September 21, 2008

Real Jersey Boy Russell Fischer Plays ‘Joey’ on Broadway!

September 21st, 2008

Ava Gacser of has a terrific in-depth interview with Russell Fischer–Jersey Boys’ new Joe Pesci on Broadway!

Gascer talks to Russell and his parents about his love of theatre from an early age. By age 10, he was in a “Sound of Music” production starring Debby Boone. And today, just weeks after turning 22, the Port Reading resident is about to step into the biggest role of his life: as Joe Pesci in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway.

“It’s the best birthday gift ever,” gushes Fischer, who received the life-altering news on Aug. 22, his birthday. The perfect party.

You would think casting a boy from Jersey in “Jersey Boys” — the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons — would be a no-brainer, but there’s no such guarantee in show business.

That’s not to say Fischer’s sole qualification for the role is that he hails from Valli’s home state. Rather, it’s his lifelong affinity for songs of the ’50s and ’60s (plus Broadway tunes) that clinched it.

“I used to sing with my mother in the car,” he says, where they listened to Cousin Brucie spin records on the radio. “We harmonized. (But) being born and raised in Jersey helps, too.”

Fischer is doubly happy to have landed a role in the musical, because he missed out on attending the “Jersey Boys” casting call. He had just graduated from Westminster Choir College in Princeton and was performing at an arts festival in South Carolina at the time. Determined to at least give it a try, Fischer sent a letter, resume and photograph to the casting director. Still, he admits that “the assumption was nothing would come of it.”

He had been back in New Jersey for a couple of weeks when he got a phone call asking him to audition for the show. Apparently, producers liked what they saw during the audition and asked him to return a second time. It was then that he knew things were definitely looking up.

“That night they said I was going to “Frankie Camp’ to undergo intensive training in preparation for the role of Frankie Valli, for which he is now an understudy, Fischer recalls.

Fischer has remained focused on the task at hand: learning the parts of Pesci and Valli backward and forward, including 27 songs, before taking his first bow this afternoon.

“I’ve always known hard work yields benefits,” he says. “And having my Broadway debut in this particular show is just a blessing.”

Congratulations to Russell Fisher on his Broadway debut!


  1. Attended the Jersey Boys show this week-end – Sat. matinee. WHAT A TREMENDOUS SHOW! Every one of the actors were fantastic! We know Russell from our two year stay in NJ. He recorded a song my daughter wrote on his earlier CD several years ago. She was visiting from Richmond, VA so we all connected after the show. JUST SO AMAZING! The very first time I met Russell and heard him sing I told him that someday he would be on BROADWAY and it is so nice to see my prediction came a reality.


    Dorothy Hall

    Comment by Dorothy Hall — November 29, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  2. I know him actually! My aunt was his high school choir director and they’re really close as friends, and when he called her and told her he was going to be on Broadway, I was in the car. (A lot of screaming). But he’s a really nice guy and I’ve seen a few of his pre-broadway productions, and he’s great!

    Comment by Jenny — January 18, 2012 @ 9:11 am

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