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Jersey Boys The story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

We attended as a guest of the Segerstrom
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Oh what a night! Yes that’s right I’m going to start my blog off with one of The Four Seasons most popular songs, but in all honesty is truly did live up to that title. Today I had the completely Jersey Boys experience. It started off with dinner at Leatherby’s which served a Jersey Boy themed three course meal; you can read about that at OC Mom Dining.
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Once we had dinner we took a 1 minute walk over to The Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) to start our adventure.
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The show started at 7:30 and by 7 the entire building was crawling with fans. Once we received our tickets at Will Call, my husband and I ran into the hall to hit up all the interactive fun on the various floors that I wrote about in my pre-show blog. First we hit the Orchestra Terrance to take photos and pose as our own singing group on a specially created stage decked with memorabilia from the decade.
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We wore our Jersey Boys jackets and were immediately members of the group. Next we ran down to the Orchestra level to visit the Fire Bird Cafe and take pictures with the period jukebox spinning tunes from the early ‘60s.
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As we were getting ready to hit the fun facts wall we heard the 5 minutes warning chimes and headed to our seats.
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I had been to SCFTA the day before to interview the cast at the load-in and knew what to expect but when I walked in I was blow away by the sheer magnitude of excitement coming from the audience. It was a packed house and all the seats that were completely empty just 1 day ago were now filled with eager viewers.
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In retrospect I wish I had a chance to interview the cast after viewing the show for two reasons: 1.To say thank you for an amazing experience and 2. Ask how they did that!
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The musical is the story behind The Four Seasons and is broken down into four seasons: Act 1 Spring and Summer Act 2 Fall and winter. The show starts off in spring with Tommy DeVito telling the audience that if it wasn’t for him The Four Seasons wouldn’t exist. He along with Nick Massi and Frankie Valli were from the wrong side of the tracks and were looking for a way out. They formed a band but something or someone was missing. That someone was discovered by Joe Pesci and his name was Bob Gaudio. Wait rewind did you just read the name Joe Pesci, as in the actor Joe Pesci who played in Casino, My cousin Vinny and Googfellas? Yup that Joe Pesci! So basically if it wasn’t for Joe Pesci introducing Bob Gaudio to the group The Four Seasons would never have been and that would not be a good thing. Fun Fact: In Scorsese’s Goodfellas Joe Pesci’s character was named Tommy DeVito as an inside joke. And in case that weren’t enough of an in-joke, at one point during Goodfellas, Karen (Lorraine Bracco) confronts Henry (Ray Liotta), and says to him, “”Who the hell do you think you are, Frankie Valli or some kinda big shot?” I’m not going to tell you any more about the musical’s plot line and spoil the show for you; instead I want to write about how amazing it was. I went in knowing nothing about the show except a song or two of the bands and by nights end I had so many questions that I went home to learn more about the band and amazing cast. Again I wish I were able to interview the cast now! If anyone out there is part of the ensemble and reads this please arrange something. The ensemble was phenomenal! You had Hayden Milanes who pretty much sang the entire time. Do you know how much work it takes to sing as powerfully as he did for over 2 hours? Look I don’t know about you but after 3 songs my throat starts to dry up and go out of tune. I understand that this is his craft but you gotta be impressed with and give props to a person who can manipulate his vocals to sound like Frankie Valli for over 2 hours, 8 shows a week. It’s easy to sing like Frankie Valli, if you are Frankie Valli BUT it’s an entirely different story when you are an actor portraying him. While other members of the cast had time to relax their vocals, he was on stage singing just like Frankie. Now that doesn’t mean that the rest of the cast were slackers. Nope they worked just as hard and made the show amazing. That’s the thing about this show, you needed the entire ensemble to make it work and they really worked it. Quinn Vanantwero (Bob Gaudio) has such charm on stage that he makes you fall in love with Bob Gaudio. He brings warmth and depth to this talented man and has made me not only a fan of Bob but also a fan of Quinn. Fun Fact about Quinn, he’s UCI alum and spoke at the graduation a few weeks ago. Make sure you go see the show and root for our Ant Eater(Zot Zot Zot)! Next you have Adam Zelasko (Nick Massi) who was the comic relief in the show. He played the part perfectly to the point that you often forget that Adam isn’t really Nick. Finally Nicolas Dromard (Tommy DeVito) the man behind The Four Seasons. Nicolas stirred up so many emotions in me. He made me laugh with his antics while at the same time loath him for a long list of reasons. He played the part perfectly. You could see and feel the chemistry/ respect the cast had for one another. There was a line in the musical that I think rang true to the crew, now it’s not verbatim but the message went something like this – You have your home family when you are home and your road when you are on the road. Since this show is a traveling show, the cast truly understood those lines. This cast is a family that respects and works hard together. Their end goal is to entertain, bring to light the story behind the band all the while working their butts off to bring the house down, which they did. I highly recommend catching the show; you won’t want to miss it.
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For more information, please visit www.JerseyBoysTour.com or to buy tickets please visit http://scfta.org. The show runs June 24 – July 13, 2014 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Single tickets start at $29.75 and are available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

I’m an OC mom of two and photographer. I love living in Southern California and want to expose my children to all that it offers. I love taking my kids on adventures and capturing their every moment so much so that my kids find it odd if I don’t take their pictures. You can see my work on facebook.com/photosbynaz.

 

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