“Jersey Boys” to rock and roll into Benedum Center
Get ready to rock and roll with the return of Jersey Boys Sept. 22-Oct. 4 at the Benedum Center. Long before the world heard of New Kids on the Block or One Direction, there were the Four Seasons, four average kids who became one of the greatest success stories in pop music history.
Jersey Boys is the true story of how the Four Seasons – Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi – ascended to stardom and handled fame, and features many of their hits like “Earth Angel,” “Who Wears Short Shorts,” “Sherry,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
“It’s a rock concert when you see it live,” said Marlana Dunn who plays Frankie’s wife, Mary. “There’s something special about seeing music live. Every show is different too. The audience is different. Our experience and your experience will be different. It’s not going to be like the first, second or third time you saw the show. It’s going to be THAT time.”
Dunn is a native of Pittsburgh who loves her character and even sees a bit of herself in Mary.
“She’s very set in her own ways,” said Dunn. “She knows what she wants and she puts [Frankie] in his place for sure. She’s always on him about the family. She’s strong and brassy and I see those qualities in myself. She goes through a lot in the show in regards to their relationship.”
Although Dunn plays a major role with Mary, she also gets quite the workout through the show playing numerous other characters forcing her to quickly switch hats, not to mention clothes.
“I play 14 other characters from a waitress to a producer,” said Dunn. “Every one of those characters is based off a real person the Four Seasons came across. They are easy to connect with because they are real people. I’ve never done a show where I’ve been more than one character so having to switch from Mary to one of the Angels and then back to May, you can’t overthink it. My costume change is eight seconds so I have to switch quickly.”
Jersey Boys is a long running, well loved Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical.
“It’s not your typical musical,” said Dunn. “Not everyone loves musical theater, but this is a real story about real people. There’s going to be at least one song out of the 27 you will know because it’s been on the radio. The definition of musical theater is songs that drive the plot forward, but in our show the music isn’t furthering the plot per say, it’s just happening during the show at moments in the guy’s lives.”
The show contains smoke, gun shots, strobe lights, drug references, sexual situations and authentic “profane Jersey language.” Recommended for ages 12 & older.
Story by Hayley Lynn Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges