On Stage

April 27th, 2007

It's one thing to wail "Big Girls Don't Cry" in a karaoke bar, but to do it in a Broadway musical is another. When John Lloyd Young '98, third from left, landed the role of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, which opened at the Virginia Theater November 6, he found inspiration close to home. "Frankie's a scrappy, first-generation Italian guy from Newark - much like my grandfather," Young says. "They're from the same era. And they had a lot to prove. Frankie wanted to be the next Frank Sinatra." Young scoured articles about Valli and flew to Las Vegas "to spy on him in concert. I sat three feet away while he sang 'Can't Take My Eyes off of You.' " To turn out "that crazy high falsetto" eight shows a week, Young worked with a rock 'n' roll voice teacher for six months. Then came the choreography. Although the real Four Seasons didn't move around much on stage, Young says, "for $100 a pop, you've got to give people something to look at." Learning to dance, he says, "was like learning to walk."

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November / December 2005