November 4, 2012

Jersey Boys Playing at Durham Performing Arts Center

The Durham Performing Arts Center (123 Vivian St, Durham, North Carolina 27701) is currently presenting the Tony Award-winning Musical Jersey Boys through November 18, 2012. The play is one of the most successful of the “jukebox musicals” that focus on the works of specific artists or groups. It won four Tony Awards in 2006, including Best Musical.

Weinstock, a New Jersey native, has been with the show for about a year and a half. Before embarking on the current tour, he performed in a Las Vegas production of “Jersey Boys” in a different role.

Weinstock said he thinks the show has succeeded because, along with delivering the classic songs, it tells a compelling story and doesn’t try to sugarcoat the group’s history. Brad Weinstock, who plays the singer in a touring production of “Jersey Boys,” said it takes a lot of work to recreate Valli’s unearthly vocals.

“Jersey Boys” follows the rise to fame of the Four Seasons, a New Jersey-based group that scored with hits in the 1960s and ’70s, including “Walk Like a Man,” “Let’s Hang On!” and “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).”

Weinstock said a highlight of the show comes in the second part of the first act, when three of the group’s biggest hits are performed back-to-back – “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.”

“We call those the ‘big three,’ ” Weinstock said. “It’s pretty crazy. It’s the closest a musical theater actor can get to being a rock star, being in this show.”

In another memorable scene, the group sings “Sherry” as the staging backdrop changes to illustrate the combo’s rise to stardom.

But Weinstock said his own favorite moment comes in the second act, when he takes the spotlight to sing one of Valli’s solo hits, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

“That was Frankie going off on his own. The Four Seasons had kind of collapsed at that point,” Weinstock said. “It’s a beautiful moment in the show when he gets to sing that song.”

Now age 78, the real Frankie Valli continues to perform and has an interest in the show, Weinstock said. He got to meet the singer recently.

“He came into our rehearsal, which was really exciting. We were in a room in New York City and we were singing ‘Dawn,’ ” Weinstock said. “I could see the whole cast turn around, there was kind of a nervous energy. I turned around and saw Frankie Valli and kind of broke out into hives.”

Jersey Boys musical will be at Durham NC through November 18, 2012. Buy Jersey Boys Durham Performing Arts Center Tickets Online, Save $10 on Ticket orders of $350 or more – use code AFF$10.

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