Date: May 3, 2008
Title: Rock & Roll Has Never Been More Alive!
Band: Jersey Boys
Venue: Palazzo Hotel
Place: Las Vegas, NV
Author: Robin Roth
Photos: Robin Roth
Editor: Mark Lewis
Posted: Mar 3, 2008

Rock and Roll has never been more alive then at the brand new, elegant, PALAZZO HOTEL where THE JERSEY BOYS (TONY AWARD WINNING BROADWAY SHOW) is rockin the house nightly.

The Jersey Boys recounts the rags-to-riches story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The show is not only simply put, “stellar”, but outstanding, and an absolute must see, feel good show. The Jersey Boys Las Vegas show will no doubt take you on a ride down memory lane. You will reminisce with hits like “Sherry”, "Oh, What a Night," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You,"  "Big Girls Don't Cry”, and many more classic rock-and-roll hits. Its not hard to understand why the show has captivated audiences from around the world for it is exhilarating, fast paced, exciting; and you will not want it to end. The thrilling music, out-of-this-world-performances, and captivatingly brilliant show, all make for truly magical evening.


OK, so like here’s the deal.

May 3rd, marked the official highly anticipated, grand opening of the Jersey Boys. To celebrate the occasion, the Palazzo presented an exciting red carpet event that sprang into action with the stars of the Jersey Boys. Rick Faugno is magnificent playing Frankie Valli. Erich Bergen brilliantly portrays Bob Gaudio. Jeff Leibow is superb and believable playing Nick Massi and Jeremy kushnier brings Tommy DeVito to life magnificently. The casting could not be more perfect. Kudos and a big rock-and-roll Bravo for the cast! There were other stars that walked the red carpet such as John Cleese, John O’ Hurley, Michael Urie, Willie Garson, Wayne Brady and Rita Rudner who all came to celebrate the opening.


However, it was when the “real deals”,  Bob Gaudio (one of the Four Seasons and the brilliant mind who wrote all the groups hits)  and Tommy DeVito  walked the carpet, that the crowd went crazy. Then, the climax, (dant-dant-dan) the man himself, Frankie Valli (The unique perfect voice of the Seasons) appeared before his anxious fans. May I just interject, that even though he is shorter than the average man, this 74 year old music Rock and Roll Hall of Fame genius (his birthday was ironically that night) is a true giant. I must also, add, that he looked amazingly hunky for any age (GUSH, GUSH!).  Frankie Valli is not only charismatic and charming, but modest, humble, and quite shy for a man of his success and ICON status. He could very well have done without the glitz of the carpet or even the glam of the biz for that matter. It is obvious that he just cares about the music and the quality of the music. That is all he ever cared about. It was also quite clear, that the limelight is not his scene. He was giving it all up to his alter-ego Frankie Valli, and Jersey Boys star Faugno, as well as the rest of the actors. He rocks!


Following an inspiring Opening Night performance, Frankie and the remaining Seasons gave the audience a memorable treat as they jumped on the stage and joined the cast after the curtain call. The crowd went nuts. After the show, Valli and his former band mates joined the audience at a VIP Gala celebration where the stars of JERSEY BOYS in Las Vegas led the crowd in a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” as Valli was presented with a large record-shaped chocolate cake.


For those of you out there too young to remember or even know of these rock-and-roll music legends, (if that is possible) let me back up a bit and help you out…

THE JERSEY BOYS tells how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide and all before they were thirty.

One of the most long-lived and successful white vocal groups of the 60s, The Four Seasons scored a series of smash hit singles between 1962 and 1967 featuring the unique falsetto, three octave voice of Frankie Valli. His remarkable range allowed him to create brilliant harmonies, while able to hit high notes without his voice breaking.
During their nearly 40 year career Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons sold over a 100 million records making them the most long lived and successful white doo-wop groups in rock and roll history... The Four Seasons and the Beach Boys were literally the only American groups whose successful careers were not ruined when the Beatles and British Invasion bands hit the States in 1964. The Four Seasons enjoyed two dozen Top Forty singles.

