Few voices in the history of pop music are as instantly recognizable as the falsetto of Frankie Valli, showcased on hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Stay,” “Sherri,” and “Walk Like A Man.”
On Tuesday, Casino New Brunswick hosts Oh What A Night! A Musical Tribute To Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Written by George Solomon, directed by Michael Chapman with choreography by Paul Homquist, Oh What A Night! offers showgoers a musical trip through a time, back to when things were simpler.
Where the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys focuses primarily on the life and career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Oh What A Night! celebrates the music of Valli and the Four Seasons. The family-friendly musical revue has been thrilling audiences with a high-energy, often humorous show, staying true to the original recordings without outright impersonating the group.
“When the Oh What A Night! show was being put together approximately five years ago, a friend of mine who plays piano suggested I audition for one of the roles,” says Oh What A Night cast member Rick Wojnowski of how he became involved with the group. “He thought I would be perfect for the show.”
Rick believes that the personal touches that the performers are able to bring to the show is ultimately what helps set Oh What A Night! apart from other musical revues.
“The idea to prominently feature the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons was always there but as the show idea developed, it was decided that each guy in the group wouldn’t be playing someone specific in the band. This allows our respective personalities to be featured but also allows us to engage our audience a little more than if we were playing a character. It keeps the show fresh.”
Rick grew up in Arizona where he studied at the France Academy of Dance at a relatively early age. His love of being on stage eventually saw him transition from dance to musical productions. Rick estimates he has performed in 100 different musicals during his career.
One of his first big breaks came at the age of 14 when he landed a role in the musical Oliver. He would go on to perform in shows including The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Mame, Anything Goes and Buddy … The Buddy Holly Story.
Rick says that one of the most remarkable things he has noticed about the audience taking in Oh What A Night! performances is the wide range of ages in attendance.
“My daughter is 19 years old and often asks me what I think will be popular in another 50 years. I don’t have the slightest clue about that but can tell you that many of these Frankie Valli songs are approaching that milestone and are as timeless as ever,” Rick says.
“What amazes us every night is the span of people that the show touches upon. You’ve got kids as young as 10 years old coming out to the show and then others who would have been in high school when these songs were originally popular in the ’60s.
“We performed at a retirement community in Arizona where as soon we took the stage, 2,000 people stood up and didn’t sit down until the show was over. There is a longevity and appeal to this music that is truly amazing.”
What: Oh What A Night!
A Musical Tribute to
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
When: Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets: $42.50 (plus taxes and service charges). Advance tickets are available for purchase at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone at 1-866-943-8849 and online at casinonb.ca