This weekend, JERSEY BOYS returned to Detroit for an encore performance at Music Hall. Brought to you by the creative geniuses at Nederlander Corporation, you can still see this wildly popular jukebox musical today. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.” By now, most people already know the plot of JERSEY BOYS, but the songs were such mega-hits, it’s a thrill to hear them performed by Broadway stars. Jukebox musicals, such as Carole King’s BEAUTIFUL, ABBA’s Mamma Mia, Four Seasons’ JERSEY BOYS are my favorite niche, because the hits came first – you know every song is proven winner. In the case of BEAUTIFUL and JERSEY BOYS, the plot is based on the actual lives of the people in the musical. That means, at some point, we should expect a musical based on the lives of Burt Bacharach, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel, and the Beatles.
I reviewed JERSEY BOYS for the first time in 2011 for eTurboNews, which has a circulation of 8.8 million readers. One of the readers of my article was Marshall Brickman, the author of JERSEY BOYS. To my surprise, he contacted me on the internet and complimented me on my review.
What surprised me most about JERSEY BOYS is the struggle their group endured on their meteoric rise to stardom. I can say Carole King’s BEAUTIFUL struck me similarly. We just assume life for these people was a piece of cake, and we rarely consider they went to Hell and back to achieve their life dreams. Learning how they started their careers is also an amazing revelation. Fate is a mysterious journey.
I never planned to be a journalist. My degrees are in computer science, comparative literature, law, and anthropology. I had never considered journalism until the day Joey Nederlander contacted me on AOL, and took an interest in me. Just like Marshall Brickman, I wasn’t expecting his email, and I was thrown off guard because he was using the screen name of Roy something – maybe Pinkerton. After chatting on AOL, he invited me to his house, where he convinced me I should write. “You write like a poet when you set your mind to it,” Nederlander told me.
Joey Nederlander was able to see something in me, that I had not even known myself. It was like he could see beyond my human flesh and peer directly into my soul. This was back in the olden days of AOL, and there were not many oppportunities for people without journalism degrees, but he was right about me – journalism is where I belonged. By 2009 I had won the first prize in journalism from the prestigious Detroit Working Writers’ group, founded in 1900 as the Detroit Press Club, for my article Monet to Dali. Every few years, someone would reach out to me and ask me to write for them, and my readership grew larger and larger. I wrote for Broadway World for several years until they mistreated me, but as that door closed, another door opened with HVY, one of the largest news outlets in the world, with over 1 million unique visitors per day.
I say this about Joey Nederlander, because he was responsible for my success as a writer. Likewise in Jersey Boys, we learn their humble beginnings, then the twists and turns their career took before becoming the legends they are today. We learn life for The Boys was not always a bed of roses, just like I experienced at Broadway World, but somehow, fate decided where we truly belong.
“JERSEY BOYS has proven over and over that it is one of Detroit’s favorite touring shows,” stated Broadway In Detroit Executive Director Alan Lichtenstein. “We’re excited to bring this hit show back to the city at the wonderful and intimate Music Hall.”
Directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Des McAnuff, JERSEY BOYS is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
Music Hall is located at 350 Madison Avenue, Detroit MI 48226 Tickets for JERSEY BOYS start at $30 and are available online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or
www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 982-2787 or in person at the Fisher Theatre or Music Hall Box Office. performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit www.JerseyBoysTour.com or www.broadwayindetroit.com.
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HVY is one of the world’s largest news outlets, with over 1 million unique visitors daily.
Photos by Joan Marcus
My Boyfriend’s Back: Foreground: (l to r) Ashley Bruce, Chloe Tiso and Jessica Wockenfuss Background: Guitars (l to r): Wade Dooley, Kevin Patrick Martin and Todd DuBail