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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.

April 27, 2012

Jersey Boys Offered a Preview at Durham Performing Arts Center – Review

Cast members from the Broadway show “Jersey Boys” made an early appearance on the Durham Performing Arts Center stage Thursday evening as they pitched the show to season ticket holders and potential group sales audiences – Here is the review by DAWN BAUMGARTNER VAUGHAN, {Via Heraldsun.com}

This is the second time DPAC has offered a preview of a show since the 2012-13 Broadway season was announced. The horse from “War Horse” and its puppeteers also shared some behind the scenes information at a preview this spring.

Jersey Boys will be at Durham Performing Arts Center Oct. 30-Nov. 18, is the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Cast members Matt Bailey, Alayna Gallo and Kevin Crewell took the DPAC stage for a question and answer session with ABC11’s Angela Hampton for a few hundred guests. Bailey portrays Four Season Tommy DeVito, Gallo is Valli’s girlfriend Lorraine and several other female characters, and Crewell portrays music producer Bob Crewe. Bailey and Gallo said they had to audition seven times before getting the roles, approved by Valli himself.

Overshadowed by Beatlemania, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons never won a Grammy in the 1960s, though they have sold 175 million albums. Their hits include “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn (Go Away),” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” But the “Jersey Boys” musical did win a Grammy, for Best Musical Show Album, and in 2006 the production won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Kay Goad, who attended the preview event, said she saw “Jersey Boys” in Raleigh last year and plans to see it again at DPAC.

“It is fantastic,” Goad said. During the on stage presentation, Bailey, Gallo and Crewell talked about how many men in the audience really enjoyed the musical as well as women, including working class guys from Jersey who identify with the Four Seasons. Goad said the last time “Jersey Boys” was in the Triangle, people in the audience were dancing in the aisles. Her husband loved it, too, she said, and bought the CD.

Debi Boyle, a volunteer at DPAC, will see “Jersey Boys” for the first time in Durham this fall. She said she volunteers doing anything DPAC needs on show nights, from helping with playbills to holding doors. “It’s fun,” she said.

Bailey told the preview audience that it’s fun playing DeVito, who grew up on the streets of New Jersey. Bailey said people don’t know that the band was around for 10 years before Valli joined. “Jersey Boys” shows the group’s rise to fame and run-ins with the law and the mafia as well as tender family moments. Not necessarily a show for kids, “Jersey Boys” has language they described as “authentic.”

Bailey said the guys who play Valli go to “Frankie camp.” While most have theatrical backgrounds, one Frankie was a Jersey construction worker whose father told him he should audition for the part, Crewell said.

Crewell’s favorite part of the show is after it has built the audience up and they are waiting excitedly for a performance. He comes out as producer Crewe, and with the house lights up, gets to see the audience’s joy.

Jersey Boys will be performing at Durham Performing Arts Center from October 30 and continue through November 18, 2012. Buy Jersey Boys Durham NC Tickets Online. Get $10 OFF on Jersey Boys Durham Performing Arts Center Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout!