It’s not late December, or 1963, but this weekend is sure to have you say, “Oh, what a night,” as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons make their way to The Saenger Theatre, March 6-8, in “Jersey Boys” as part of the 2019-2020 Broadway in New Orleans season.
Though not everyone shares my same love and enthusiasm for pop bands in the 1960s, I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t tapped their foot or clapped their hands at least a bit during a production of “Jersey Boys.” The play follows the life of The Four Seasons as they make their way out of New Jersey, onto the radio and into superstardom.
Ahead of this weekend’s shows, I caught up with Ashley Bruce, who plays Mary Delgado in the touring company, to learn more about the musical, why it resonates with so many people and what she’s looking forward to doing while in the Crescent City.
Kelly Massicot: What’s the elevator pitch? What do people need to know about “Jersey Boys?”
Ashley Bruce: It’s truly a coming of age story. You see the journey of these four men coming from singing together on a street corner to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The music, of course, is a huge draw…it really is timeless and transcends a huge scope of generations…but this idea of “the American dream”…working hard to get to the top, and getting to see a little glimpse of the behind the scenes, real life stuff…I think that’s the real magic of this show.
KM: Is it difficult playing someone that is a real person and the story you’re telling is based on their real life?
AB: It’s certainly a huge honor and something that we all approach with the utmost respect. These people are not only real and had real lives, but they have children and family that are still alive – and sometimes come to see the show – so to be able to deliver their stories in a true and real manner is certainly something that none of us takes lightly and is a huge privilege.
KM: Do you have a favorite Four Seasons song? If so, what is it and why?
AB: I’ve always loved “My Eyes Adored You” -I think the lyrics are so beautiful. In the context of the show I would have to say “Beggin’.” I watch it every night from side stage and, a year and a half later, I still feel so much joy and excitement watching it. Our men playing The Four Seasons truly are so talented and deliver amazing performances.
KM: The show is full of old-school TV dance moves, lots of [high-pitched] singing and some serious moments, what is the best part about being in the show and what has been the most challenging?
AB: The best part honestly is working with two amazing casts. This is my second year on the show and both casts that I’ve worked with bring so much talent, hard work and joy to the show. As far as the most challenging part…for me it’s being away from my husband. Touring is so rewarding, but it definitely comes with its challenges and that is one for me.
KM: What’s the highlight of the show every night?
AB: The finale. Everyone on their feet singing and dancing along really is something amazing. I don’t think I will ever get tired of that.
KM: Why do you think the show has been such a success?
AB: I think, aside from the music, it’s a very, very well written piece. It treats every aspect of these people’s lives with care and attention, and the show flows so well. Even sometimes we get to the end and it seems like it’s only been 20 minutes!
KM: Have you been to New Orleans before? If so, what is your favorite part about coming to the city? If not, what are you most looking forward to doing or experiencing while here?
AB: I have not but I’ve always wanted to go and it’s extra special because my mum and her partner are flying out from Scotland to see me there. I have some friends from New Orleans who have recommended a few spots…and I just can’t wait to hear some music, eat some good food and get a taste of why everybody loves it so much!
Tickets for JERSEY BOYS begin at $30 and are available at BroadwayInNewOrleans.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone (800) 982-2787 or Mahalia Jackson Theater Box Office located at 1419 Basin St., New Orleans, LA, 70116.