Jersey Boys

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Jersey Boys
August Wilson Theatre NYC.jpg
The August Wilson Theatre showing Jersey Boys
MusicBob Gaudio
LyricsBob Crewe
BookMarshall Brickman
Rick Elice
Productions2004 La Jolla Playhouse Tryout
2005 Broadway, New York
2006 US Tour
2007 Chicago
2008 Las Vegas
2008 West End, London
2008 Toronto
2009 Melbourne
2010 Sydney
2011 2nd US Tour
2012 Auckland
2012 Brisbane
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album
Helpmann Award for Best Musical
 
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Jersey Boys
August Wilson Theatre NYC.jpg
The August Wilson Theatre showing Jersey Boys
MusicBob Gaudio
LyricsBob Crewe
BookMarshall Brickman
Rick Elice
Productions2004 La Jolla Playhouse Tryout
2005 Broadway, New York
2006 US Tour
2007 Chicago
2008 Las Vegas
2008 West End, London
2008 Toronto
2009 Melbourne
2010 Sydney
2011 2nd US Tour
2012 Auckland
2012 Brisbane
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album
Helpmann Award for Best Musical

Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. It is a documentary-style musical, based on one of the most successful 1960s rock 'n roll groups, The Four Seasons. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005, and has since had a North American National Tour, along with productions in London's West End, Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney, Philadelphia, Auckland and currently in Brisbane. Jersey Boys won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Contents

Productions

Jersey Boys premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse at University of California, San Diego, in an out-of-town tryout on October 5, 2004 and ran through January 16, 2005[1] The musical began previews on Broadway on October 4, 2005 and officially opened on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The cast starred John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, and J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi. The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, the then-artistic director at La Jolla Playhouse, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. It uses many of the group's hit songs to tell the turbulent story of Frankie Valli and the The Four Seasons' rise to fame. The Broadway production has had 38 previews and 2241 performances as of April 10, 2011.[2] On June 25, 2011 the musical became the 25th longest-running show on Broadway.[3]

The first national tour of Jersey Boys began on December 10, 2006, at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. On May 3, 2007, that leg of the tour's run ended in San Francisco to prepare for its Los Angeles premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre. The next day, a second company (including Steve Gouveia from the original Broadway cast as Nick Massi) debuted at the Curran and ended its run on September 30, 2007, before transferring for an open-ended run at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre. The Chicago production opened on October 5, 2007, with Michael Ingersoll, a Chicagoan, replacing Steve Gouveia, while Steve joined the First National Tour.[4] The Chicago opening brought Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio to Chicago and was promoted prominently, including a December 9, 2007, puck-dropping at a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game.[5]

December 10, 2010 marked the 4th Anniversary of the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Jersey Boys National Tour. The Jersey Boys National Tour opened at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco and has gone on to play 38 cities since then. Jersey Boys recently played at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia where it broke the box office record 8 times before moving on to a return engagement in Boston.[6]

A special holiday return engagement played at the Curran Theatre from November 20 – December 30, 2007, starring Rick Faugno as Frankie Valli, Andrew Rannells as Bob Gaudio, Bryan McElroy as Tommy DeVito and Jeff Leibow as Nick Massi. The majority of this cast became the original Las Vegas cast, which debuted at The Palazzo Hotel on Sunday, May 3, 2009, [7] in the newly built Jersey Boys Theatre. The show temporarily closed on January 1, 2012 and reopened on March 6, 2012 at Paris Las Vegas.[8][9]

The musical made its West End debut at London's Prince Edward Theatre in February 2008. The creative team were the same that brought the production to Broadway. Principal cast were Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli, Stephen Ashfield as Bob Gaudio, Glenn Carter as Tommy DeVito and Philip Bulcock as Nick Massi.[10] The production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

The Australian production opened at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne in July 2009.[11][12] In particular the Melbourne cast has received high praise from audiences. The Melbourne production closed on July 25, 2010 and opened in Sydney in September. The Sydney production closed in December 2011 and opened in Auckland in April 2012, running through to June 17, 2012.[13] [14]

The San Francisco/Chicago cast appeared on stage in the 2007 Emmy Awards in a tribute to HBO's The Sopranos.

