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Musique: Bob Gaudio • Paroles: Bob Crewe • Livret: Marshall Brickman • Rick Elice • Production originale: 8 versions mentionnées
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Genèse: Development After the success of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story and Mamma Mia!, Bob Gaudio, an original The Four Seasons member, and producer Bob Crewe, sought to make a similar jukebox musical from the discography of The Four Seasons. They hired book writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman, and director Des McAnuff. McAnuff suggested creating a show about the band's history, instead of repurposing their songs for an independent story the way ABBA did with Mamma Mia!. Brickman was drawn to the project because: "It's a classic American story. It's rags to riches, and back to rags." Little was known to the public about the group's history prior to the premiere of the musical, because the magazines of the era didn't write about them much. In their research, Brickman and Elice were surprised to find that the members had prison records, which might have prevented their music from being played if it had been publicized when they were active. According to Gaudio, "Back then, things were a little clean-cut, don't forget, so the idea of our story getting out was horrifying to us." Other bands of the time projected street-tough images, but The Four Seasons cleaned themselves up in order to be palatable for mainstream listeners. Brickman and Elice also used material from interviews with surviving Four Seasons members Gaudio, Frankie Valli and Tommy DeVito. Brickman noted that each member had their own perspective on what happened during their tenure as a group. Of the three, they approached DeVito last, who told them, "Don't listen to those guys. I'll tell you what really happened." Elice said that getting DeVito version's was a "eureka moment" and the contradiction in their stories ended up being incorporated in the musical for a Rashomon effect. The writers were also contacted by family members of the late mob boss Gyp DeCarlo to ensure that he would be portrayed respectfully. Although Gaudio was part of the initial development team, he wasn't involved in the creative process during tryouts, and only met the cast once the show had premiered. Gaudio, Valli and DeVito had decided to step back from the show's creative process because they lacked objectivity, and they left it to Brickman, Elice and McAnuff to take the story to the stage. However, Gaudio and Valli still had final say on whether to end the show if they didn't like it. Productions Jersey Boys premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse at University of California, San Diego, in an out-of-town tryout on October 5, 2004 and ran through January 16, 2005 Christian Hoff, David Norona, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer played The Four Seasons. At the end of the tryout, Norona, who originated the role of Frankie Valli, had to be replaced because his voice blew out. John Lloyd Young, who had originally auditioned for the role of Tommy DeVito, got the part. The musical began previews on Broadway on October 4, 2005 and officially opened on November 6, 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre. The cast starred John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, and J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi. The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, the then-artistic director at La Jolla Playhouse, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. The Broadway production had 38 previews and is still running. It reached its 3000th performance on February 7, 2013, making it the 18th longest-running show on Broadway. The first national tour of the musical began on December 10, 2006, at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco and went on to play in 38 cities. Jersey Boys recently played at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia where it broke the box office record 8 times before moving on to a return engagement in Boston. In May 2007, while the first national tour continued, a second company (including Steve Gouveia from the original Broadway cast as Nick Massi) debuted at the Curran and ended as an open-ended run at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre, beginning on October 5, 2007. The Chicago cast appeared on stage in the 2007 Emmy Awards in a tribute to HBO's The Sopranos. A special holiday return engagement played at the Curran Theatre from November 20 – December 30, 2007, starring Rick Faugno as Frankie Valli, Andrew Rannells as Bob Gaudio, Bryan McElroy as Tommy DeVito and Jeff Leibow as Nick Massi. The majority of this cast became the original Las Vegas cast, which debuted at The Palazzo Hotel on Sunday, May 3, 2009, in the newly-built Jersey Boys Theatre. The show temporarily closed on January 1, 2012 and reopened on March 6, 2012 at Paris Las Vegas. The musical made its West End debut at London's Prince Edward Theatre in February 2008. The creative team were the same that brought the production to Broadway. Principal cast were Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli, Stephen Ashfield as Bob Gaudio, Glenn Carter as Tommy DeVito, Stuart Milligan as DeCarlo and Tom Lorcan as Donnie/Knuckles. The production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The Australian production opened at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne on July 4, 2009. Principal cast members were Bobby Fox as Frankie Valli , Stephen Mahy as Bob Gaudio, Scott Johnson as Tommy DeVito and Glaston Toft as Nick Massi. The Melbourne production closed on July 25, 2010 and the Sydney production opened in September 2010 with the same principal cast. The Sydney production closed in 18 December, 2011 and the show opened in Auckland in April 2012, running through June 17, 2012. Due to the success of the national tour's long stop at Toronto Centre for the Arts in Toronto, Ontario in autumn 2008, a Toronto production opened on December 12, 2008 with a new, mostly Canadian cast that included Jeremy Kushnier and Jenny Lee Stern from the first national tour. This production closed on August 22, 2010, on the show's second anniversary. An international tour with an all South African cast ran in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands resort from November 23, 2012 to January 27, 2013. The production is scheduled to open in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Teatro at Montecasino from April 3, 2013 and at Artscape Cape Town from June 19, 2013.
Résumé: The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi – and how this group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American and International pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. Their songs include 'Sherry', 'Walk Like A Man', 'December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)', 'Big Girls Donít Cry', 'My Eyes Adored You', 'Let'ís Hang On (To What Weíve Got)', 'Bye Bye Baby' 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', 'Working My Way Back to You', 'Fallen Angel', Rag Doll' and 'Who Loves You'.
Création: 6/11/2005 - August Wilson Theatre (Broadway) - représ.