July 1, 2010

Jersey Boys National Tour Heads to Des Moines & Strikes the Right Chord with Audiences!

July 1st, 2010

With the JERSEY BOYS national tour company arriving in Des Moines next Wednesday, Michael Morain of the Des Moines Register has a preview of the megahit musical, which includes an interview with the legendary Bob Gaudio! Here’s a sneak peek:

The sets are pretty basic. The costumes aren’t fancy. And the storyline takes a straightforward biographical approach to the rise of four scrappy blue-collar kids from Newark – Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi.

But audiences, especially the ones who grew up singing along to “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” think the show is, well, just too good to be true.

“The crowd goes wild,” theater critic Ben Brantley wrote for the New York Times (in a city that loves to look down its nose at its neighbors to the south). “I’m talking about the real, mostly middle-aged crowd at the August Wilson Theater, who seem to have forgotten what year it is or how old they are … Everything that has led up to the curtain call feels, for just a second, as real and vivid as the sting of your hands clapping together.”

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes the show resonate in ways that other so-called “jukebox musicals” have not, but Gaudio, who helped create the show, credits a certain mysterious X factor.

“It’s kind of like when you make a record,” he said on the phone from his home in Nashville. “You have a sense of excitement. There’s a certain feeling of how the general audience will respond – but it’s always a guess.”

Over the years, Gaudio wrote and produced a pile of hits for Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow and Marvin Gaye. But it’s his songs for the Four Seasons that still get inside people’s heads: “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn (Go Away),” “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night),” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby” and others.

The songs have turned up in advertisements, movie soundtracks and, more recently, in one of Gaudio’s favorite shows, “Dancing With the Stars.”

“When you see something you created go beyond what you intended it to do, it’s pretty rewarding,” he said.

Visit DesMoinesRegister.com for the full article.

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