July 22, 2009

Rediscovering Jersey Boys in Chicago!

July 22nd, 2009

Photo Credits: #2 & #5: Joan Marcus

Seeing JERSEY BOYS ANYWHERE is always great, but the Tech Half and I actually felt like we have rediscovered the show after seeing it earlier this month in Chicago! Although we’ve been home over a week now, we haven’t come down from the JERSEY BOYS experience in the Windy City!

As you guys know, I don’t generally get too excited about going to a conference, but one in Chicago??? That’s another story!!

The Tech Half didn’t join me until the weekend, but that didn’t stop me from taking in the show on a Thursday night with my pal, Sidney—third row, stage left! The show was so phenomenal, that we got last-minute Rush tickets the following evening! Front row! Are we nuts? Maybe a little! (Stay tuned for Sid’s JBB Fantastic Fan Interview soon.)

The Tech Half arrived late Friday night, finally finding me with Sid at Miller’s Pub, a nice tavern close to the theatre. After the ‘Hi Dear, did you have a nice flight?’ chitchat, the Tech Half heard every detail of what he missed at the first two shows. Was he ready for Saturday night’s show?

Following some fabulous pre-show JBB Exclusive Interviews with the cast, we met my Chicago cousin Lorna, and another work pal from Vegas, Carrie, for the big show!

If you haven’t been to JB in Chicago, do yourself a favor and see this cast! The story, the timeless music, the chemistry of the cast and the audience members’ reaction–PRICELESS!

Michael Cunio (Tommy DeVito), Michael Ingersoll (Nick Massi), Dominic Scaglione, Jr. (Frankie Valli), and Shonn Wiley (Bob Gaudio) as the Four Seasons are spectacular!

As the new Tommy DeVito, Michael Cunio’s chiseled features and strikingly good looks give him that wiseguy charm that immediately makes you believe he is the boss of the group as he takes control immediately on the stage! Great vocals in Act 1 during “Silhouettes” and with Frankie at the Silhouette Club scene as they sang “A Sunday Kind of Love,” too!

Amazing to think Dominic Scaglione, Jr. could become even more like Frankie since the last time we saw him on Broadway, but he did just that. He first runs onto the stage like an unsure kid as Tommy calls him up on stage to sing, then matures into one of the most talented “Frankies” on the planet, in both his acting and his powerful vocals, hitting every note perfectly! As with his past performances, we noticed that Dominic shows a wide range of emotions—from the highest highs to some of the most painful lows.

As Bob Gaudio, not only does Shonn Wiley have a superb voice in “Cry For Me” and “Oh, What A Night,” but as an actor, Shonn transforms himself magnificently from a young teenage songwriting genius to the man who eventually becomes the driving force of the group with his partnership with Valli.

Michael Ingersoll has been playing the role of Nick Massi for close to three years in the national tour and in Chicago. Although he is totally familiar with the role, it seems that Michael has added even more depth to the troubled Nicky since the last time we saw him perform. When it was Nicky’s turn, Michael did an excellent job of taking control and commanding the audience’s attention! His monologue was another show stopper!

The rest of the cast? OMG…Each and every one of them deserve a round of applause!

Ryan Quinn West made Hank Majewski his own! His “Hank” had some attitude! As Joey, Steven M. Goldsmith is hilarious as he attempts to bring the guys together! Craig Laurie brought the house down as the one and only Bob Crewe! The audience was in hysterics every time Crewe opened his mouth, and he literally stopped the show with laughter and applause as he jumped up and down as he said, “Play the F**CKING song already!”

The Jersey Girls were outstanding in their dozens of roles—including the feisty Merissa Haddad as Mary, Tara Macri telling Frankie like it is as Lorraine, and Sydney Morton, in her last few shows as Francine! Their “My Boyfriend’s Back” rocked!

We were also in for a treat seeing many multitalented swing cast members during our nights at the show! Mike Erickson portrayed a very believable mob boss, Gyp DeCarlo, along with a wide array of other characters, while Timmy Quinlan gave it his all singing “Trance” as Billy Dixon, along with so many other roles! John Michael Coppola did a splendid job as the French rap star, Barry Belson, and all too funny as the cop who told Frankie to “make it out to Love Muffin”!

The Tech Half’s reaction: No surprise–he was every bit as nuts as I was about this stellar cast (but he may have acted a bit more reserved…)! Although he always was into the show, he said he gained a new appreciation for Act 2 after seeing Saturday night’s performance. Put it this way, as we were joining the audience in the standing ovation, he was the one who suggested getting Rush tickets for the Sunday show! (Details on the Rush experience coming soon!)

Perhaps you’ve worn out your Jersey Boys Original Broadway Cast Recording…Well–take in Jersey Boys again in the city of your choice! New city…new cast….new experience!
More JB Coverage Coming Soon: RUSH to See Jersey Boys, Hotel and Restaurant Adventures in the Windy City, The Pals’ Reactions to the Big Show, JBB Exclusive Interviews with the Chicago Cast, and more!


  1. Awesome review, Susie. Makes me want to hop a plane and go see the Chicago cast.

    Comment by Linda — July 22, 2009 @ 7:28 am

  2. Absolutely on target! Particularly noting the superb performances of cast members Steven Goldsmith and Craig Laurie.

    While I’ve seen Jersey Boys in multiple locations (SF, NY, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Las Vegas), Chicago has become my “home” location because of its proximity (a wonderful 90 minute train ride) to my home. Every member of that cast is and has been fantastic. I find myself “rediscovering” the wonderful nature of the show and cast members every time I see the show.

    Comment by Jim Schreier — July 22, 2009 @ 8:51 am

  3. I was at the show on Friday night 7/10! Great review of your weekend! It was an incredible night–the audience loved it!

    Comment by Jamie — July 22, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

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