There is a God. When John Lloyd Young leaves the incredibly popular Jersey Boys this, the immensely talented Michael Longoria -- who regularly plays Joey (as in Pesci) "and others" -- will succeed him as Frankie Valli.
According to a bulletin I received from Longoria via MySpace:
I know many of you have been patiently awaiting the news as to what the deal is regarding my future with Jersey Boys. So here is the official news. I will take over the role of Frankie Valli in Broadway's Jersey Boys starting November 27th, 2007. Thanks for all the love you guys and gals have sent my way on my comments page for the last year... I hope those of you who didn't get a chance to catch my Valli during the matinees this past year will come see me at night now!As I've previously mentioned in one of my semi-regular "Curse of the Understudy" columns, I found myself disappointed one Friday night when I took in a performance of Jersey Boys -- before it even won the Tony for Best Musical, -- because John Lloyd Young was out. Little did I know that I'd be wowed by his truly amazing understudy, Longoria, in the role of Frankie Valli. I subsequently purchased the original cast CD, and I can tell you that Longoria's voice is actually much better suited to Valli's full range than Young's. Quite the crowd-pleaser, Longoria was definitely the best thing about the show.
Earlier this past June, while Longoria was filling in once again for Young, Frankie Valli himself saw the young actor portray him. In his MySpace blog, Longoria wrote:
Well, it finally happened. The real Frankie Valli came to see me play him in Jersey Boys on Broadway this past week. I've dreamt of this moment for almost 2 years, but it didn't turn out quite as I had imagined. The audience was so alive! Maybe cause they saw Frankie in the theatre, or maybe cause everyone in the show was so fierce that show. He brought two of his sons who were given the option of seeing the film "Oceans 13" or Jersey Boys...They chose JrzyByz. Frankie inroduced me by saying, "this is the guy who played dad today...". Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined I'd be spending time with this musical legend, portraying his life. I was in awe, thanking God that I didn't know he was there and had a great show. We chatted a little, I thanked him for coming and was moved when he told me he thought I was "f------ sensational". What a guy!Congratulations to a real trouper. While I never did have a chance to see John Lloyd Young perform (except on television), I can tell you that Longoria will be worth the price of admission.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
Click here for tickets.
Honorable Mentions: SOB's Singular Sensations Of '06 (December 30, 2006)
Longoria Back To The Peak As Valli (October 20, 2006)
The Curse Of The Understudy (October 2, 2006)
Jersey Boys' Valli Understudy Gets Spotlight (June 15, 2006)
The Tonys: If I Could Vote...for Best Musical (May 31, 2006)