The multi-award-winning Jersey Boys, which wowed Norwich audiences in July 2015, will be back in the city for two weeks next June with the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.
Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys has scooped up 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people around the globe.
Packed full of memorable songs, it tells how four New Jersey boys invented their own unique sound and rose to stardom as one of the most successful bands in pop music history, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and along the way selling 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30.
Interspersed with tales of the mob, the heartaches and the triumphs, are hit after legendary hit – Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve 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.
Here in the UK, the show first opened in London in March 2008 at the Prince Edward Theatre, moving to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014. Following nine amazing years in London, it closed in March 2017. The first UK & Ireland Tour of Jersey Boys, which included its memorable visit to Norwich, was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from September 2014 to March 2016.
While the Broadway production closed on 15 January 2017 as the 12th longest running show in Broadway history, Jersey Boys is now currently touring the US and will return to New York City in a new production in November 2017 at New World Stages.
Just announced by the producers to take on the role of Frankie Valli for this second UK tour will be Michael Watson who will be displaying those distinct high falsetto vocals. Simon Bailey will be Tommy De Vito and Declan Egan will be Bob Gaudio, while Lewis Griffiths pays a return visit to Norwich as Nick Massi.
Michael, Simon, Declan and Lewis have all previously performed their roles in Jersey Boys to great acclaim: Michael and Simon in the West End, Declan in the West End and Australia, and Lewis in the first UK and Ireland tour. Dayle Hodge will return to the production to play Frankie Valli at certain performances.
Michael Watson made his West End debut in We Will Rock You and was also in the original London casts of Imagine This, Sister Act and Shrek the Musical. A founder member of theatre super-group Teatro, Simon Bailey also played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. His other West End credits include I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical and We Will Rock You.
Declan Egan played the role of Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys in his native Australia and has toured the USA in The Book Of Mormon. Lewis Griffiths played Johnny Castle in the recent tour of Dirty Dancing. He also appeared in the original UK touring productions of Ghost – The Musical and Legally Blonde – The Musical. Dayle Hodge made his West End debut as Chip in the original London cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and has appeared in Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Scrooge.
The cast also includes Joel Elferink as Bob Crewe, James Alexander Gibbs as Joey, Mark Heenehan as Gyp DeCarlo, Karl James-Wilson as Norm Waxman, Arnold Mabhena as Barry Belson, Phoebe May Newman as Francine, Olive Robinson as Lorraine, James Winter as Hank Majewski and Tara Young as Mary Delgado. Completing the cast will be Peter Nash, Dan O’Brien, Stephen O’Riain and Amy Thiroff.
Jersey Boys is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The UK & Ireland Tour production is staged by the entire original Broadway creative team, led by director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projection design by Michael Clark. The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose.
The UK & Ireland Tour of Jersey Boys is produced by Dodger Theatricals and Ambassador Theatre Group with Joseph J Grano, Pelican Group, Latitude Link, Rick Steiner and Howard Panter.
Judy Foster, communications officer for Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We’re very excited that Jersey Boys is working its way back to us for a return visit, offering a chance to re-live a golden era of musical innovation. The show pumps out hit after magical hit – it’s incredible that one band was responsible for so many great songs – and combined with the very strong line-up of actors the producers have unveiled to take on the lead roles, it really will be next summer’s ‘must-see’ sensation.”
Jersey Boys is here from 5-16 June 2018. Buy tickets now at Norwich Theatre Royal.