Ahead of a Christmas run at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, I had the opportunity to chat to Tim Driesen, who is playing Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. The full interview is currently on the Style Birmingham website (you can read it here), but here are a few of Tim’s selected musings on Jersey Boys, Boy Bands and all things Christmas.
On Frankie Valli
‘…I met Frankie Valli and was lucky enough to spend a morning with him. He is such a down-to-Earth guy, a real grafter. He has been in business since he was 15, and he’s now 80 and still doing 50-60 gigs a year. Music is in his blood, but it wasn’t handed to him on a plate.’
On his favourite Four Seasons Song
It has to be Can’t take my eyes of you. It’s iconic, but it was almost never released. It was too rough to be romantic, too soft to be rocky and the record company didn’t know how to sell it, and get airplay for it. This is a key part of Jersey Boys – the song is being talked about but not mentioned by name, and you can see the audience wondering which song it is, and the shock when they hear it. It is a definite high point of the show.
On the Universal Appeal of Jersey Boys
An American Journalist put it best – You come for the music and stay for the story. In these days of X Factor an instant fame the story is compelling – it took 10 years to get their first hit, no overnight success story. But they then got hit after hit in decade after decade – they were special.
Yes I did the Take That Musical ‘Never Forget’ and also We Will Rock You – the Queen musical, I guess that is my thing, playing In ageing man bands. Ageing boys bands are my niche, the closest I’ll ever get to being in a boy band, but lots of fun.
On the best thing about Christmas
I like to eat a lot, drink a bit – I keep this for special occasions. I love Mulled Wine, hot chocolate, the Michael Buble Christmas album. Some people moan about Christmas but I love it, such a great time of year when people seem a little happier. I think that Is the best thing about Christmas, the way everyone feels.
On future Ambitions
One of my fave musicals is Sunset Boulevard, I’d love to play the part of Joe Gillis, the man who ends up in the swimming pool. This is a classic musical, rather than what is sometimes called a jukebox musical, and Joe is a great lead role for an actor. Or I guess if there’s another musical about an ageing man band which needs a singer with a slightly high falsetto – I’m the man.
Jersey Boys starts a run at The New Alexandra Theatre on December 9th. Click here for ticket information.