Edit ModuleShow Tags

Inside the Icon: 'Jersey Boys'

The award-winning musical got its starts at the La Jolla Playhouse and returns to San Diego this month


See it!

May 9–14

San Diego Civic Theatre

1100 Third Avenue, Downtown

A Singing Start

Original Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio came up with the concept of telling the group’s history through its discography, and hired Rick Elice and Oscar-winner Marshall Brickman to write it. At the recommendation of New York’s Dodger Theatricals, Gaudio hired La Jolla Playhouse’s then artistic director Des McAnuff—a musician himself—who also helped develop the piece. As it turns out, the first album McAnuff ever bought was the Four Seasons’ Sherry & 11 Others.


By the Numbers

The show ran at the Playhouse from October 5, 2004 through January 16, 2005, with a total of 120 performances—their longest running production, followed by The Who’s Tommy, which racked up 108. It’s said to be their biggest box office draw since the 1997 production of Rent, and remains the 12th longest running show in Broadway history.


Broadway Debut

The show opened on Broadway on November 6, 2005. In attendance were original Four Seasons crooners Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, and Tommy DeVito, as well as Joe Pesci, who’s also represented in the cast thanks to his real-life role in the band’s rise to fame.


Main Man

New York actor John Lloyd Young originally auditioned for the part of guitarist Tommy DeVito for the Playhouse show, but McAnuff considered him better suited for the role of Frankie Valli. In the end, McAnuff selected David Noroña for the part, but Young eventually got his due—when McAnuff offered him the Valli role in the Broadway run. Though McAnuff told the New York Times in 2005 that Young “had done work on his voice and was very well prepared for the audition,” rumors swirled that that iconic Frankie Valli falsetto came with help from two cast members singing high notes from the wings.


Show Me the Money

The Pelican Group—a local investment firm founded by biotech magnate Ivor Royston that counts various members of the illustrious Jacobs family among its members—helped bankroll the production. The group received producer credit, and Royston picked up a statue when the show won the Tony for Best Musical in 2006 during its Broadway run.


Trophy Life

The Broadway rendition earned four Tonys, for Best Musical, Actor in a Musical (John Lloyd Young), Featured Actor in a Musical (San Diego native Christian Hoff), and Lighting Design of a Musical (Howell Binkley).

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Comedy + Drama Double Feature: Two Great Plays to See This Week

Herbert Siguenza’s Bad Hombres/Good Wives by San Diego Rep, and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at New Village Arts

The SoCal (Social Calendar!)

From black-tie galas to costumed 5Ks, these events will keep your social calendar full—and you feeling good

North Park's New Home Décor and Dog Garb Shop

How Brittney Garbani came up with the concept of Home + Hound
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Best of San Diego 2019
    Our annual compilation of everything delicious, cool, and Instagrammable in San Diego (and Baja!)
  2. The Problem With Bright Red Tuna
    Many Americans still think bright red tuna means it’s fresher (it’s not)
  3. First Look: Animae
    Puffer Malarkey Restaurants unveil 5.5 million-dollar pan-Asian concept
  4. Jason Mraz and his Historic Coffee Bean
    The singer and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters unveil the first California-grown Geisha coffee
  5. Morning Glory Is a Millennial Wonderland
    The Little Italy restaurant may finally break San Diego's aversion to brunch
  6. A Deep Dive into the San Diego Fishing Industry
    A $2 billion project is poised to revive San Diego’s commercial fishing industry
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles

October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


The Vape Debate

Two Scripps doctors weigh in on this dangerous trend

Kaiser Permanente San Diego Makes Life Easier

Kaiser Permanente brings high quality, affordable care to San Diegans when and where they need it
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags