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Jersey Boys, the 2005 jukebox musical featuring music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, has been wowing audiences worldwide. Reviewing the London production, The Times‘ critic Benedict Nightingale echoed the general belief that “there were times when…the performers were making even the Beatles sound somewhat lacking in musical texture”. And for the past year and a half (since October 2014), Drew Seeley (perhaps best known for his collaborations with Disney) “adds a nice balance to the group, toning
down the Jersey mobster vibe–think of him as light Italian” according to Broadway World. So pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and let’s talk with Mr. Seeley about everything from the show to Sopranos to Gene Kelly…
The Joyous Living: Hi! Aside from the obvious (your experience as a performer, songwriter and collaborator), anything unique and similar between yourself and Bob Gaudio?
Drew: My real life mirrors Gaudio’s in that he is an introvert who is okay with someone else taking the spotlight (such as Frankie Valli).
The Joyous Living: What has been your favorite role to date?
Drew:GLΩRY DAZΣ (a period drama-comedy that aired on TBS from 2010-2011).
The Joyous Living: Any roles you would love to tackle?
Drew:A biopic about Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire (where I can utilize my dancing experience).
The Joyous Living: Which are your favorites of the love anthems that Bob Gaudio helped pen?
Drew: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” is a personal favorite and “Cry For Me” is my great big solo in Jersey Boys — real jazzy.
Keith Hines, Aaron de Jesus, Drew & Matthew Dailey. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
The Joyous Living: What is your personal favorite anthem?
Drew:The Resolutionis a compilation of my all time favorite songs including “Acceptance Speech” that is both poetic and old school.
The Joyous Living:What is currently playing on your iPhone?
Drew: Currently listening to St. Lucia and similar chill/groove rock music thanks to my Spotify subscription.
The Joyous Living: Any plans for after the tour?
Drew: I am currently signed on through Tampa and then who knows? Might come back to LA or continue on tour. No definite plans yet.
The Joyous Living: Do you have any pre-show or post-show routines and rituals? Drew: Before the show:
Read in dressing room (Just finished The Sicilian and about to start the
Stephen King book, 11/22/63, about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the JFK assassination.)
After the show:
A whiskey and watching some Stephen Colbert or the political debates are a great way to wind down.
The Joyous Living: What are you most looking forward to about your week in Thousand Oaks (23-28 February 2016)?
Drew: Being home! Being able to see friends and Amy.
The Joyous Living: How would you best describe the musical Jersey Boys to someone who has never seen the film or stage show?
Drew:It is like a rock concert– energetic! A great show to especially bring a guy to. It’s like an episode of THE SOPRANOS with great music thrown in!
The Joyous Living: Lastly, any advice for a kid with special needs who dreams of being a songwriter or performer?
Drew: Don’t let life situations limit your mind. Everyone has obstacles. You can do anything if you don’t limit yourself mentally. Positive self talk is crucial. Be grateful for what you have and use life to bring other people up and the right things will find you!!
Big thanks to Drew for his time and a small peek inside his life on tour with Jersey Boys!! For those of you in the L.A./Thousand Oaks area, you will not want to miss the equity tour’s week at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza!