The "Jersey Boys" on the Big Screen
by: Lexi Berkowitz
“When I first read the script I was amazed that I knew all the songs, but I didn’t know they were The Four Seasons,” says John Lloyd Young who stars as Frankie Valli, one of the group’s founding members. Many viewers know The Four Seasons as the soundtrack to their youth. Then there are those, like Young, who are just discovering the vast library of songs by the group. Joining Young to discuss the new “Jersey Boys” film are co-stars Michael Lomenda and Erich Bergen.
Even though the film is the first time the three actors have worked together they are all familiar with their roles. Each performed on stage in different show runs from Las Vegas (Bergen) to Toronto (Lomenda) and on Broadway (Young). Admittedly, there is a difference between being on stage and being on set. Young explained it as the opportunity to devote more time to the film’s scenes which allowed him “to really breathe into the character.” Whereas the stage version is a two and a half hour show that flies through the famed group’s lives and careers.
Performing theatre proved to be beneficial in more aspects than just perfecting their portrayals and pitches. It “was good training for us to be in a Clint Eastwood movie,” said Bergen of working with the famed actor-director who captured most of the scenes in just two takes. Eastwood was very hands on with the film, he was “always on his feet,” said Lomenda of the director’s style.
Members of The Four Seasons are active in the industry to this day. The group’s lead singer Frankie Valli was often on set to help create a film that was true to history’s events. One memory held special significance to Young, “Frankie and I were on location in New Jersey where [he] grew up and he was telling me stories from his life.” Fellow founder and keyboardist, Bob Gaudio (played by Bergen) has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the music industry and even produced the soundtrack.
If the success of the stage version is any indication of what’s to come for the movie version, “Jersey Boys” is sure to be a smash hit. And just like their real life counterparts Lomenda, Young and Bergen are sure to enjoy a meteoric rise to fame that will outlast spring, summer, winter and fall.