Smash hit musical Jersey Boys has returned to Melbourne for a strictly limited season, and Jan Chandler had a chance to chat with some of the stars of the show…
Jersey Boys commenced previews last night at the Princess Theatre, where the extraordinarily successful tour of Australia and New Zealand began, in July 2009.
At Thursday’s media event, we were treated to a medley of show stopping numbers which included ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Walk Like a Man’. The four boys from ‘Joisey’ were then joined onstage by the full company (including the Jersey Boys live show band) in a performance of the show’s final number, ‘Who Loves You’.
There weren’t many who weren’t tapping their feet along with the music, except perhaps the cameramen (all men) who were preoccupied with capturing their preferred images.
I was able to grab a few moments with Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio) and Anthony Harkin (Tommy De Vito) and a passing word with Jeff Madden who shares the role of Frankie Valli with Graham Foote. Unfortunately time did not allow a word with Glaston Toft (Nick Massi).
Egan is making his professional theatre debut with Jersey Boys. He graduated with a Diploma of Music Theatre from Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2010.
Although Egan clearly wasn’t around when the Four Seasons hit the charts in1962, he feels that their music has become embedded in our popular culture. He recalls hearing the famous ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ in the film The Deer Hunter (1978) and any many other tunes like ‘Stay’, from a range of different commercials.
It wasn’t until he came to Melbourne as a young high school graduate in 2009 that he saw the show and realised that there was hit after hit associated with The Four Seasons. His greatest hope is that this first experience in musical theatre will not be the only highlight of his career.
In contrast to Egan, Anthony Harkin (Tommy De Vito) is an old hand. He graduated in musical theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 1999 and already has a successful career in theatre, film and television. He assures me that, whatever the medium, there are always challenges and rewards. Tommy De Vito is one such challenge.
[pull_left]There is so much to invest in these guys, they’re real people and there’s an onus on us to be getting it right every night and to get the spirit of it correct[/pull_left]
Tommy is the guy kinda pushing everything forward and Jersey Boys has been described as a big joy ride in a stolen cadillac, Harkin tells me.Tommy has great charisma and is full of energy, but there is also a real sense of danger about him. Harkin’s aim is to get the right balance in his performance so that the audience loves Tommy even though they might not want to. It is this ‘getting it right’ that is Harkin’s challenge and reward.
“There is so much to invest in these guys, they’re real people and there’s an onus on us to be getting it right every night and to get the spirit of it correct” says Harkin.
This will be the last chance for Melbourne audiences to experience the music and the story of The Four Seasons. Jersey Boys will finish its run of nearly four years in Perth where it opens on 13 April
“If you’ve already seen the show you’ll want to see it again and, if you haven’t seen it, where have you been?” said Harkin.
Visit www.JerseyBoysAustralia.com.au for bookings and more information.