Due to the success of the First National tour stop at Toronto Centre for the Arts in Toronto, Ontario from August 21 to December 6, 2008, an open-ended run began performances on December 12 with a new, mostly Canadian cast that includes Jeremy Kushnier and Jenny Lee Stern from the First National Tour, [15] This production celebrated its 500th show on February 27, 2010.[16] The production closed on August 22, 2010 on the show's second anniversary.[17]

Synopsis

The story dramatizes the forming, rise and eventual break-up of the original four members of The Four Seasons. The musical is separated into four "seasons", each narrated by a different member of the band. Act 1 comprises Spring (Tommy DeVito) & Summer (Bob Gaudio); Act 2 comprises Fall (Nick Massi) & Winter (Frankie Valli); each member has a different perspective on the band and his contribution to it.

Act I

Spring

The show opens with a performance of "Ces soirées-là", a modern pop-rap song that was released in 2000. Tommy DeVito then enters the stage, introducing himself and explaining how the song is a cover of The Four Seasons' "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". He offers to tell the story of the band, explaining how he started out with the group "The Variety Trio" with his brother Nick DeVito and friend Nick Massi, eventually discovering teenager Frankie Castelluccio and taking him under his wing, teaching him everything he knows. ("The Early Years: A Scrapbook") During these early years Nick Massi helped train Frankie to sing, Tommy went in and out of prison, Frankie changed his last name to Valli, Tommy and Frankie developed a good relationship with mob boss Gyp DeCarlo, and Frankie fell in love with and married Mary DelGado. Musically, the band was still struggling and kept changing their name and sound but without any dramatic success. One day friend and fellow Jersey boy Joe Pesci comes up to Tommy and says that he knows a singer-songwriter who'd make the perfect fourth for their band: Bob Gaudio.

Summer

Bob Gaudio takes over the narration, starting by telling the audience that no matter what Tommy says, he wasn't plucked from obscurity by him, since he already had a hit single with "Short Shorts". Bob goes with Joe Pesci to see the band perform, and is immediately impressed by Frankie's voice. Bob performs a song he'd just written: "Cry for Me" on piano, which Frankie, Nick Massi and then Tommy joining in with vocals, bass and guitar respectively. They negotiate an agreement, though Tommy is at first skeptical that Bobby (then still a teenager) will be good for the band. The band eventually gets a contract with producer Bob Crewe but only to sing back-up ("Backup Sessions"). Crewe insists that the band has an "identity crisis" and needs to make a firm decision on a name and a sound. The band name themselves after The Four Seasons bowling alley, and Bobby writes them three songs that finally propel them to stardom: "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man". In the wake of their success, Bob also chalks up a personal first by losing his virginity. ("December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)") The band's success means that they tour a lot more, along the way discovering the girl band The Angels ("My Boyfriend's Back"). Unfortunately, the constant touring strains Frankie's marriage to Mary, and they eventually divorce ("My Eyes Adored You"). The band continues to enjoy chart successes ("Dawn (Go Away)") until after a concert the band is approached by a loan shark out to claim money owed by Tommy ("Walk Like a Man (reprise)").

Act II

Fall

The second act opens with "Big Man in Town". Nick Massi explains that Bob was so focused on the band's musical success and future that he couldn't see that the band had been in trouble for some time. Tommy's been racking up debts, and a forgotten bill during a previous tour lands the band in jail over the weekend, which strains things between Tommy and Bob. Nick observes that Tommy became jealous of Frankie's success and closeness with Bobby, and attempted to seduce Frankie's new girlfriend Lorraine. The two never confronted each other about it, but the old friendship was not what it used to be. When the loan shark approaches the band for the $150,000 owed by Tommy, Frankie approaches Gyp DeCarlo for help despite Tommy's insistence that he doesn't need it. ("Beggin'") The band, Gyp, and the loan shark come to agreement: Tommy is to be "sequestered" in Las Vegas where the mob can keep an eye on him, and the band will willingly cover all of Tommy's debts. The band continues for a while as a trio until Nick declares that he wants out. ("Stay/Let's Hang On!")

