The Tony award-winning production, Jersey Boys, is coming to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. This musical documentary follows the history of rock group, The Four Seasons. I had the privilege of speaking to Jason Kappus who plays Bob Gaudio, the musical genius behind the Four Seasons.
In his biography, Kappus chronicles all of his former productions including Legally Blonde, Catch Me if You Can, and Hairspray. His latest, Jersey Boys, is one he claims he has loved since the first time he saw it. Kappus told me he has been singing since he was a child, and he started taking piano lessons at age eight. Being from a musical family, nothing deterred him from entering the business, even going to a school without a large theater program.
Since I was relatively unfamiliar with the history of the Four Seasons, Kappus summed up his character and the story for me.
Bob Gaudio wrote all the music for the Four Seasons, though he joined the band after the other three members had formed it. It wasn’t until Gaudio’s song “Sherry” became a hit that the Four Seasons began to conquer the rock and roll scene.
As for the story, Jason Kappus stated that it is “not a jukebox musical.” It is defined as a musical documentary. Jason told me it’s an amazing story about the group and about the individuals as they face the issues that come with fame such as mob connections and gambling debts. Jason explains the plot, “People come to the show because of the music, but the story hooks them…. They (the Four Seasons) grew up on the mean streets of New Jersey. They were in and out of jail by 20. They were from the slums and pulled themselves out. It’s relatable. It’s a rags to riches back to rags back to riches story.”
Being unfamiliar with the history of the Four Seasons doesn’t mean I don’t know their tunes. I grew up listening to golden oldies with my mom, and Mr. Kappus assured me that all our favorite songs would be featured. “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Workin’ My Way Back to You” are just a few hits you will hear while watching Jersey Boys. “The ones that got away” (that is, the hits that weren’t featured due to time constraints) even get their own page in the program.
Why should you see the Jersey Boys? According to Jason Kappus, “It’s a great time. It’s cool to learn the history. Fans of the group often don’t know what they went through.” He also states that everywhere he has performed the audience is singing and clapping along by the end. “It’s also a good show for guys,” he quips.
Jersey Boys will take the stage at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, November 20th through Sunday, December 2nd. For more information, including ticket prices and performance times, visit www.kentuckycenter.org.