One of Broadway’s — and Las Vegas’ — most beloved musicals, Jersey Boys, made its debut on the big screen last month. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, and stage show revolve around the rise of legendary ’60s rock group The Four Seasons, led by the iconic Frankie Valli. The story of the group’s trials and triumphs is accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man, December 1963 (Oh What A Night), and Bye Bye Baby. Once you’ve seen it on the big screen, you definitely need to see what 20 million people worldwide have experienced by seeing it live on stage.
The Vegas production of Jersey Boys, now in its seventh year, recently celebrated its 2,500th performance and is on its way to earning the title of longest-running theatrical production on the Strip this year. Graham Fenton, who plays Valli in the Vegas show, along with fellow cast members, caught an advanced screening of the film.
"It was a real thrill to be able to check it out," Fenton says. "We may be actors, but we’re also fans of it. We were all chomping at the bit to go see this thing, and we actually have a lot of former cast members who were in the show, so we were really excited to go cheer on our friends."
Though the show itself has been running for seven years, a nationwide release of the film translates into a greater reach for Jersey Boys than ever before. The production at Paris Las Vegas has even seen a boost in ticket sales since the release of the film.
"The show has been so successful and has run in so many places that I’m almost shocked whenever I hear someone who hasn’t heard of or seen the musical at this point," admits Fenton. "But there are those people out there who we still haven’t reached. When there’s a 30-second commercial running on ESPN or something like that, that’s a whole audience of people who might not have been exposed to the whole musical yet. The film already has driven more people to come to see the show."
The storyline between the film and musical are essentially the same, with the film taking a few more liberties than are possible on stage.
"What people will get from the stage show is that raw immediacy and energy of a live performance," Fenton explains. "I think that there’s nothing like it, especially when you’re performing these classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes, to actually have the band right in front of you, giving it and sweating and putting the energy out there."
And for those who may have seen the film, but don’t think live musicals are for them, Fenton makes a good comparison: "Would you rather see Beyoncé on TV or in concert? I could be biased, but I think you’d rather see a concert. There’s nothing quite like that energy people can expect from coming to see the stage show alongside this great story."
For more information and tickets, visit parislasvegas.com.
SEE MORE: Behind the scenes of more Vegas showsTags: actor, concert, film, movie, music, release, tv