Interview: Jersey Boys Cast
They all seem in good spirits, posing in full Four Seasons regalia for group shots in and around the big gold building, as they are due to perform a matinee performance after the interviews. I only got a few minutes to talk to them, and they couldn't be nicer guys really.
In the lead of Frankie Valli is Tim Driesen, and along with Stephen Webb as tough talker Tommy DeVito, Sam Ferriday as main composer Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths as biding bassist Nick Massi they cut a fine picture as the Boys. Here's some of the things they had to say about their show:
Wooquay - So how's it going Boys?
All - Good, it's good to be here in Cardiff.
Tim Driesen - It's so nice here in the Bay as well
Stephen Webb - What's going on over there with the fairground stuff?
It's the Cardiff Festival, they do it every summer, it's good fun! How's it going here on your first stop in Wales?
SW - Great, this is a great venue to be in, we played a slightly smaller venue in Norwich recently and this is a lovely venue.
Yeah my graduation ceremony was here a few years ago, it's really cool. I'm looking forward to the show tonight, I saw it in London last year would I have seen any of you guys there?
Lewis Griffiths - No, we're an original cast for this tour.
Awesome, I recently saw the movie as well.
SW - What did you think of it? It seemed a bit too long.
Yeah, it didn't quite translate too well to screen I felt. Same for Les Mis I feel, didn't quite capture the essence of the show. But let's not start on a low note; let's have some fun!
All - Okay!
So for you guys as musicians and performers, what's your earliest memory, or rather what was it that made you want to pursue a career in this direction?
LG - As in musical memories?
Yeah, what was it that clicked for you growing up?
SW - For me, I saw the original production of Grease in the West End when I was young, that was a big show to see so that's a special memory.
TD - Growing up in Belgium there wasn't much in the way of musicals, so I was 17 when I first saw a musical in Holland, which was Phantom Of The Opera.
LG - When I was growing up my Grandfather was a brass player and arranger, so I was always surrounded by music.
Sam Ferriday - I was just singing from a young age really, I would sing along to Blur songs and mix the words up just for fun! I saw my sister in a show at her stage school, looking up and thinking, "I can do that, I want to do that!"
Cool. So as you're all performers, how did you find adopting the Jersey accent and trying not to slip into other East coast dialects? It's quite a particular accent that can easily be perceived as other dialects.
LG - Like Brooklyn, New York?
Yeah exactly, did you have dialect coaches or just study the original performances to help with the accent?
Of course, Joe Pesci!
SW - Yeah exactly, playing a character named Tommy DeVito named after the actual guy!
LG - That's the one he won the Oscar for!
SW - Yeah!
TD - YouTube helped a lot, it's great that we have access to things like that now! But yeah, lots of Sopranos and practicing.
LG - Some of our crew are from Jersey, so we talked a lot to them and asked about certain phrases and how certain words sound. In terms of the accent over here though we can be a bit more liberal, as not many in the UK would notice the minor dialect strays. Being a show from Broadway it's more noticeable there, but it's not too critical here. Plus there would be certain lines in the show that you think at the time could use some tweaking for next time, so you pay attention and think to yourself "I can work on that for next time", all to make the show more immersive and believable.
Well I think we're out of time guys. Thanks a lot for meeting up and I'll be seeing you tonight. "Oh what a night" it's going to be!
All - *collective groan/laugh*
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