January 31, 2009

Jersey Boys Heads to Hartford!

January 31st, 2009

JB National Tour Hartford
JB cast members Steve Gouveia, Joseph Leo Bwarie, Josh Franklin and Erik Bates (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Frank Rizzo of The Hartford Courant asks: Is it hip to be from New Jersey?

After years of being the punch line for comedians, the state is getting, well, if not respect, at least some cultural cachet. Giving the Garden State one of its biggest boosts is a blockbuster Broadway musical whose very name celebrates its land, people and attitude — “Jersey Boys.” Millions of theatergoers on Broadway and on its tour have seen the Tony Award-winning show that follows the fortunes of the ’60s pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The national company will play at Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts Wednesday through February 22.

“Excuse me, you’re saying Jersey was never hip?” jokes Marshall Brickman in a phone interview from Manhattan. “I suppose if success is hip, then it’s hip to be a Jersey Boy,” says the Oscar-winning Brickman (“Annie Hall”), who co-wrote “Jersey Boys” with Rick Elice.

“But if you’re from New Jersey, I don’t think you’d want to say that it was hip to be hip,” he says. “I think you’d say, ‘Go ahead, you guys from across the river. Go do your thing. We were here before you, and we’ll be here after you.’”

In terms of “Jersey Boys,” a sense of place is a vital component to the show — as it was to the singing group.

“It was entirely the group’s identity,” says Brickman. “From the point of view of a writer like myself, there’s nothing greater than a bunch of characters who talk in a strong ethnic regional kind of language and attitude.”

Visit Courant.com to read the entire article.


  1. Lucky, Lucky Hartford! Here’s wishing our favorite “tour” group the best for yet another smashing success.

    Comment by phillygalg — February 1, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  2. I was lucky enough to see The Jersey Boys in Hartford Thursday night…I cannot describe how incredible the show was-it was pure magic! My mother told me it was a must see (I major in Musical Theatre at a local performing arts high school) but I was unsure since I was not familiar with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons music. The show has turned me into a fan and I am going back to see the show again with my classmates!!! Their voices were impeccible, they hit every note with such inflection, you felt it throughout your whole body. I was slacking in my voice exercises but now I am going to work twice as hard. LONG LIVE THE JERSEY BOYS!!!!!!!

    Comment by Sabrina — February 7, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

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