‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like A Man’, ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ -- you know the songs but do you know the story behind them?
‘Jersey Boys’, now playing at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands from 20 November to 13 February 2013 is based on Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
The slick musical tells the compelling story of the 1960s pop superstars –made up of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi --through their iconic songs. It follows the group from their humble beginnings until they become some of the biggest superstars of their generation.
“It’s a rags-to-riches story about four guys who basically had a dream about being famous singers,” Kenneth Meyer who plays Bob Gaudio said.
Jaco Van Rensburg who plays one of the Frankie Vallis in the Singapore production added that most people know the songs but don’t really know who sang them. “We’re all familiar with the Four Seasons’ music like ‘Sherry’ and “Oh What A Night” but I’m sure not many know the story behind them. That’s what Jersey Boys is about; taking you on a musical journey with the band,” he said.
Sneak peek of ‘Jersey Boys’
To achieve and imitate Frankie Valli’s distinct falsetto, the South African performer had to work with a vocal coach from New York to get the style and flavour of Valli’s voice down pat. “Frankie Valli’s voice is absolutely unique. He sings with a high and powerful falsetto, and it is hard to get it right. Regular vocal warm-ups are a must,” said Van Rensburg.
NOT YOUR ORDINARY MUSICAL
However, ‘Jersey Boys’ is more than just your run-of-the-mill jukebox musical. The Tony-award winning script by Woody Allen's collaborator Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice delivers some brilliantly funny and perceptive dialogue as the boys struggle against all kinds of odds to get their first break. The story is divided into “four seasons’; each told by the four major players and each a slightly different take on the truth. So it contains enough narrative and storyline to hook the audience.
“One thing about the musical is that the audience becomes part of the show. When they’re singing or doing their monologues, they are actually addressing the audience of 1962; listening to their music for the first time. So the show doesn’t stay on stage and the audience get cast in the show. A real intimacy is formed and the audience will feel that the cast is speaking to them,” associate director West Hyler explained.
So why is ‘Jersey Boys’ such a hit with audiences worldwide and even clinching a host of awards in its wake?
“Most people go to musicals for the music, but for ‘Jersey Boys’ it’s the story that touches them. It’s a story that anyone can relate to. If you want to watch something that you can connect with, ‘Jersey Boys’ is the one,” said Kenneth Meyer.
“And it‘s got great music too.”