Jersey Boys: Olivier Award Vote 2015
The Olivier Awards 2015 will be presented on Sunday 12 April at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. There's still time to influence the outcome by casting your vote in the This Morning Audience Award. If you need some guidance, we're here to help. We've already told you a little about Wicked and Billy Elliot, but these week we're travelling back in time to the 1960s to learn a little bit about Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons - otherwise known as the Jersey Boys...
Composer: Bob Gaudio
Lyrics: Bob Crewe
Book by: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
London home: Picadilly Theatre since March 2014; Prince Edward Theatre 2008-2014
Original production: La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego (2004) and then the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
Based on: The real life stories of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Frankie Vallie, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi).
Who we’re rooting for: Each of the Four Seasons. Unlike a conventional 'book' musical (where the story unfolds in front of the audience), Jersey Boys is divided in to four 'seasons', with each band member narrating their own take on the story. With prison records and mob associations, the band weren't entirely as 'clean cut' as their media reputation made out. But unlike the other imported or manufactured bands of the time, the blue collar workers of America took the Four Seasons to heart.
Who’s standing in their way: Each of the others. "Ask four guys, and you'll get four different answers," says band member Tommy DeVito. Although when it comes to light that Tommy has hidden a $500,000 tax bill from the others, Tommy isn't exactly flavour of the month himself...
Showstopping moment: After watching the highs and lows of the band from every angle, and seeing all the drama that goes on behind the scenes, Frankie Valli reminds the audience that for all of the fame and glory, the high point for him is "Four guys under a streetlamp, when it was all still ahead of us. The first time we made that sound: our sound - when everything dropped away, and all there was....was the music" The whole cast reunite on stage for a toe-tapping rendition of the grand finale "Who Loves You?" that never fails to get the audience on its feet.
Hidden gem: Most audience members know the Four Seasons classic "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" even if they didn't know it was a Four Seasons classic. But discovering that it was really an autobiographical tale about composer Bob Gaudio getting to know his wife...erm...biblically speaking is something of a revelation...
2006 Tony Awards - Won:
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Best Lighting Design for a Musical
2006 Tony Awards - Nominated:
Best Book of a Musical
Best Direction of a Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
2008 Olivier Awards - Won:
Best New Musical
2008 Olivier Awards - Nominated:
Best Actor in a Musical
Best Theatre Choreographer
Best Sound Design
Has it won the Oliviers Audience Award before?: No
The original London cast perform at the 2008 Royal Variety Performance.
Since we're all about promoting musical theatre in Glasgow, keep an eye out for Glasgow's very own Stephen Ashfield, a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, who first played the role of Bob Gaudio in London (stage right) and who went on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role as Elder McKinley in Book of Mormon.
NEXT WEEK: Matilda - the Musical
The nominees for the This Morning Audience Award at the 2015 Olivier Awards are Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys and Matilda the Musical - to cast your vote, visit www.olivierawards.com