January 16, 2006

The Women of Jersey Boys

January 16th, 2006

Although Jersey Boys focuses on four blue collar guys who made it big as the chart topping pop music sensations, the Four Seasons, there are four versatile actresses playing multiple roles in this smash hit that are worth a second look! The women of Jersey Boys, Jennifer Naimo, Erica Piccininni, Sara Schmidt, and Heather Ferguson, play wives, mistresses, daughters, and the “Angels,” a 60s girl group touring with the Four Seasons.

Over the last few months, the critics have also noticed the talented foursome. Simon Saltzman of CurtainUp says these actresses make good impressions in multiple roles; while NYTheatre.com’s Martin Denton loves the hard-working, high-energy cast and notes that three women, incredibly, play everything from girlfriends to girl groups to Frankie’s daughter and they’re terrific. William Wolf says the three actresses deserve a special salute for handling a variety of chores

Jennifer Naimo comes from West Michigan and plays Frankie Valli’s bossy slightly older future wife, Mary Delgado. She originated the role as Valli’s gal at La Jolla Playhouse. Naimo is a western Michigan native who moved to New York after being accepted to the NYU graduate program in acting. New York Daily News’ Howard Kissel says that she has a marvelous earthiness as Valli’s wife , while Gordin & Christiano have noted her delightful spunkiness as Mary Delgado.

Jersey Boys is Erica Piccininni’s Broadway debut. Among other roles in the musical, she plays a journalist who becomes Frankie Valli’s mistress. Prior to her debut, she played Liz in Palm Beach: The Screwball Musical at La Jolla Playhouse, in addition to appearing in various regional theater productions and numerous national commercials. Howard Kissel states that Piccininni conveys a certain savviness as the reporter Valli takes as his mistress.

Sara Schmidt plays Frankie Valli’s troubled daughter Francine in Jersey Boys, in addition to other parts. She holds a BFA from Ithaca College. Other Broadway performances have included Fiddler on the Roof, Brooklyn and Dance of the Vampires, as well as off-Broadway stints in Fame on 42nd Street and The Fantastics. Sara was presented with the colorful Gypsy Robe, which was embellished with mementos from Broadway musicals because she had the most chorus credits. Here’s a photo with Sara and Jersey Boys cast members Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, and John Lloyd Young.

Heather Ferguson is currently a swing member in Jersey Boys. Her past Broadway and national tour roles have been in Les Miserables and as an understudy in Cossette. Her regional and university theater appearances have included leads in Camelot, She Loves Me, and Annie Get Your Gun.

Check out a video clip of the Jersey Girls singing “My Boyfriend’s Back” on a recent appearance on the Today Show.

1 Comment »

  1. I just wanted to add a little more information about jennifer naimo: Jersey Boy’s Mary Delgado( with a vowel) As a fellow West Michigan native I am not alone in saying how proud we are of Jennifer’s theatrical success! Her roles on b-way include Les Mis;Eponine and Frenchy in Grease! She has also toured the U.S. with Grease!(Frenchy) The Full Monty(Georgie) and Big River. A standing ovation to Jennifer for all her theatrical success both past, present and future!

    Emily R.

    Comment by proud in Michigan! — January 19, 2006 @ 10:48 pm

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