Frankie Valli was born Frank Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 and was one of three brothers who grew up in a tough, working-class neighborhood in Newark , New Jersey .
At the age of seven, Valli's future was set when he saw young Frank Sinatra perform at the Paramount . As a teenager in the 1950s, Valli sang with several Jersey groups at school events and in local clubs. Valli started out solo with his first solo recording, in 1953, was "My Mother's Eyes." He formed The Varietones with guitarist brothers Nick and Tommy DeVito and bassist Hank Majewski around 1954.  Changing their name to The Four Lovers in 1956, they signed with RCA Victor Records that same year and had a minor hit with, "You Are the Apple of My Eye." Valli's parents supported his interest in music, though at times they were concerned about his slowly blooming career. The group evolved into The Four Seasons and achieved ever lasting success in 1962.
Following the group's initial wave of success in 1956, the quartet performed three times on the Ed Sullivan Show and found themselves in the company of another rising star, Elvis Presley.

After several years, Valli and producer Bob Gaudio (who started their partnership almost 40 years ago on a simple hand shake) set up a dual career, with Valli recording for Private Stock and a new Four Seasons group for Warner Brothers Records. Valli had his first solo #1 in 1975 with "My Eyes Adored You", (a song that no one believed in other then the duo and Gaudio made it happen by himself) followed by "Swearin' To God" and a revival of Ruby And The Romantics' "Our Day Will Come." In 1978 he sold two million copies of the Barry Gibb -composed theme song from Grease. The follow-ups, "Fancy Dancer" and "Where Did We Go Wrong"

Frankie Valli subsequently rejoined the Four Seasons and enjoyed further success when "Big Girls Don't Cry" was included in the movie Dirty Dancing.  On December, 1963 “Oh, What a Night" appeared on the soundtrack to Forest Gump, and reentered the singles chart getting its second lease on life. It became the longest-charting single in history with fifty total weeks.

A fact that many people don’t know is, Valli had a series of ear operations to cure his increasing deafness. Doctors had discovered that he had otosclerosis, a rare ear disease for which there is no real cure. One day, Frankie just began to notice sounds around him dropping out. "I was destroyed", he later said. "I mean, if I couldn't hear, I couldn't sing, so what was the point of living"? Fortunately, delicate operations restored much of the hearing loss. How amazing is that.

At long last The Four Seasons (group members 1960–1965) were deservingly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

        Notable Four Season songs include:

1962: "Sherry" #1,  1965: "Don't Think Twice", 1966: "Working My Way Back to You”, 1966: "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)", 1966: "I've Got You Under My Skin", 1966: "Tell It to the Rain", 1975: "Who Loves You", #3 1975: "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" #1, 1994: "December,  (Oh, What a Night)", 1962: "Big Girls Don't Cry" #1, 1963: "Walk Like a Man #1, 1963: "Ain't That a Shame", 1963: "Candy Girl"/"Marlena", 1964: "Dawn (Go Away)", 1964: "Stay", 1964: "Ronnie",1964: "Alone", 1964: "Rag Doll #1, 1964: "Save It For Me", 1964: "Big Man in Town", 1965: "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye) 1965: "Girl Come Running", 1965: "Let's Hang On!", 1967: "Beggin'", 1967: "C'mon Marianne",  1967: "Watch the Flowers Grow", 1968: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", 1994: "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)".

 Frankie says of the Jersey Boys, "Keep in mind, and I'm sure Bob felt the same, to watch a show with an audience, and watch people play your characters, felt a little strange at the beginning." "It felt a lot strange," Gaudio says.

"Usually they do these things after you die," Valli says, "and then they do a movie or a play or whatever."

"So we had an ambulance outside," Gaudio says, "just in case."

Well, rock-and-roll purists, I must say, run to the Palazzo in Vegas and enjoy a night of classic rock with The Jersey Boys!


JERSEY BOYS performs at The Palazzo on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and will be dark on Wednesday.

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