Winter

Frankie takes over narration, explaining that though he owes Tommy a great deal, he's aware that their relationship wasn't ideal, and he never understood why Nick decided to leave. Frankie and Bob find replacements to keep the band a quartet ("Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)") until Bobby announces that he's never been comfortable in the spotlight and that Frankie should be a single, i.e. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In his personal life, Frankie's relationship with his daughter Francine is strained and he breaks up with girlfriend Lorraine. ("Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)") Frankie continues to have success thanks to Bobby's songs, and hits jackpot with ("C'mon Marianne") and the almost-never-released ("Can't Take My Eyes Off You") which Bobby fights to get airplay for. Along with the success of "Working My Way Back to You", Frankie and Bobby finally finish paying off Tommy's debts, and Frankie's life is good until his daughter Francine dies from a drug overdose. ("Fallen Angel")

Finale

The final scene is The Four Seasons' 1990 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, announced by Bob Crewe and reuniting the original four members on stage one last time. ("Rag Doll") Each member takes a moment to address the audience one by one, explaining their pride of being with the band and what they did after. ("Who Loves You")

Charity

The West End cast of Jersey Boys appeared as a guest act for the Royal Variety Performance 2008, which was staged at the London Palladium on December 11 in the presence of senior members of the Royal family. The Royal Variety Performance is a gala event held annually at a major British theatre, to raise money for the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.[18] In 2010, The West End cast of Jersey Boys performed a show, with the profits going to Children In Need. The show ended with Pudsey Bear joining in to sing a medley, and raised £60,150 for the charity. In 2009 the cast also appeared as a guest act for Children In Need.

Jersey Boys Chicago has been honored two years in a row at the Broadway Cares event for being the top fundraiser in the Tour category. In 2008, Jersey Boys Chicago raised $220,000 for BC/EFA.[19]

Jersey Boys Broadway: For every ticket sold for every Broadway performance in the month of October 2010, $1 was donated to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Jersey Boys aimed to raise funds to restore one full music education program in a New York City school.[20] The show eventually raised $43,521, enough to restore the instrumental music education program at PS 85 in the Bronx.[21] Plans were made to donate additional funds raised to a second VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant recipient school.[21]

Cast

Original Broadway Cast
Original London Cast
  • Frankie Valli — Ryan Molloy
  • Frankie Valli alternate — Scott Monello
  • Bob Gaudio — Stephen Ashfield
  • Tommy DeVito — Glenn Carter
  • Nick Massi — Philip Bulcock
  • Bob Crewe — Simon Adkins
  • Gyp DeCarlo — Stuart Milligan
  • Norm Waxman — Joseph Prouse
  • Joe Pesci — Jye Frasca
  • Barry Belson — Tee Jaye
  • Donnie/Knuckles — Tom Lorcan
  • Hank Majewski — Griffin Stevens
  • Mary Delgado — Suzy Bastone
  • Francine — Michelle Francis
  • Lorraine — Amy Pemberton
Original Melbourne Cast
  • Frankie Valli — Bobby Fox
  • Frankie Valli (alternate) — Nick Simpson-Deeks
  • Bob Gaudio — Stephen Mahy
  • Tommy DeVito — Scott Johnson
  • Nick Massi — Glaston Toft
  • Bob Crewe — Daniel Scott
  • Gyp DeCarlo — Enrico Mammarella
  • Joe Pesci — Bernard Angel
  • Mary Delgado — Lisa Adam
  • Francine Valli — Katherine Rodriques
  • Hank Majewski — Jeremy Brennan
  • Norm Waxman — Paul Watson
  • Barry Belson — Jason Te Patu
Original Chicago Cast
  • Frankie Valli — Jarrod Spector
  • Frankie Valli (alternate) — John Michael Dias
  • Bob Gaudio — Drew Gehling
  • Tommy DeVito — Jeremy Kushnier
  • Nick Massi — Steve Gouveia
  • Bob Crewe — Craig Laurie
  • Gyp DeCarlo — Jonathan Weir
  • Joe Pesci — Steven Goldsmith
  • Mary Delgado — Jenny Lee Stern
  • Francine Valli — Lyndsey Cole
  • Lorraine — Lauren Marshall
  • Hank Majewski — Ryan Quinn West
  • Norm Waxman — Dominic Bogart
  • Barry Belson — Rashad Naylor
Original Las Vegas Cast
Original Toronto Cast
Original Auckland Cast

Musical numbers

Act I
Act II

Instrumentation

Jersey Boys requires a small orchestra. The original Broadway production had about nine musicians. The instrumentation requires three keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, two woodwind players, and trumpet. The first woodwind player doubles on alto and tenor sax, clarinet, flute, and oboe. The second part doubles on tenor and baritone sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet. The trumpet also doubles on flugelhorn.

