We bring you the facts about the big screen story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons…
JERSEY BOYS is releases in Irish cinemas this week, and we have gathered together the facts about the stage show turned musical.
JERSEY BOYS started out as a jukebox musical, the original show is presented in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the formation, success and eventual break-up of the 1960’s New Jersey rock and roll band The Four Seasons. The movie, like the stage-show breaks the fourth wall and has the actors speak directly to the audience at times.
19 Million Fans
The musical has been seen by over 19 million people since it first opened on New York’s Broadway in 2005. It’s success brought the show to London’s West End in 2008, followed by a Worldwide tour including Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne Singapore and South Africa.
Think you don’t know any songs by The Four Seasons? Think again… Many of their songs have been used in movies and in adverts for years. Their biggest hits include ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘December 1963 – Oh What A Night’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘Sherry’, ‘Working My Way Back To You’ and so many more.
Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates
The band scored the longest charting single in history after their song ‘December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)’ was featured on the forrest gump soundtrack in 1994.
What’s In A Name?
The band named themselves after the Four Seasons bowling alley in New Jersey. Previously they’d had over 20 different names including ‘The Varietones’, ‘Village Voices’, ‘The Topix’, ‘The Wonder Who?’ and ‘The Tropics’. Their first ever single was released when they were called ‘The Lovers’.
The most famous member of the group Frankie Valli went on to play mobster Rusty Millio in THE SOPRANOS. Ironically Frankie and the Four Seasons were mentioned several times throughout the show’s run, including a plot that involved selling stolen Frankie Valli concert tickets.
The movie rights to JERSEY BOYS were acquired in 2010, with ‘Iron Man’ director Jon Favreau originally set to helm the project. Instead Favreau went on to direct CHEF which also opens in Irish cinemas this month.
Dirty Harry himself is undertaking the director’s role on the movie of JERSEY BOYS. It’s not the first time he’s worked on a musical, one of his most famous roles was 60’s musical/western PAINT YOUR WAGON and in 2012 he attempted to remake the classic musical A STAR IS BORN which was shelved after leading lady Beyonce left the project.
Director Clint Eastwood decided not to use any Hollywood actors for the main cast, and instead auditioned stage actors who play the role every night onstage. Four Seasons front man Frankie Valli contributed to the casting of his character.
When Can I See It?
JERSEY BOYS opens in Irish cinemas on June 20th, Oh what a night!