"Jersey Boys" cast discusses China tour, Beijing debut
By Shen Li
Few musicals get heads nodding an toes tapping like "Jersey Boys," which debuted in Beijing over the weekend. The Broadway smash hit tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a group that rose to fame in the 1960s. The musical features some of their hit songs like "Working My Way Back to You," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."
CGTN talked to director Caroline Bateson and lead actors Jonathan Vickers and Matt Blaker, as they shared their views on the musical phenomenon. 
From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true, offering an inside look into musical legend Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
"Jersey Boys" actors talking to CGTN. /CGTN Photo

"Jersey Boys" actors talking to CGTN. /CGTN Photo

Hitting their fame in the 1960s, the group redefined pop music with songs like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What a Night” and "Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
After its long run on Broadway from 2005 to 2017 and at West End from 2008 to 2017, the Tony Award-winning musical finally landed in Beijing. 
Bateson shared with CGTN that during their tour in Shanghai and Guangzhou, many fans came to multiple shows and others instantly fell in love with the musical. She added that it's interesting to see differences in each place they visit during the tour.
A poster for "Jersey Boys." /Photo by Tianqiao Performing Arts Center

A poster for "Jersey Boys." /Photo by Tianqiao Performing Arts Center

Vickers, who plays Frankie Valli, added that there were even people traveling between the cities to come and rejoin them in Beijing. Blaker, who plays Bob Gaudio, the genius keyboardist and songwriter of the Four Seasons, said there was one girl who came to all 13 shows in Guangzhou.
When asked about their favorite song or scene in the show, Vickers said although it's difficult to pinpoint a particular moment, he really enjoys "Fallen Angel," which comes towards the end of the show – a very dramatic moment. 
"Frankie as a character is singing about his feelings, as opposed to many other songs in the show, which is the boys performing in a concert environment. This is Frankie dealing with a dramatic event (losing his daughter) ... Those sorts of scenes are very rewarding for an actor to play," Vickers said.
For Blaker, his favorite moment comes as his character joins the group and they create the Four Seasons sound for the first time, singing "Cry for Me."
A poster for "Jersey Boys." /Photo by Tianqiao Performing Arts Center

A poster for "Jersey Boys." /Photo by Tianqiao Performing Arts Center

Vickers and Blaker also felt honored to play real-life musical legends, Valli and Gaudio, who supervised their performances.
As to funny off-stage moments, Caroline revealed that the show has roughly 140 costume changes in the first act alone, and sometimes things can "go a little bit wrong."
Blaker said the "Sherry" costume change – involving a full sprint backstage and help from a wardrobe assistant before rushing back in front of the crowd in 20 seconds – presents the toughest challenge. Vickers suggested that it would be fun if the set were see-through, so audiences could witness the chaos taking place behind the curtain.
"Jersey Boys" runs at Tianqiao Performing Arts Center until January 13.