About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A long-time Toronto-area Actor and Singer, Jeff Madden is now focusing on Teaching acting and singing in the GTA. Jeff starred as "Frankie Valli" in both the Toronto and Australian productions of JERSEY BOYS, winning the DORA award for outstanding performance in a musical by a male actor. Jeff is busy back at school, getting his MEd at U of T's OISE.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Week That Was

100 apologies for not writing sooner. I know many of you were dying to find out what it was like meeting Frankie Valli. I'll get to that below. Suffice it to say, I'm a freaking busy guy these days. I haven't had a day off in two weeks. There's lots of news to get you caught up on, but very little time to get it up on the blog. Which totally makes sense when you think about it.

We did a great show this afternoon, followed by an interview with www.broadwayworld.com. Then there's the drive home, the dinner routine, putting the kids to bed, and here we are. It's late Sunday night already and I'm bagged. I should be sleeping already, but here I am, typing away.

Let me get right to it. The big news turned out to be no news at all. My highly publicised meeting with Frankie Valli fell through at the last possible moment. We were done in by a scheduling nightmare. The columnist from the Toronto Star Richard Ouzounian was inundated with other news stories he had to cover, and tried to reschedule. But Mr. Valli and his people were on such a tight schedule getting their show into Casino Rama, teching, and sound checking that they simply could not accommodate the change in plans. I got a call from our publicist five minutes before we were to leave. I was deeply disappointed, but what can you do? That's life. People are busy. Sometimes things just don't work out. I know it will work out some time in the future. It's meant to be. Don't you think?

My Car and I were interviewed and photographed, as scheduled. The article should appear in the Globe and Mail Driving section next Thursday, May 7th. It was fun being photographed parked at the entrance to the Toronto Centre of the Arts. Don't miss it!

My radio interview on 103.9 FM aired twice, and sounded great. I really enjoyed chatting with Mark Andrew Lawrence.Thanks to those of you who wrote to say you heard it. Anyone have any comments on the songs? The banter? Let me know.

A major highlight last week was the fundraiser concert of Paul Simon tunes for Acting Up Stage, called the "Sound of Silence". What a tremendous evening of music. Kudos to Mitchell Marcus for getting together such incredible talent. And To Musical director Reza Jacobs for his inspired, creative arrangements. I sang "The Only living Boy in New York", in a style I'd describe as Jason Mraz meets Frankie Valli. Not sure the crowd knew what to make of it. They really dug our version of "Cecelia", done a la Greenday or Blink 182. I had a blast.

This week coming up will also be a big one, starting tomorrow night (another Day Off spent working!). I'll be venturing up to Barrie to take part in another fundraiser concert, this time for Theatre By The Bay, called "The Stars Come Out". The Toronto Four Seasons (myself, Quinn, Mike, and Grant subbing for Jeremy) are singing a "Movie Medley" of 'Guys Flicks' which is pretty hilarious. Later in the evening, I'll be singing the solo "Tears in Heaven", which I recorded on my album 'Taking the Wheel'. Should be a great night.

Make sure to get yourself a National Post every day this week. I recently wrote five short Diaries which will be featured one a day in the Arts section. I believe it runs Monday through Friday. I'll try to post them daily onto my Facebook page (add me, if you haven't yet). Can't wait to hear how they'll be received. And to see how they'll be edited... Wow - Monday through Friday in the National Post, and then Saturday in the Globe and Mail. Not a bad week for Jeffy. You'll all be sick of me!


Then Quinn, Mike, Jeremy and I have another Magazine interview and photo shoot Tuesday, and possibly two TV interviews on Thursday. The www.toronto.broadwayworld.com article should come out this week too. I'll keep you posted. And Wednesday night is 'Sports Night' where we'll meet a bunch of Toronto sports writers, commentators and personalities after our show. Should be exciting, as I'm a big sports fan. Wonder who I'll meet?

Phew - that's what's up with me. Now you know why I don't have time to update the blog more often these days! Youre comments are always welcome. I encourage you to click the 'COMMENTS' link below.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meeting Frankie Valli

Ok - while I've got a minute, here's the scoop:


As you may know, he and his band (The Four Seasons) are still touring the world, performing many shows a year. Well this week, that tour brings him to Casino Rama in Orillia, ON, about 90-minutes north of Toronto.

Well, JERSEY BOYS TORONTO managed to get a sit-down with the two of us during the afternoon before his show. They're driving me up to Casino Rama in the morning, and then we'll meet, take a few photos, and chat. The main event will be being interviewed together by Richard Ouzounian for an upcoming piece in the Toronto Star! A "Frankie Valli" meets Frankie Valli kind of thing.

Unfortunately, neither Frankie will be able to see the other's show. I'd love to stay and watch this living legend perform, but I have to get back to do our show Thursday night. And, I'd love to have him see me "play" him in JERSEY BOYS, but he has tour dates for Friday and Saturday and has to leave town. It just wasn't able to work out, this time around, anyway.

I'm so stoked. I met him, briefly, at my final audition in New York City last October. But our conversation was very short, as I couldn't think straight since I was focusing so hard on trying not to pee my pants. I was a little nervous, you see, with the little matter of trying to win the lead role of a lifetime. Turned out OK in the end, I guess. I wonder if he'll remember me?


1) My car and I are being interviewed and photographed this week for an article in the Globe and Mail - more info on that later. Yes, I said my car and I.

2) My Radio interview will be aired this Sunday morning at 9:00am on 103.9 FM. This is the interview about my Top 5 Musical Theatre songs of all time. It's a small radio station, which can be heard in the GTA area only, so I don't think it'll be online. If you're in the GTA, check it out. (It'll be repeated again the following weekend if anyone misses it.)