Response

Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote, "THE CROWD GOES WILD. 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 or, most important, that John Lloyd Young is not Frankie Valli. And everything that has led up to that curtain call feels, for just a second, as real and vivid as the sting of your hands clapping together."[22]

Charles Spencer from The Daily Telegraph wrote: "Overpaid, over-sexed and over here, it will, I suspect be some time before London says Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye) to the PHENOMENAL Jersey Boys."[23] Benedict Nightingale from The Times said, “Oh What a Night. There were times when I felt that the performers were making even the Beatles sound somewhat lacking in musical texture."[24] Quentin Letts from The Daily Mail said, "I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a big thumper of a show with fantastic songs."[25]

Recording

An original cast recording was made by Rhino Entertainment, Jersey Boys: Original Broadway Cast Recording (Rhino R2 73271), released in November 2005, and won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.[26][27][28] In February 2008, the album was certified Gold, having sold more than 500,000 copies in the US.[29] In October 2009, the cast album was certified Platinum, selling over 1,000,000 copies in the United States.[30]

Feature film

On October 7, 2010, it was announced that GK Films had acquired the rights to produce the upcoming feature film version of Jersey Boys, with GK Films entering into a producers' partnership with Timothy Headington and Marshall Brickman and Rick Elise returning to write the script for the film.[31][32] Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio were both slated to serve as executive producers.[33] As of May 2012, no casting decisions have yet been announced.[citation needed] On August 8, 2012 it was announced that Jon Favreau will direct the film and casting has begun.[34]

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2005Drama Desk AwardOutstanding MusicalNominated
Outstanding Book of a MusicalRick Elice and Marshall BrickmanNominated
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalJohn Lloyd YoungWon
Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalChristian HoffNominated
Daniel ReichardNominated
Outstanding ChoreographySergio TrujilloNominated
Outstanding Director of a MusicalDes McAnuffNominated
Outstanding Sound DesignSteve Canyon KennedyWon
Tony AwardBest MusicalWon
Best Book of a MusicalRick Elice and Marshall BrickmanNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalJohn Lloyd YoungWon
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a MusicalChristian HoffWon
Best Direction of a MusicalDes McAnuffNominated
Best OrchestrationsSteve OrichNominated
Best Scenic Design of a MusicalKlara ZieglerovaNominated
Best Lighting Design of a MusicalHowell BinkleyWon
Grammy AwardBest Musical Show AlbumWon

Original London production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2008Laurence Olivier AwardBest New MusicalWon
Best Actor in a MusicalRyan MolloyNominated
Best Theatre ChoreographerSergio TrujilloNominated
Best DirectorDes McAnuffNominated
Best Sound DesignSteve Canyon KennedyNominated

Original Toronto production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2009Dora Award[35]Outstanding Production of a MusicalNominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal RoleJeremy KushnierNominated
Michael LomendaNominated
Jeff MaddenWon
Quinn VanAntwerpNominated
Outstanding Direction of a MusicalDes McAnuffWon
Outstanding ChoreographySergio TrujilloNominated

Original Melbourne production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2010Helpmann Award[36]Best MusicalWon
Best Actor in a MusicalBobby FoxNominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a MusicalScott JohnsonNominated
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a MusicalLisa AdamNominated
Best Direction of a MusicalDes McAnuffNominated
Best ChoreographySergio TrujilloNominated
Best Music DirectionRon MelroseWon
Best Scenic DesignKlara Zieglerova and Michael ClarkNominated
Best Lighting DesignHowell BinkleyNominated
Best Sound DesignSteve Canyon KennedyNominated

