JERSEY BOYS AT AHMANSON THEATRE in LA Opening and Review (6/3/07)

Jersey Boys official opening night was on June 3, 2007 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. It is not only a phenomenal musical but an incredible story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. This is one of the best all around shows you will see as it tells the story of how the group was formed went through changes. Through all and all Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli still maintain today their business partnership with no legal contract just a hand shake. The actors portraying The Four Seasons were Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Michael Ingersoll as Nick Massi, Deven May as Tommy DeVito and Christopher Kale Jones as Frankie Valli. The actors looked similar and sounded just like the original group. The lighting and set were remarkable especially going from scene to scene with minimal set pieces. There were photo projections and an amazing light design which at one point created the illusion of a concert for the Four Seasons. On top of learning the story behind the group you will enjoy all the top hit songs they sang. Some great numbers were: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk like a Man, the list goes on and on.

The opening night sell out crowd gave a well deserved standing ovation to the actors at the end of the show. The crowd then enjoyed an on stage greeting by Joe Pesci, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Frankie Valli. Bass player Nick Massi passed away in 2000 and left the group at the height of its popularity without much explanation. After a lot of changes and ups and downs the group reunited as they were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The evening continued a few blocks away for the cast party with hundreds of invited guests. There were plenty of celebrities besides the cast who were treated to great food, drinks, mingling, music and dancing. Even though it was June of 2007 I have to say, “Oh What a Night!” The show continues through August 31, 2007 and is so entertaining it should not be missed.

I interviewed John Altieri who played Bob Crewe a few weeks before the show opened and after the opening night performance. He gave me some great insight of the show and background of the group. He did a great job as well. To see the complete list of cast members, biographies, more information on the show and tickets please visit http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/tour/

 

For immediate release.

 

JERSEY BOYS” TO OPEN JUNE 3, 2007, AT AHMANSON THEATRE

 

2006 BEST MUSICAL TONY® AWARD WINNER SET FOR 11 WEEKS IN LOS ANGELES

May 25 – August 5, 2007

 

            The opening date of June 3 has been set for “Jersey Boys” when this year’s Tony® Award for Best Musical is presented in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre for 11 weeks, May 25 through August 5, 2007, as part of a National Tour.

“Jersey Boys” is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, and how this group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sound and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were thirty.

“Jersey Boys” is directed by two-time Tony® Award winner Des McAnuff.  The musical, which won a total of four Tony® Awards and continues to set new weekly box office records at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway, is written by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Tickets for “Jersey Boys” at the Ahmanson Theatre are only available at this time on subscription, as part of the Ahmanson Theatre’s 2006-2007 season, or group sales orders can be placed. To subscribe, call (213) 628-2772 or purchase online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.  For group sales, call (213) 972-7231.

“Jersey Boys” will also be an attraction of the Broadway/L.A. 2007-2008 season.

The design and production team for “Jersey Boys” includes Klara Zieglerova (scenic design), Jess Goldstein (costume design), Howell Binkley (winner of the 2006 Tony® Award for his lighting design of “Jersey Boys”), Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Clark (projections design), Charles LaPointe (wig and hair design), Steve Orich (orchestrations) and Ron Melrose (music direction, vocal arrangements and incidental music).

Casting for the Los Angeles production of “Jersey Boys” will be announced at a later date.

 “Jersey Boys” is produced on Broadway by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Pelican Group, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, in association with Latitude Link and Rick Steiner/Osher/Staton/Bell/Mayerson Group.

The Los Angeles engagement marks the return of “Jersey Boys” to Southern California where the musical premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse on October 17, 2004, and played a record-breaking run there prior to the Broadway production.

The National Tour of “Jersey Boys,” which will launch in San Francisco beginning December 2006, will be coordinated by AWA Touring Services.

The Broadway cast recording for “Jersey Boys” is available now on Rhino Records.

Visit the website for “Jersey Boys” at www.JerseyBoysTour.com.

 

CRITICAL PRAISE FOR “JERSEY BOYS”

 

“Too good to be true.  The book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice is as tight and absorbing as an Arthur Miller play.  The cast is just plain wonderful.  The glitzy, sleight-of-hand staging by Des McAnuff doesn’t hurt either.  With its vibrant choreography by Sergio Trujillo, imaginative settings by Klara Zieglerova, spot-on costumes by Jess Goldstein, and arena-style lighting by Howell Binkley, “Jersey Boys” is terrific – a show dynamically alive in music, while as a drama, it catches the very texture, almost the actual smell of its time.” – Clive Barnes, New York Post

 

“The most exciting musical Broadway has seen in years.  A dazzling piece of conceptual direction by Des McAnuff, shrewdly penned by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, this endlessly savvy production works the audience up into such high stakes lather that the on-stage performances of boffo songs become catharses.  You don’t ever want to look away.” – Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune

 

“The crowd goes wild.  I’m talking about the real crowd at the August Wilson Theatre, 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 leads up to the curtain call feels as real and vivid as the sting of your hands clapping together.” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times 

 

“It all starts and ends with the book, and this one by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice is a winner.  It’s the funny, original and moving way this story is told that makes it stand out.  The versatile ensemble is first-rate.  “Jersey Boys” works because its collaborators – those both on and offstage – found themselves in perfect harmony.” –Roma Torre, NY1 News

 

“A can’t-stop-the-music tidal wave.  Enjoy juicy behind-the-scenes true stories?  Then, without a doubt, this is the hot new Broadway show for you.  A fast-moving script electrified by most of the group’s greatest hits.  Energetically weaving story, songs, visuals and performances, Des McAnuff stages a compelling rush of events that pauses only occasionally to savor the beauty of the songs.” – Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger

 

“I entered a skeptic, but promptly turned believer.  Smart dialogue, devastating direction and overwhelming emotional impact.” – John Simon, Bloomberg.com

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHIES

 

MARSHALL BRICKMAN (Book). Films: (author or co-author) “Sleeper,” “Annie Hall” (AA), “Manhattan,” “Manhattan Murder Mystery”; (writer/director) “Simon,” “Lovesick,” “The Manhattan Project,” “Sister Mary Explains it All. Television: “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” (head writer), the Dick Cavett ABC late night show (head writer/co-producer). Mr. Brickman entered show business as a musician, first as a member of the folk group the Tarriers and then, along with John and Michelle Phillips, as one of the New Journeymen, which re-emerged a year later (Brickman having moved onto saner pursuits) as The Mamas and the Papas. Brickman’s recording (with Eric Weissberg) of the soundtrack of “Deliverance,” recorded in 1963, achieved gold status twice and remains a healthy seller around the world 40 years later. Mr. Brickman has published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy and other periodicals. “Jersey Boys” is his first venture into musical theatre.

 

RICK ELICE (Book) wrote a popular thriller, “Double Double” (translated in 16 languages), “Leonardo’s Ring” (London Fringe, 2003) and “Dog and Pony” (New York Stage & Film, 2003).  From 1982-2000, as creative director at Serino Coyne Inc., he produced ad campaigns for some 300 Broadway shows, from “A Chorus Line” to “The Lion King.” Since 2000, he has served as creative consultant for the Walt Disney Studios.  B.A., Cornell University; MFA, Yale Drama School; Teaching Fellow, Harvard University; charter member, American Repertory Theatre. In 2003, he appeared off-Broadway in Elaine May’s comedy “Adult Entertainment.” With Marshall Brickman, he is currently writing another Broadway musical, to be directed by Tommy Tune.  End of credits.  Rick saw his first Broadway show when he was three.  His mother said he was very well-behaved.  From that day, he dreamed of working in the theatre.  From the age of 19, he has.  Heartfelt thanks to those he’s been lucky enough to know, whose work makes him grateful for the day he was born:  Sondheim, Stoppard, Bennett, Prince, Fosse, Robbins, Nichols, Tune, Nunn, Laurents, Stone, Kushner, Taymor, Papp, Schumacher, Schneider, Coyne, Brickman and Rees.  Rick thinks about them a lot.  He never thought about Jersey much.  He does now.

 

BOB GAUDIO (Music) wrote his first hit, “Who Wears Short Shorts,” at 15, for the Royal Teens, a group he started, then went on to become a founding member of the Four Seasons and the band’s principal songwriter. He also produced the hit “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” for Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand (Grammy nomination, Record of the Year), as well as six albums for Diamond, including “The Jazz Singer.”  Other producing credits include albums for Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and the soundtrack for “Little Shop of Horrors.” Several songs co-written with Bob Crewe have been cover hits for such artists as the Tremeloes (“Silence Is Golden”), the Walker Brothers (“The Sun Ain`t Gonna Shine Anymore”) and Lauren Hill (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”). With his wife, Judy Parker, Gaudio produced and co-wrote the “Who Loves You” album for the Four Seasons, and one of Billboard’s longest-charted singles (54 weeks), “Oh, What A Night.” A highpoint in his career came in 1990, when, as a member of the original Four Seasons, Gaudio was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which hailed him as “a quintessential music-maker.”  In 1995, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. To this day, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli still maintain their partnership … on a handshake.