3) Tickets are still available for the fundraiser I'm doing on behalf of Acting Up Stage theatre company. This coming Monday night, 8pm at Bathrust Street Theatre in Toronto is The Sound Of Silence, an evening of Musical Theatre stars performing the hits of Paul Simon with a live band. it's an awesome lineup, and you don't want to miss it. I'm doing "Cecilia" and "The Only Living Boy in New York".

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I'm Ready to Play

Tonight was my first show back since *THE PLAGUE*.

Note the use of those asterisk(s). They are meant to scare you away - Danger, people. Like, the word PLAGUE on its own (capitalized, no less) isn't warning enough. But I digress.

(Wow, what an odd opening. First of all, what's the plural of asterisk? But I digress again...)

(Hey, what's the plural of digress? Uh oh...)

OK - So, to catch you up, I missed my first three shows this week due to *THE PLAGUE*. (*THE PLAGUE* that I had was actually an ornery intestinal track bug that I named Harper, if you must know).

Seriously, folks, I want to apologize to those of you who bought tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday hoping to see me as Frankie Valli. Believe me, if there was any way I could have done the show, I would have been out there. But, we're all human, and some times these things are unavoidable. When both my kids got it, it was only a matter of time. Sorry!!

It wasn't until noon today that I knew I had the strength to get back at it. And I'm so glad I did. I LOVE doing this show. I just love sharing the stage with my incredibly talented castmates, especially in front of a nearly sold out Friday night crowd. Man, it felt good to be back out there tonight!

I mean, I was a bit shaky. I'm not gonna lie. But, that's hardly a surprise, after spending three days moving between the Holy Trinity of the Bed to the Bathroom to the Couch, (it is Easter, isn't it?) I had actually lost five pounds. And on me, that's a lot.

Since I've only been on solid food for a day and a half now, I was lacking a bit of my usual strength and endurance. You know, there were a few moments where I was a tiny bit out of breath, a few moments where the choreo was a bit ooh, how do I say it nicely... wooden. A few pitchy notes up in the falsetto. These mostly all occurred in the "Big Three", actually (Sherry, Big Girls, and Walk Like a Man). But, all in all, I was really happy with how I got through it.

It actually reminded me of my first show as Frankie Valli, December 12, 2008. I wasn't sure how that night was going to go - none of us were, really. I mean, it was only our 2nd full run through of the show with full tech. So, there were a few Bunny-in-the-head-lights moments that night, and maybe one or two tonight as well.

Oh well, it's all good. We received a full standing ovation tonight, just like we did for our first show, and every single show since. JERSEY BOYS is huge and unstoppable. Just like Harper, aka *THE PLAGUE*.

More Good News

IF you have nothing planned this Easter Weekend, why not come see JERSEY BOYS? I know it's last minute, but there are super-reduced prices available for both shows Saturday April 11th and the Sunday April 12th 2pm matinee. (Remember, I do not perform in the Saturday matinee).

Call Dancap directly at 416-664-3665 and quote FRIENDS AND FAMILY DISCOUNT to get your $25 and $50 tickets.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Proper Perspective

This past week was a rough one for me and the family.

My eldest daughter Sydney got sick again, for the fourth time this winter. She caught the flu this time, and being 2.5 yrs old, this meant she needed round the clock care. Vomiting, high fever, diarrhea, you get the picture. Which makes it difficult for my wife and I, because her one-year-old sister Emily still needs round the clock care, too.

Since flu in a one-year-old could be very serious, with dehydration being a major concern, we tried to keep the girls apart as much as possible. So, either one or both of us were up with the girls several times a night. Thank goodness we had Christine's Mom Ilse help out doing the occasional overnight baby duty. And it worked, to an extent. Emily didn't get the flu, just some light fever and a bit of a cold. And as of today, Sydney seems to be back to normal. We're almost through it. Phew.

As any parents of young children will tell you, even with healthy kids it's a struggle to get things done properly or on time. When they're sick, it can be a nightmare. Schedules go out the window, and you get into survival mode. So, nothing got done this week. Nothing.

Personally, I could feel that as the week wore on, I was fighting the flu off, too. From the occasional queezy stomach, to occasionally seeing stars, I could feel it coming on. I was sure I was winning the fight until Sunday afternoon's matinee. My legs were jello, my hands were cold and clammy, and I had no strength. Luckily my voice was ok, and I made it, but I seriously don't know how I got through the show. When I got home, I immediately crashed - I mean it - no dinner, just fell into a deep sleep at 6pm! I've spent at least 15 hours asleep since then. It's the weirdest feeling. I just hope I'll be OK in time for tomorrow night's show.

The biggest challenge I face right now is balancing the demands of being a father with the demands of playing Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. It's ironic, that when I have the single most challenging role of my life, I have the least energy left over to do it!

To perform optimally, I've discovered (the hard way) that I need at least 6 hours of sleep and a light physical and vocal warm-up mid-day. On top of proper nutrition and supplements of course. If not, the show is like running up a mountain for 2.5 hours. It can be done, but not to my standards.

Christine is incredibly understanding and supportive of my needs, and I do my best to give her as much of my time as I can afford to help with the kids and errands. She is an incredible woman, and an amazing mother. And being home with my kids during the days - even when they're sick - is an amazing experience. Playing with them, watching them grow and learn, struggle and fall, it's incredible.

Even though it's hard right now, I've got to remind myself - I'm a really lucky guy. I'm living the life I always wanted to have. I've got a great wife, great family and a great job. What else could anyone ask for?

Jersey Boys has been extended again till June 28th, 2009.

Call DANCAP at 416-644-3665 or 1-866-950-SHOW to book your tickets.
So, make sure to plan your trip, bring your friends, and come see the hottest show in town. Just remember, I only do the EVENING shows and the SUNDAY matinee.