References

  1. ^ Simonson, Robert and Hernandez, Ernio.Playbill News: "Seasons in the Sun: Jersey Boys Opens on Broadway Nov. 6" playbill.com, November 6, 2005
  2. ^ "Jersey Boys Official IBDB listing". The Broadway League. http://ibdb.com/production.php?id=394781. 
  3. ^ JERSEY BOYS Becomes 25th Longest-Running Broadway Show
  4. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (2007-10-05). "Jersey Boys Begins Chicago Run Oct. 5". Playbill, Inc.. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/111684.html. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  5. ^ "JERSEY BOYS ROCK THE WINDY CITY". chicagoactor.com. http://chicagoactor.com/blog/blog/2007/10/31/jersey-boys-rock-the-windy-city/. Retrieved 2008-01-18. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Jersey Boys Actor Hujabre Injured in Philadelphia Run; Set to Return 12/7 broadwayworld.com, December 6, 2010
  7. ^ SHNews shnsf.com
  8. ^ ReviewJournal.com – News – SHOW REVIEW: Four versions of Seasons' saga told
  9. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (May 5, 2008). "Jersey Boys is a hit on opening night in Vegas". The Star (Toronto). http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/Theatre/article/421366. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ playbill article, Oct. 17, 2007 playbill.com
  11. ^ BroadwayWorld Photo Coverage of Australian Production Announcement
  12. ^ Dennehy, Luke (2009-07-05). "Jersey Boys marks musical revival". Sunday Herald Sun: p. 17. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/jersey-boys-marks-musical-revival/story-0-1225746028928. Retrieved 2009-01-03. [dead link]
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/whats-on/7093883/Auckland-cashes-in-on-Jersey-Boys
  15. ^ New Cast Announced for Canadian Production of Jersey Boys
  16. ^ JERSEY BOYS Toronto Company Celebrates 500th Performance 2/27
  17. ^ Toronto Jersey Boys to Close in August
  18. ^ http://www.eabf.org.uk/RVP-PressRelease08.pdf Press release announcing acts for the 2008 Royal Variety Performance
  19. ^ Gypsy of the Year 20 – BroadwayWorld.com
  20. ^ http://www.okmagazine.com/2010/09/today-were-loving-jersey-boys-vh1-save-the-music/ OK Magazine talks about Jersey Boys Broadway and VH1 Save the Music Foundation
  21. ^ a b Jersey Boys at www.vh1savethemusic.com
  22. ^ Brantley, Ben."Review, Jersey Boys ",The New York Times, 2005
  23. ^ "Jersey Boys: Let's hear it for the Boys", The Telegraph
  24. ^ "Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward", The Times
  25. ^ "First Night: Frankie goes to the West End", Mail Online
  26. ^ Hernandez, Ernio.Can't Take My Ears Off of You: Jersey Boys Cast Album Will Get Nov. 1 Release From Rhino "Can't Take My Ears Off of You: Jersey Boys Cast Album Will Get Nov. 1 Release From Rhino," playbill.com, September 6, 2005
  27. ^ Suskin, Steven."On the Record: Broadway's Jersey Boys and Allan Sherman's My Son, The Box ", November 22, 2005
  28. ^ Gans, Andrew."Jersey Boys Wins Grammy for Best Musical Show Album," playbill.com, February 11, 2007
  29. ^ Gans, Andrew."Jersey Boys Cast Recording Is Certified Gold," playbill.com, February 14, 2008
  30. ^ Fuge, Tristan."Jersey Boys Original Cast Recording Certified Platinum" theatermania.com, October 13th, 2009
  31. ^ Broadway Musical ‘Jersey Boys’ to Get Big-Screen Movie
  32. ^ Graham King Wins Fevered Film Rights Auction To Broadway Hit 'Jersey Boys'
  33. ^ Popcrunch: “Jersey Boys” Movie
  34. ^ Iron Man Director Jon Favreau Set to Helm Jersey Boys Film
  35. ^ Toronto's 2009 Dora Awards Go to McAnuff, MacKenzie, Eternal Hydra, Sound of Music
  36. ^ Australian Helpmann Awards

External links