Few musicals have been as successful as Jersey Boys. It has been running world-wide for over 10 years, and it was even made into an acclaimed Hollywood movie. Now it’s time for the next step – this spring, Jersey Boys is coming to Gothenburg and Gothia Towers.
WHEN JERSEY BOYS premiered on Broadway in New York in 2005, the success was immediate and the show soon began to travel around the world. In 2014, Jersey Boys was interpreted in an acclaimed feature film by Clint Eastwood, and last year the show reached Sweden and the China Theatre. This spring, Jersey Boys will come to The Theatre at Gothia Towers in Gothenburg.
Based on a true story, the musical is about the American pop group the Four Seasons, who hit the big time in New Jersey in the 1960s. Many people have described the Four Seasons as the American response to the Beatles, which is a good metaphor, as the Four Seasons quickly managed to sell 175 million albums worldwide.
“It’s very clear to everyone who sees the show that the Four Seasons is a band with incredible songs; they made music that never dies. The music is simple. It gets stuck in your head; it makes you hum and it makes you happy. It doesn’t matter how old you are – you’re still going to love the songs,” says Bruno Mitsogiannis, who plays the lead role in Jersey Boys.
He was not personally familiar with the Four Seasons when he started working on the musical.
“Or at least, I didn’t think so. But when I started listening through the songs, I realised that I recognised more than half of them – I just had no idea they were by the Four Seasons.”
BRUNO MITSOGIANNIS PLAYS lead singer and frontman of the Four Seasons Frankie Valli, who grew up in New Jersey. They say that if you grew up in New Jersey in the 1960s, you had three options: join the army become a rock star, or become a criminal. Frankie Valli was headed toward the latter, but instead he discovered music – and became beloved by the entire world for his falsetto vocals.
“It’s an interesting character with a lot of depth who is really fun to play. In terms of the character, I’ve had an easy time with the role. But it’s one of the toughest roles you can play when it comes to the music. Frankie Valli was famous for his high falsetto, and that may sound easy. But keeping it up for three hours on stage is hard, and that was the challenge that drew me in. I got to go to Nashville to train with the Four Seasons’ songwriter Bob Gaudio. He had a lot of useful tips on what I should do to succeed,” says Bruno Mitsogiannis. Bruno Mitsogiannis has previously played supporting musical roles in West Side Story, Rock of Ages and We Will Rock You. By his side in Jersey Boys, he has David Lindgren as Bob Gaudio, Peter Johansson as guitarist Tommy DeVito and Robert Rydberg as bassist Nick Massi.
“The four of us haven’t worked together before; that was new. But we’ve all been friends outside of work for a while, which I think has really helped the production run so smoothly. Many people who see the show say it looks like we’re having fun on stage, and that’s because we already know each other inside and out. That makes it easier to focus on the acting,” says Bruno Mitsogiannis, who is happy to get to bring Jersey Boys to Gothenburg.
“I’ve worked there before, at both Rondo and at the Gothenburg Opera. I haven’t been to The Theatre yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Facts: Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys was originally a Broadway musical about the band the Four Seasons, which sold over 175 million albums in the 1960s and 70s. The Four Seasons’ biggest hits include songs like December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like a Man and Sherry.
Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli also had a solo career that resulted in the titular song in the musical Grease. Frankie Valli had a brief acting career, which included a role in the TV series The Sopranos.
The lead roles in Jersey Boys are played by Bruno Mitsogiannis, David Lindgren, Peter Johansson and Robert Rydberg. Jersey Boys will run at The Theatre at Gothia Towers Thursday–Sunday.
Text: Magnus Carlsson Bild: Anna Tärnhuvud