Finding Frankie: How singers learn to 'Walk Like A Man' in 'Jersey Boys'
It is, in many ways, the ultimate cover gig.
You're a young singer and stage actor. And you're auditioning for a role in an acclaimed musical about a man with one of the most distinct voices in rock 'n' roll history.
But when the role is Frankie Valli in the hit musical Jersey Boys -- and Valli is right there in the room during auditions -- you do whatever you can to get the job.
"We do a thing called Frankie Camp,'' says Richard Hester, production supervisor for Jersey Boys, which comes to Tampa's Straz Center on Wednesday. "We spend a lot of time looking for guys who are potentially right for the part. Which means they have to be under 5 foot 9, look, at least with the help of hair dye, like they come from Italy, and they have to be able to sing up in their falsetto. There are a lot of people who can hit those notes but can't quite make them sound warm, which is part of the magic that Frankie Valli is able to do effortlessly.''
Jersey Boys opens Wednesday and runs through April 17 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. Tickets are $44.50-$153.50. Click here for details.
For more on the arduous casting and training process for the vocally demanding role of Frankie Valli, click here to read John Fleming's full story.
Photo: Joan Marcus