Here's how it's going to work: I will post comments to this post, so each entry gets a time stamp. Feel free to add comments or responses to my comments. Later on, I will move everything up into the body of the post (probably - or I might just leave it. Depends on how many comments I make.)
There are still seats - and lunches - available to this event. And Rick will sign anything you like afterwards. Bill would, too, but he has a lot of reviews to finish this weekend.
The doors have opened, and the interview will start a little after 12 noon.
Iris Acker just took a seat in the front row. She's not dead center, but it's a good seat.ReplyDelete
Meredith Lasher just said hello, and went to pick up her vegetarian lunch. The room is filling up nicely.ReplyDelete
Hey! Gail Garrison is here!ReplyDelete
Lavs are under powered. I'm riding the redline. It's actually fine, but people expect the voices to be bigger through the sound system, instead of their own voices re-inforcedReplyDelete
Bill says he looked up Elice on Wikipedia.ReplyDelete
Rick is working on the Addams Family muscial; says "it's just like Jersey Boys!"ReplyDelete
Is JB a jukebox musical? Elice says "no." He says he was asked to do "Mama Mia with the Four Seasons," and it turned him off.ReplyDelete
When his co-writer was approached, he thought the show was going to "fuck up Vivaldi." (There is a Vivaldi reference in the show for this reason).
Elice: Jukebox musicals preceded Jukeboxes; pop songs were the basis of many musicals prior the invention of the jukebox. Ziegfeld, George White, and others created shows to showcase popular songs.ReplyDelete
FOSSE was a juke box musical (with an awful title!) Had no live music, won best musical.ReplyDelete
Elice was originally planning to cancel his meeting with Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, wasn't excited about the project. But they ended up at lunch with them, and the stories about growing up in Jersey and becoming the Four Seasons sucked them in.ReplyDelete
Des Macnuff was brought in because he had a rock'nroll background (dir. TOMMY)ReplyDelete
Des agreed to stage it before anything had been written.ReplyDelete
They didn't realize that "juke box musicals" were being trashed because they were working in La Jolla. "We were locked in a room writing. And besides, we weren't writing a juke box show."ReplyDelete
Had a hard time booking a show in the wake of the failure of the Beach Boys, Elvis, and a few others.ReplyDelete
Bill: It's a warts and all story: how did you convince the Four Seasons to let them tell that kind of story?ReplyDelete
Elice: 'Good Cop/Bad Cop.' quote: "theatre is negotiation by tantrum." Basically, we played the Boys off of each other, and bullied them into bullying each other into allowing it.
Elice: they would change their versions of events throughout the week. Which is true? how do we sort out the truth? Eureka! Show the audience THAT human tendency to contradict each other with their own truths; show each of their versions.ReplyDelete
Bill asks about co-writer Marshall Brickman.ReplyDelete
elice: Marshall is the guy you want to sit next to at dinner.
Elice: he's so fast, and always has a comment ready. Working with him was a dream. But I lost a lot of money to him, across the poker table.ReplyDelete
Elice: we did very little actual writing, but a lot of talking. Walking around, talking. Staying up late, talking. we "talked it into existence."ReplyDelete
Elice: we didn't want a Broadway chorus line effect: we wanted rock'n'roll. We wanted a Rock'n'Roll show.ReplyDelete
Bill: what changed from the original concept to the current staging?ReplyDelete
Elice: the show you're seeing now is about 90% what you're seeing now. The theatre was the size of [the New River Room], the audience was smaller, but the show is mostly there.
Bill: what's different between Broadway and the tour?ReplyDelete
Elice: Well, so much of the show is programmed into computer (automation), it's hard to make adjustments in the process of rehearsing for Broadway. but once the show opens, you lose the time to make changes.
We opened on Broadway with five or six things we wanted to change. So when the National Tour went into production, we were able to make those changes. About half the stuff didn't work, but half of it improved the show. So once we got it working, we introduced the changes from the tour into the Broadway version during the understudy rehearsals.
Jersey Boys works because we don't know their stories. We know that John Lennon died, and what happened to Elvis. The Four Seasons never got written about in the magazines, so nobody know their story, but everyone knew the songs.ReplyDelete
Question: is the tour as good as the Broadway version?ReplyDelete
Elice: Mostly, the show is the same: we had to change some technical things so the show would work on tour; instead of things coming through the floor, they come in from the sides. That's about the only change: the show works the same. It's not better or worse, it's just different.
Elice: Fortunately, this isn't a star vehicle. it's hard enough to cast without limiting it to famous actors. People come to see the show, not the stars, and we've been fortunate to have a lot of talented actors involved.ReplyDelete
Question: did Frankie vallie really bail out Tommy as indicated in this show? It seems like such a fantastic amount of money. It that real, or somethng you made up for dramatization?ReplyDelete
Elice: I'm glad you asked that: yes, it's true. And that's why it works. It shows how much they really helped each other out, and the fantastic thing about Frankie and Tommy. They really don't like each other, but that's between them.
Bill: how did you avoid the clunky "I wrote this, and then I wrote that?"ReplyDelete
Elice: Well, we had four points of view, and that helped. And we also didn't spoon feed anyone. We didn't say "it's 1963," we put a poster of JFK on the line and let the audience figure it out.
I got pulled out of the room: one of the actors in the show set off the fire alarm by propping the bathroom door open and flooding his dressing room with steam.ReplyDelete
The shows have two Frankies: the "6 a week" and the "2 a week" Frankies. This helps keep the Frankies fresh, and also allows us to train Frankies: eventually, the "2 a week" will become a "6 a week" performer.ReplyDelete
Liberties were taken with the orders of the songs in order to underscore the action of the story. But mostly, the songs are in the correct order with a couple of exceptions.ReplyDelete
Round of applause: end of the event! And the event of my first "live blog."ReplyDelete
I love your style! especially whe you said - show time! haha, you put a little excitement and thrill.ReplyDelete
- thomas clark