reaction to the show upon seeing it for the first time?

SL: At first I didn’t have very high expectations about the show. I was never a real Four Seasons fan, but I figured I’d give the show a try. I didn’t really get into the show until the Four Seasons sang their first three hit songs (“Sherry,” “Big Girls,” and “Walk Like a Man”). I couldn’t help cheering wildly with the rest of the crowd, after those great songs. I became more and more involved in the story after that, and I really cared about all four of the guys, especially Frankie. I didn’t expect to cry during the show, but I did just that during “Fallen Angel”. By the end of the show (which came far too quickly), I was a complete Jersey Boys and Four Seasons fan!

JBB: How many times have you seen JB & what keeps bringing you back?

SL: I have seen JB twice, once in San Francisco and once in Arizona. The great music, interesting characters and inspirational story have engaged my interest in the show.

JBB: Who have you brought with you to see Jersey Boys, and what was their reaction to the show?

SL: The first time I saw Jersey Boys, my mom watched the show with me. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but after the show she told me that she really enjoyed the show and had a great time. Then, I saw the show in Arizona with my friends Tara and Amanda. At first Tara wasn’t into the show at all, but I convinced her to see it with me. I also gave her the cast recording, and she said she really enjoyed the music. Amanda had heard many of the Four Seasons’ songs beforehand, so she already wanted to see the show. After watching JB, Tara said it was one of the best and most well-done shows she’d ever seen. She would definitely see the show again. Amanda said the show was “very cool”. She seemed to enjoy the show too, but she wasn’t as crazy about it as Tara and myself.

JBB: Why do you think people have such a strong connection to Jersey Boys?

SL: I believe people enjoy hearing all the great music in this show, and they quickly become interested in the story behind the Four Seasons’ rise and fall. Of course guys can relate to all the friendly bonding between the four group members. This musical has a very refreshing, uplifting quality that motivates people to see the show again (or at least take another listen to the cast recording!)

JBB: Have you met any of the JB cast members? If so, please feel free to share any stage door/other JB event stories.

SL: After seeing the show in Arizona, my two friends and I met several cast members at the stage door, including the four leading men and the woman who played Mary Delgado. Tara and I both enjoy singing, and I had taught Tara how to sing “Sherry”. On the spur of the moment, we decided to sing this song for the four leading men. They were taken by surprise when we started to sing, but soon they were singing along and adding their harmony parts to the song. I’d always had a crazy fantasy about singing in front of an actor who would spontaneously start singing along, so I was honored and very excited when the four men joined our song and clapped along with it. The actors said we did a fantastic job. It was definitely a priceless moment!

JBB: What’s your favorite Jersey Boys scene & why?

SL: My favorite scene is “Dawn (Go Away)”, because it makes me believe I’ve lived through the sixties when I really haven’t. When I first saw the show, I heard Ed Sullivan’s voice and I asked Mom which actor was imitating Sullivan’s voice. Mom said that that was really Ed Sullivan, and a clip of the Four Seasons on his show was playing on the projection screen. Then I heard all the girls screaming in the background, and I suddenly imagined that I was sitting in a living room in the sixties, watching the show on my own TV. I know I’m watching a great musical when I have one of those surreal moments and completely forget that I’m sitting in a theater. My second favorite scene is the church scene where Frankie gets to sing in a big room. I thought it was a little funny that Frankie and his buddies had to break into the church and risk arrest, just so Frankie could try out his voice in a big room!

JBB: How about your favorite musical number in Jersey Boys & why?

SL: I love every song in this show, but my favorite would have to be “Rag Doll”. When Mom and I were visiting San Francisco, we had supper in a diner before the show. I was hoping a Four Seasons song would come on the jukebox to get us in the mood for the show, but I had no such luck, and I was a little disappointed. The next day we did some power shopping at Fisherman’s Wharf, and we were walking around in a candy store when I became aware that “Rag Doll” was playing on their radio. So while Mom calmly walked around looking at candy prices, I was inwardly dancing and shouting, “Yes! We got some Four Seasons music after all!”) Whenever I hear “Rag Doll” now, I feel like I’m back at that candy store in San Francisco, feeling that excitement all over again.

JBB: Do you have a favorite line from the show?

SL: I really like the four monologues at the end of the show, since it seems like each of the four men are talking face-to-face with you. The monologues bring the show to a nice, intimate conclusion.

JBB: Prior to seeing Jersey Boys, were you familiar with the Four Seasons’ music? If so, do you have a favorite 4 Seasons’ song?

SL: Like many other fans, I already knew some of the Four Seasons’ songs before the show, but I wasn’t a very big fan of theirs before seeing the show. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was my favorite Four Seasons song at that time.

JBB: Anything else you’d like to share about Jersey Boys?

SL: I’m really glad this show has become such a huge phenomenon, and I love being a fan of this hit show. I’m a big fan of jukebox musicals in general, but this show goes above and beyond the jukebox formula because it deals with real people and true stories. I’m sure there will be other shows which will imitate this one, but I’ll always love Jersey Boys because it’s the first show of its kind!

Thank you again to Stephanie Lanari for sharing her wonderful experiences and the joy she has had with Jersey Boys! If you would like to be featured in a JBB Fantastic Fan Interview, feel free to contact us! Please click on the Contact Page and send us your contact information.


  1. Great story, Stephanie. Love the part of your singing “Sherry” along with the four leads in Arizona and their joining along. I had a comparable moment last year in LA when I met Kenny Nolan (who wrote “My Eyes Adored You”) unexpectedly. After he introduced himself, I started singing “I Like Dreamin’” (the first few lyrics anyway), Kenny’s big hit, and he started singing along. Those feelings will remain with us forever. Thanks for a great uplifting piece, Stephanie.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — April 29, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  2. Stephanie, I always say there is something in each FF interview that speaks for me as well. The thing in yours was how the OBC album starting out in French threw you off initially. When I was first searching on the internet for ticket info, etc. I kept tapping into that song and exiting because I thought I had hit a different part of the world on the ‘world-wide web’.

    Of course, I also related to your comment: “By the end of the show (which came far too quickly), I was a complete Jersey Boys and Four Seasons fan!” The more often I go to the show, the quicker the end seems to come…till it has gotten to the point where, when I sit down I’m already fretting about the end coming in 2.5 hours.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    Comment by Audrey — May 11, 2008 @ 11:26 am

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