May 11, 2012

Jersey Boys Broadway: An Experience Like No Other!

May 11th, 2012

Saturday Matinee, April 14, 2012: Jersey Boys Blog Returns to Jersey Boys Broadway!

A Saturday “kind of love” is an understatement…that’s probably the best description of our return to seeing the magnificent JERSEY BOYS Broadway performance last month!

Posters on the JBB Forum weren’t exaggerating when they said that Andy Karl “put new details” into the “Tommy DeVito role.” Wow! From the beginning of the show, when he says, “That’s our song…”—you won’t be able to take your eyes off his take-charge, charismatic persona as he sings “Silhouettes,” takes young Frankie under his wing, and runs the group from their early struggling days to their first big hits. As the power in the group shifts and the group gets wind of Tommy’s troubles, the nuances in Andy’s portrayal are worth the price of admission, to put it mildly…and the sit-down scene in Gyp’s basement is explosive!

Matt Bogart continues to make his portrayal of “Nick Massi” his own with his deadpan delivery throughout the show, including our favorite line, “The million guys, where are they?” Matt’s idiosyncrasies as Nicky were spot on throughout the show with even his straight lines getting laughs from the audience! When he finally has the chance to go off about Tommy, the audience was in hysterics, along with nonstop applause!

As “Bob Gaudio,” Quinn VanAntwerp’s boyish good looks, curiosity, and youthfulness are so apparent as he enters the stage to meet his future bandmates. Magic appeared on that stage as Quinn sang the “new one”–“Cry For Me”—and the group’s “sound” came together for the first very time and the audience went insane! His other “first time” was pretty amazing, too—not just vocally with “Oh, What A Night”—but with his post-first time strut! Quinn matured quickly, not only in his musical genius role, but in his “Bobby Businessman” partnership role, eventually leading the quartet with Frankie.

As “Frankie Valli, “ Dominic Scaglione, Jr.’s vocals were superb at this matinee performance, and his portrayal as the singer who is still chasing the music has continued to evolve and grow. From the hopeful kid with the big dreams to the rejections, to the monster chart hits, to the personal and professional highs and lows, Dom takes the audience on a ride that you will only experience in live theater! In particular, I noticed a deeper connection between the Frankie and Bob characters, not only during their “Jersey handshake” scene, but even in their diner scene. So deep, in fact, that I asked Quinn & Dom about that scene in their upcoming JBB Exclusive Interview…

Each and every single JERSEY BOYS Broadway ensemble cast member was absolutely phenomenal in last month’s matinee performance and we’d like to give a special shout-out the three cast members who have been with the JB Broadway Company since the very beginning: Peter Gregus, Mark Lotito, and Sara Schmidt!

As “Bob Crewe,” Peter Gregus is still as powerful, hilarious, and as fresh as he was way back in the early days with the show, receiving some of the biggest laughs and applause from the time he pranced on stage, meeting that young, young, young, young man, to telling Gaudio that “This is the music business. These guys don’t have mothers.”

As “Gyp DeCarlo,” Mark Lotito’s father figure is as strong as ever and had the audience howling as he sobbed to Frankie’s “My Mother’s Eyes.” In his roles as the judge, the bowling manager, the priest, and the sleazy record executive, Mark has continued to make each and every part memorable and unique.

As Francine, Sara Schmidt still stands out as the troubled teenage daughter and her lead vocals on “My Boyfriend’s Back” are so energetic, as she and her fellow Angels take the audience back during that golden hit!

Massive kudos as well to all other ensemble cast members playing a multitude of roles with such passion: Miles Aubrey, Erik Bates, Cara Cooper, John Edwards, Russell Fischer, and Jessica Rush! Also a shout-out to the swing cast members, the band, and the crew!

The chemistry among the actors as The Four Seasons and the entire ensemble cast in their multiple roles was electrifying and completely off the charts at this matinee performance with the audience’s cheers, laughter, some tears, show-stopping applause, and genuine appreciation for this spectacular cast’s performance!

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