The first time I heard about Jersey Boys, it was through my parents who had just come back from Vegas. My mom could just not stop raving about this “Jersey Boys” thing they had gone to see. I think it’s worth making note that my parents both absolutely hate musicals. So, I was struck with confusion over their excitement about the “Jersey Boys” Broadway musical they had just gone to see.
No, it has nothing to do with the hair-gelled guido superstars of MTV reality shows, but instead, a group of which New Jersey wouldn’t be even close to being embarrassed. The story revolves around the lives and success of the quartet from the mid-’60s era, known more recently as “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.” They could be likened to the Italian mafia gangster version of The Beatles.
Now, before you get turned away by the sounds of a cheesy Broadway musical, think of it more as a play. “It’s more of a story with music,” says actress Kara Tremel, who plays a number of roles in the production, including Mary Delago, Frankie Valli’s first wife.
“All of the songs are performed just as they would be in real life, in studios, stages, etc.”
Jersey Boys started out on Broadway in New York nearly seven years ago. Since then, it has been awarded four Tony Awards in 2006 and has toured all over the world. The show features musical numbers, including chart topping hits from the ’60s and ’70s, like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like A Man.”
“I’ve been in the show for five years now,” says Tremel. “Even when I’m walking in the grocery story and I hear a song come on the radio I’m still singing along – I’m not sick of it!”
Even though I personally love Frankie Valli and the boys, I think one of the most convincing parts of the story is how the storyline is a mixture of a group of boys going from singing on the streets to chart-topping fame, but, also, how they were, in fact, involved in some serious mafia criminal action. A couple of the Seasons even did jail time.
“It’s kind of a mixture of the Four Seasons and Sopranos together in one show,” laughs Tremel. “If they would’ve been around now, this time in the world, this would be on TMZ. It’s some serious drama.”
There is a combination of elements that make this production stand out from the other musicals. Not only do the actors actually do all the singing, acting, dancing themselves, but the actors playing The Four Seasons actually play the instruments in all the songs. There are no tapes/lip syncing here. As well, the set for the stage is incredible, displaying beautiful backdrops, lighting, scenery, and direction.
“I’ve been in this business for 20 years and being a part of this show is a blessing. It’s an incredible show,” says Tremel.
You can catch Kara and the rest of the crew from Jersey Boys at the Jubilee Auditorium from June 28th – July 15th.
By Sara MohanAB, Alberta, Featured