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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Jersey Boys at the Curran Theatre: Our Boozy Backstage Interview With the Cast

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

The Jersey Boys tour bus arrives at the Curran Theatre - HERM PUGAY
  • Herm Pugay
  • The Jersey Boys tour bus arrives at the Curran Theatre

If falsetto warblings make you weak in the knees, Jersey Boys could induce a seizure. The boys are back in town and opened on Saturday at theCurran Theatre, kicking off an eight-week run. On Friday night, we got the chance to quaff choice cocktails (Walk like a MANhattan or Joy-zee Juice anyone?) and talk a little dirty with the handsome-as-hell cast at a Q&A happy hour; we're still convinced the Curran Balcony's never seen that much booze.

Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons are played by Nick Cosgrove (Frankie Vallie), John Gardiner (Tommy DeVito), Miles Jacoby (Bob Gaudio), and Michael Lomenda (Nick Massi). The four "men" -- (sorry but Nick looks like a fresh-faced elfin boy, all sweet grin and fair skin) -- were all dashing in full suits, coiffed do's, and winsome smiles. They poised, preened, and waxed a bit poetic about "the process," their journeys as performers, and of course, San Francisco; they also got a little naughty. Here's a juicy little round-up of what these blue collar Broadway badasses had to say for themselves.

The Boys share a laugh over the world's most versatile adjective: fuck. - KATIE TANDY
  • Katie Tandy
  • The Boys share a laugh over the world's most versatile adjective: fuck.

The boys have only been in town a few days and of course the press was clamoring to know what it's like to be in San Francisco:

Michael: It really has this vibe about it. I'm head over heels in love. I was wandering around the other day, talking out loud to myself. It smells so fresh! (Fresh. Really?! Maybe he didn't huff his nostrils anywhere near the Tenderloin. Or maybe he loves the stench of hot, fresh urine.)

Nick: The weather is amazing right now. Coming from Boston, it feels like summertime! People are staring at me like, 'why are you wearing shorts?' (San Franciscans are such sissies. It's 65 degrees and bitches have puffer coats on like they've lost their dog-sled and they gotta hoof it across the arctic. We're staring, Nick, but at your finely shaped calves.)

When you're not singing Jersey Boys what do you actually like to listen to?

John: Classic Rock.

Nick: I grew up loving Motown, doo-wop, Etta James, the Temptations. (Of course you did. You were born to belt it out about big girls that don't cry. But I bet you've got bevy of heart-broken, soggy broads all across the Eastern Seaboard.)

Miles: I'm a total musical theater junkie, but recently I've been listening to a lot of Mumford & Sons. (Yeah right, I bet you make yourself hoarse from too many rounds of "Be Prepared" from the Lion King. You've got a sinister way about you.)

Michael: Yeah, gotta say classic rock. I'm a blue collar kind of guy, I love Creedence Clearwater Revival. (Michael, don't get me wrong -- you've got a smile that'd launch a thousand ships, but CCR?! I thought we had something.)

Have you ever messed up your lines while on stage?

Miles: Oh god yes. If you haven't seen the show, we address the audience directly a lot, and you're very exposed and you've got to fend for yourself.

John: There's was one time when I was losing the lines a bit, but of course I had the general idea. I'm talking to the audience, and I just slapped my face and said, "Don't fuck it up." (Oh, so you like that sorta thing huh? We might get along better than I thought.)

Have you ever Met Frankie Vallie or any of the Four Seasons? Do you have any idea what they think about your performance?

John: I called up Tony one day -- I was in New Jersey -- and he was like, "Yeah I'm around. What are you doing right now?" And we met up at a diner. The only thing he really said was to take the violence down a notch.

Nick: Frankie was singing in my hometown of Chicago -- he's just unstoppable -- and I took my parents backstage after the show. He turns to my mother and says, "No matter what he tells you, don't you ever let him get married!" (Clearly, Frankie's never seen our work otherwise he'd be singing a different song, right Nick?)

What does it take to get to the big-time? What advice do you have for actors following in your footsteps?

Miles: You know it's really a lot of tenacity, of going to a lot of auditions. I spent a year in New York just trying out. And truthfully, I'm just really really lucky. (So humble! So honest! Miles for President!)

John: Be on stage, any stage. Get up in front of an audience any time you can.

Michael: See all the theater you can. Acknowledge and support the young folks coming up.

Why were you drawn to do the Jersey Boys? What is it about the story that's compelling?

Michael: It's so well-written and the music is amazing. Most male actors are dying to do the show. And it's really about the stars aligning for these four regular guys and how they dealt with superhuman fame. I think that speaks to people.

Nick: I saw it at 17 and I thought, "I want to do that. I want to train hard enough to be able to do that." (So touching. Have you thought about leveraging a PBS after-school special?)

What role would you love to play?

Michael: Sweeney from Sweeney Todd.

Nick: Marius from Les Miserables (Or, my puckish lover?)

Miles: I love new contemporary stuff, so a new role.

John: I'm a Shakespeare nerd, so Prince Hal from Henry IV Part 1.

Favorite curse word and what you would be if you weren't an actor?

John: I'm from Kentucky, so "sonabitch." A Pilot.

Miles: Fuck. It's everything you need and more. A physicist. (Talk about a baller back-up plan!)

Nick: (Mortified and giggling) Where is this Q&A going?!

What's it like being on the road together and what comes next?

John: You know we're four guys on the road -- it's exactly like what the Four Seasons were doing -- and we're constantly talking about what that means. I've been on the road for four-and-a-half years now, I have need to have a kick-ass garage sale -- I've got a black hole of stuff -- and get rid of it all. I've got an apartment in NYC I've never even slept at.

Miles: It's back to New York.

When you get all sudsy in the shower and whoops there's goes the soap, what's your favorite song to sing?

Michael: "What a Fool Believes."

John: "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin.

Miles: Sweeney Todd.

Nick: I love "Ordinary People" by John Denver.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Katie Tandy


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