"Jersey Boys" is a show about four blue collar guys and their music. The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, it is Broadway's most unlikely hit and one of the hottest tickets in town.
The journey began in a California workshop three years ago, but Broadway is not the end of the line; "Jersey Boys" is already traveling across the country. There's even talk of an international tour. One could say "Jersey Boys" has put New Jersey — and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — on the map.
Even critics like Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune say the show is a lot more than a jukebox collection of hits.
"It's the story of these sort of blue collar guys who lift themselves out of this mobbed-up neighborhood, and it's a compelling dramatic story, so that's one thing they do differently," Jones told Sunday Morning correspondent Randall Pinkston. "And then secondly, the songs are uncommonly well-integrated with the story itself."
Just about everyone knows the Four Seasons' songs, but few people even know their names, let alone their stories.
Daniel Richard plays Bob Gaudio who wrote most of the group's biggest hits.
"I really think people look at these characters and say, 'That's my brother, that's my uncle, that's my cousin, that's my husband,'" Richard said.
John Lloyd Young, who plays Frankie Valli, called the show a guided tour "into this little sliver of the sixties, which is the story of this band which everyone knows, and everyone feels own a part of."
In preparing for the part, Young went to Las Vegas to catch the real Frankie Valli. Valli is still out there, performing with the same intensity that got him to the top more than 40 years ago, and these days, every concert is sold out.
"I never dreamed it would be this big, you know?" he said.
Valli himself was amazed to see the response to his character up on the stage, from those very first days in California.
"Every single night it was standing room only, and four or five standing ovations," Valli said. "And I looked at my partner and said, 'My God, if this thing goes to New York, what will happen?'"
Of course, what happened was four Tony Awards, including Best Actor for John Lloyd Young and Best Supporting Actor for Christian Hoff, who played Tommy DeVito.
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