 

BOB CREWE (Lyrics). “New York was pregnant in the 50s,” says Bob Crewe, “gestating with possibilities.” Crewe and music partner Frank Slay became independent writer-producers when the category hadn’t yet been invented. In 1957 they wrote and produced “Silhouettes” for The Rays, skyrocketing to #1. Suddenly, producers in demand, they launched Freddie Cannon’s “Tallahassee Lassie” and Billy & Lillie’s “Lah Dee Da.” Crewe’s 1960’s solo unprecedented producing success with The Four Seasons birthed a new sound, striking a major chord in American Pop. “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Candy Girl,” “Ronnie” – all smashes! When lead Frankie Valli demanded a solo turn, Crewe and Bob Gaudio wrote and Crewe produced “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” eventually becoming the century’s fifth most played song. Crewe ran hot with artists from Vicki Carr, Oliver, Lesley Gore to Mitch Ryder, co-writing with Charles Fox the soundtrack for Jane Fonda’s film “Barbarella.” Then his own Bob Crewe Generation exploded with “Music To Watch Girls By.” In 1972 Bob was in L.A. where he revived Frankie Valli with “My Eyes Adored You” by Crewe and Kenny Nolan. They also co-wrote Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” (#1, July ’75) – to re-hit again from the soundtrack of “Moulin Rouge” (#1, June ’01). Credit: David Ritz.

 

DES McANUFF (Director) is a two-time Tony® Award-winning director and writer and the Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse. Under his leadership, La Jolla Playhouse has won more than 300 theatre awards including the 1993 Tony® Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theatre. Recent productions directed at the Playhouse include “Zhivago” (2005); “Palm Beach,” “The Screwball Musical” (2005); “Private Fittings” (2005); Tom Donaghy’s “Eden Lane” (2003); Molière’s “Tartuffe” (2002); and “The Collected Works of Billy the Kid” (2001). Playhouse to Broadway Credits: “Jersey Boys”; Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” (Playhouse 2004; Broadway 2004, Tony® Award for Special Theatrical Event); “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (Playhouse 1994, Broadway 1995), “The Who’s Tommy” (director/co-author with Pete Townshend; Playhouse 1992, Broadway 1993, Tony® Award Best Director of a Musical, London Olivier Award Best Director 1994), “A Walk in the Woods” (Playhouse 1987, Broadway 1988, Moscow and Lithuania 1989-90) and “Big River” (Playhouse 1984, Broadway 1985, seven Tony® Awards including Best Director of a Musical and Best Musical). Film credits include “Cousin Bette” (director), “Iron Giant” (producer), “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (director), “Quills” (executive producer).

 

SERGIO TRUJILLO (Choreographer) most recently choreographed the Broadway musical “All Shook Up.” Other NYC credits: “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” (off-Broadway), “Bare” (off-Broadway), “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (Encores!) and “Salome” (NYC Opera). International credits: “Peggy Sue Got Married” (West End, London); “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music” (Stratford Festival); “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Twelfth Night” (Tokyo, Japan). Other Theatre Credits: “The Mambo Kings” (Golden Gate Theatre), “Jersey Boys” (La Jolla Playhouse), “The Wedding Banquet” (Village Theatre), “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (North Shore Music Theatre), “Le Nozze Di Figaro” (L.A. Opera), “Hoy Come Ayer” (Ballet Hispanico) and segments of Chita Rivera’s “Chita and All That Jazz.” Mr. Trujillo has choreographed various TV specials including: “Broadway: The American Musical” (PBS), and “The 14th Annual American Comedy Awards” starring Nathan Lane, Martin Short and Jane Krakowski. Recipient of a 2003 Ovation Award in L.A. and three Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for outstanding choreography in Canada.

 

 

#  #  #

 

October 15, 2006

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May – July 2007

 

EVENT:                      Jersey Boys”

                                   The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

                                   Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice

                                   Music by Bob Gaudio

                                   Lyrics by Bob Crewe

                                   Choreography by Sergio Trujillo

Directed by Des McAnuff

 

 

DESCRIPTION:        Winner of the 2006 Tony Award® for Best Musical, “Jersey Boys”       is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – Frankie Valli,        Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, and how this group            of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one          of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote           their own songs, invented their own sound and sold 175 million records            worldwide – all before they were thirty.

 

 

TIMES:                       Previews on May 25 through June 2:

                                    Tuesday – Sunday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Opens Sunday, June 3 at 4 p.m.

Runs Through August 5.

Regular Performances (beginning June 5):

Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

No performances on Mondays.

Exceptions: Added Thursday matinees on June 7 and 28 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, June 23 evening performance is at 8:30 p.m.; No evening performance on Sunday, July 1.

 

TICKET INFO:         Ticket Prices: $20-$100

Tickets are available by calling Center Theatre Group Audience Services at (213) 972-4400, in person at the Center Theatre Group box office or on-line at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

Groups: (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information & charge, TDD (213) 680-4017.

                                             

LOCATION:              Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre

at the Music Center / 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A.  

 

 

3-23-07           

 

 

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