It may be summer, but the Four Seasons are headed to the shore. “Jersey Boys,” the musical, will be at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City from June 25 through July 21.
Actor Eric Chambliss plays “Bob Gaudio,” keyboardist and backing vocalist of the original Four Seasons, in the tour. “One of my favorite things about it (touring) is that you travel to different communities and perform for different audiences,” Chambliss says.
Unlike most shows, the main characters in Jersey Boys react directly with the audience. “It’s really fun for me to go to different towns all over the country and Canada and to see how the audience responds to the show and the energy we get back from them, from one town to another. It’s been fun to explore that,” Chambliss says.
Frankie Valli makes special appearance at Hard Rock announcement
Frankie Valli, of the original Four Seasons, made a special appearance at a press conference at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino today to announce that 'Jersey Boys,' the smash Broadway musical, is coming to Hard Rock June 25 to July 21.
Photos by Pamela Dollak
In this role, Chambliss has had the opportunity to learn and become one of music’s most prolific stars. “This show is really a continuation of everything they’ve (Valli, Gaudio and the Four Seasons) achieved. The musical, which they helped to create, and its popularity really solidifies them as the important figures that they are,” Chambliss says.
While nearly everyone is familiar with the Four Seasons’ music, this show tells a much deeper story. “It’s the story of these four guys that met at the exact right time to create this amazingly successful group that helped recharge the popularity of American pop music,” Chambliss says.
For Chambliss it was important learn as much as he could, but then to also bring his own interpretation to the role. “Bob is still very much around, so I’ve been able to look up interviews and use the lovely resource Google to get a good idea of who he is. And then I’ve brought my own truth to the character to try to make him come to life,” Chambliss says.
Another highlight of this job is that Chambliss has been to some amazing places. For Chambliss, the week they spent in Chicago, close to his hometown, was most memorable. “I grew up going to see shows in Chicago, so to be on stage there and to have so many friends and family come to see me was really, pretty special,” Chambliss says.
Another recent favorite was Victoria, British Columbia. “It’s such a beautiful place to visit and we had a great time there. While most everyone knows Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, “Jersey Boys” the musical has many classic Americana references. “The show has direct references to the ‘neighborhood’ and New Jersey, so it’s really interesting to see how different audiences react so differently. Which is another reason, I’m really looking forward to our month in Atlantic City,” Chambliss says.
Regardless of where the show is performed, the combination of talent, writing, music and incredible stories have created one of the most successful musicals of all time. “Jersey Boys” is the sixth highest-grossing musical ever.
“This show is really for everyone. Older patrons that grew up with this music have nostalgic memories attached to the songs ... that’s something I really love about performing this show, seeing someone reach for their partner’s hand or hearing the audience’s reaction to a certain song. There’s all these great little moments of recognition throughout the show. Even down to teenagers that recognize a song from a commercial or movie,” Chambliss says, adding, “These guys were trailblazers in their own right in terms of how they forged their own path in music, and Frankie and Bob have done an incredible job of having their music present in the American lexicon of pop culture.”