The Boys Are Back: Jersey Boys at Chrysler Hall This Weekend
(l to r) Devon Goffman, Eric Chambliss, Jon Hacker and Matt Faucher
Words by Penny Neef. Images courtesy of Joan Marcus.
It doesn’t get much better than this if you’re a fan of iconic groups, or doo-wop, or the 60’s. Jersey Boys will be back at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk this weekend, January 28 – 30.
Jersey Boys is the behind-the-scenes story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, four guys from New Jersey who started harmonizing under a streetlamp in Newark, and went on to 29 top forty hits in the 60’s and 70’s.
(l to r) Eric Chambliss, Jon Hacker, Devon Goffman, Matt Faucher and the Company of JERSEY BOYS.
Jersey Boys ran on Broadway for 12 years, won four Tony awards, and many international awards. It has toured both internationally and nationally. Jersey Boys tells the story of the rise, the fame, the discontent and the shake-ups with the original four doo-wop boys – Frankie Valli, Tommy DiVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi. We get to hear so many of those 29 hits along the way – “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Sherry”, “Oh What a Night”, “My Eyes Adore You”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, “Walk Like A Man” and many more.
I spoke to Devon Goffman who plays Tommy DiVito. Tommy tells the bands origin story in the first act. How they struggled to find the right sound and the right name for the group. How they were involved with the Jersey mob and a now famous actor. How it finally all came together with their first big hit in 1962, “Sherry”.
Goffman is a self-described “motivational optimist”. He has been steadily performing in shows about iconic musicians for almost 20 years, including Motown the Musical and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Tommy DiVito is his “favorite role ever”. Goffman has been part of Jersey Boys national tour for ten years, as part of the troupe. This time around, he has stepped up to a leading role, and even better, his wife is part of the cast.
Life on the road stopped during the pandemic. Goffman and his wife hunkered down in Florida, close to family. He discovered a new passion, teaching musical theater to young people, sometimes in person (with masks), sometimes virtually. Last fall, the road opened up again for Jersey Boys. They started the tour in Detroit, with no definite end in sight.
Foreground: (l to r) Amy Gershman, Amy Coelho and Connor Lyon
Background: Guitars (l to r): Sean McGee, Kevin Patrick Martin and Alec Michael Ryan
Tommy DiVito is a “scrappy guy”. Some consider him the true leader of the Four Seasons. Goffman says the show is full of “great acting and great music.” “When the harmonies lock in with the four of us, it raises the hair on my arms every single night. This is music that will last forever. This is music that connects the generations.”
Goffman is thrilled to be a small part of bringing live theater back. As Jersey Boys goes from city to city, “it’s like recreating the journey of the Four Seasons. They traveled from city to city, putting on a show every night. It’s old school, but the harmonies are fantastic. The audiences are happy to see us, and we are happy to be back.”
For more information and tickets got to https://www.sevenvenues.com/events/detail/jersey-boys