April 2, 2009

Joseph Leo Bwarie Chats with Sun-Sentinel

April 2nd, 2009

Joseph Leo Bwarie
Photo by: Joan Marcus

JERSEY BOYS national tour is heading to Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts April 8 through May 3. SunSentinel.com’s Rod Stafford has a fun chat with Joseph Leo Bwarie, who stars as Frankie Valli!

Bwarie, who’s 30, has been acting for the last 22 years.

Below is a preview of the interview:

First professional gig: Highway to Heaven, with Michael Landon. I was petrified. I was a kid caroler on the Christmas episode. They still rerun it every year. Just before we started, Mr. Landon yelled over at me, ‘Get over here, squirt. You’ve got to be in front.’ I was the shortest. I think I was 8.

How do you sing Jersey Boys’ demanding score every night?:
I did Jersey Boys in Las Vegas. The Phantom of the Opera leads came over and saw our show. They said, ‘What you do is harder than what we do.’ And those guys are trained opera singers. [Singing the role] night after night is like running a marathon, but the marathon is in your throat. Stamina has to be built up.

How do you keep it fresh? The way Jersey Boys is constructed and written, you’d have to be a pathetic person not to be in the moment. It’s a roller coaster ride for us and for the audience.

Best Jersey Boy advice you’ve gotten from the Four Seasons? Well, the most recent advice that [Bob] Gaudio gave me was when he said, ‘Remember that what we were singing were not just songs. You have to encompass the feeling. They’re from the heart.’ That’s good advice because there’s always a little pain, even in the joy. There’s that cry in Frankie’s voice.


  1. Saw the show last night with my wife and eldest son in Orlando. Approaching my 80th birthday I’m hard to please but the show was great but in particular the performance of Joseph Leo Bwarie was nothing short of sensational. Congratulations for a great evening’s entertainment.and continuing success.

    Comment by Patrick M Williamson — May 20, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  2. My wife Rachel and I watched the show in Atlanta June 16 and the show was nothing short of spectacular. The songs were great and the acting was also great. We were disapointed when the show was over. My wife wants a cd featuring this cast. We were both left wanting more. The singing of Joseph Leo was especially entertaining.

    Comment by Larry Nabors — June 18, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  3. I attended one of the final Boston performances yesterday with my sister and a friend. I agree with the comments posted above – specifically, when it was over, I was left wanting more. The entire cast was terrific but Joseph Leo Bwarie was just exceptional – what a voice. If he reprises this role in the future in either the Boston or Providence area, I’ll be sure to attend. I’d love to have a cast album featuring his voice.

    Comment by Cathy S. — September 27, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

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