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


Published:

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

Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ Is a Natural Fit for the Stage

The Old Globe brings the Wild author’s beautifully written advice column to life

Bob Mould on Seeking A Brighter Outlook with ‘Sunshine Rock’

The punk legend discusses his latest album and reflects on the industry

Things to Do in San Diego: February 18-24

Fifteen events you don't want to miss this week
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2019
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  3. The Best Soup Dumplings in San Diego
    My hunt for the best xiao long bao in the city unearthed two surprising winners
  4. Puesto's Next Top Taco
    Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize
  5. Behind the Brands 2019
  6. First Look: Realm of 52 Remedies
    Wildly imaginative speakeasy cements the arrival of design to San Diego’s Asian food haven
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Puesto's Next Top Taco

Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize

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
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Sony Consumer Electronics Innovator Builds a Future Where Robotics and Connected Devices Prevail

Robust music and pictures ecosystem bring bespoke experience to TV and audio

Live the Dream with the Dream House Raffle

A multimillion-dollar dream home, fabulous trips, luxury cars, and more could be yours
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags