COURTESY WARNER BROS./KEITH BERNSTEINFrom left

COURTESY WARNER BROS./KEITH BERNSTEINFrom left

Seasoned stage actors bring ‘Jersey Boys’ to screen

With nearly 4,000 stage performances collectively under their belts, three stars of the classy new film “Jersey Boys” clearly were prepared for their roles as the 1960s hitmakers in The Four Seasons.

In San Francisco this week to promote the film without cohort Vincent Piazza (who didn’t attend the publicity tour), the affable, adorable actors say the movie — written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who penned the blockbuster play — allowed them to bring greater depth to their characters than they could in live performances.

Young, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of iconic lead singer Frankie Valli, liked the fact that Valli’s relationship with his daughter is much more fleshed out in the film than in the stage version, in which she only appears once.

He also says that while the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” represents Valli’s comeback in the play, it’s more than that in the movie: “It’s his redemption and it saves him from his grief.”

Lomenda, who plays Nick Massi (“the Ringo of the band”), found great freedom in not having to stick to a script: “We were allowed to explore, and improvise. We had to dive in head first.”

Bergen, who plays songwriter and band business mastermind Bob Gaudio, points to what he calls a “weird” contrast between rehearsing a month for the stage on a set in which a kitchen is represented by a table and plastic bottle, versus being in the kitchen of real house for just 15 minutes of rehearsal before shooting a movie scene.

Another contrast: The play is permanent wide shot, but in the movie, Bergen says, “Clint makes you look at what he wants you to look at.”

The actors, who have met the people they portray, say the project’s integrity stems from Valli and Gaudio, who, as executive producers, remain protective of the property, and appreciative of the performers playing them.

Asked if the Jersey Boys are ready to be movie stars, Bergen tentatively responds yes — even though they don’t happen to be zombies, Legos or teens living in dystopian society.

IF YOU GO

Jersey Boys

Starring Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young

Written by Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Rated R

Running time 2 hours, 14 minutesartsErich BergenJersey BoysJohn Lloyd YoungMovies

Just Posted

People take part in early voting for the November 5 election at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A student carries a protection shield to her next class as part of her school’s COVID-19 safety measures. (Courtesy Allison Shelley/Eduimages)
Projected K-12 drops in enrollment pose immediate upheaval and decade-long challenge

State forecasts 11.4% fewer students by 2031 — LA and Bay Area to be hit hardest

Most Read