“Jersey Boys” returned to the stage Tuesday to kick off nearly a month of performances at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh so dust off those records and get ready to sing along to all your favorite hits once again.
“The show is so funny and unique,” said Skye Scott, who plays Billy Dixon and other characters. “If you don’t think you know who these guys are, you’ll still recognize 90 percent of the songs—guaranteed! Somehow you’ve heard all the tunes in one form of media or another.”
Following the story of one of music’s most influential groups—The Four Seasons— “Jersey Boys” is a story of Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi and their rise to the top. Who knew four blue-collar kids would one day change the music industry with hit songs such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll” and “Oh What a Night.”
“The show follows the story of four guys who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and their story of making it big in the music industry with amazing opportunities,” said Kaleigh Cronin, who plays Lorraine and others in the show. “Their rise to fame and stardom is something that appeals to the masses. There’s something for everyone—comedy, great music and it’s just a great story of perseverance. Everyone loves it from young to old!”
The show has not been without a record-setting successful career backed by more than 13 million people worldwide. The show made its sell-out premiere in Pittsburgh in January 2009 with more than 87,000 Pittsburghers visiting the venue during the run. Worldwide, the show has won numerous prestigious awards including Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-Winning Best Musical.
“This is something that really never gets old,” said Cronin. “The story and songs are so entertaining. I wake up and love to go to work. It’s thrilling to reach so many people. This is my first touring experience and it’s totally exceeded all my hopes for what a tour would be like.”
Cronin and Scott are also no strangers to Pittsburgh, as both graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. They have their work cut out for them with this tour, playing numerous cast members throughout the show.
“There’s only three female characters in the show so I’m running around playing 18 different parts,” said Cronin. “We’re running around like wild people backstage. My main character is Lorraine who is Frankie’s girlfriend. She’s a reporter and very different from the other women in the show. Lorraine is more upper class, educated and not hanging around the guys at the bar like other girls. She has a great point of view and a nice side to the story.”
“I play Billy Dixon and a lot of mobster and some of the rough guys in the community,” added Scott. “It’s so different that people won’t recognize me from one character to the next.”
Of all the songs in the show though, Cronin and Scott both agreed that “Oh What a Night” and the finale are two of the best numbers in the performance.
“I love ‘Oh What a Night’ at the end. Everyone coming to see the show knows that song and it’s my favorite because I get to play a call girl and it’s so far from my natural personality,” said Cronin. “It’s fun to play dress up with the funny costumes and everyone hooting and hollering in the audience.”
“The finale is amazing because of the energy and the audience getting so into the show,” added Scott. “The whole company and the band are on stage and we’re just having a party with the audience.”
“Jersey Boys” opened Sept. 4 and runs through the end of the month. Tickets range from $29 to $143 (plus applicable fees). Group seating is also available. To purchase tickets, visit the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website, box office or call 412-456-6666.
“I can’t think of any reason why not to come,” said Scott. “It’s just the best piece of theater out there right now. We’re still very fresh to the show and everyone brings a lot of uniqueness to the roles. There’s no reason not to come!”
“It’s surprising how many women drag their men to the show and by the end it’s the guy that’s loving the story and singing along,” added Cronin.
Please note, “Jersey Boys” is not an all-ages show. The show contains smoke, gun shots, strobe lights, drug references, sexual situations and authentic “profane Jersey language.” Recommended for ages 12 and older.