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.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Preparing to Sit Down

Things have been going great with life and with work. Crowds are coming to Jersey Boys in growing numbers over the last few weeks, no doubt due to the nicer weather and the great word of mouth. I met a couple the other day who flew in from Ottawa just to see the show because they heard such great things about it. That’s awesome. Live far away? Think about coming to Toronto for a night or two, and check out Jersey Boys while you can.

Things sure have been busy, though. (Surprise surprise.) Aside from the rigors of doing the show every night, our Publicity stuff has really taken off. All the preparations have really paid off. We're starting to get more National press, and even some cred on Broadway websites and blogs, which is really great.

And my family and I have been preparing busily for our big trip to CUBA! We leave this Monday morning. I’m so looking forward to having a week off, and getting completely away from the routine, hitting the beach, and letting someone else take care of me for a week. The show is in great hands with me gone, so I have nothing to worry about but relaxing! I'll be back in the show Tuesday June 2nd.

Here’s a run-down of some of the recent goings on in Jersey Boys Toronto land.

Expose Entertainment Magazine
Expose Entertainment Magazine did a photo-shoot and interview of our ‘Four Seasons’, Jeremy, Michael, Quinn and I. It was in a fun, hip, urban studio downtown, and they dressed us up in cool contemporary clothes, a nice change from our show duds. I’ll let you know when it hits the presses. Should be really cool.

Cosmo TV
Cosmo TV, a new digital TV channel offshoot from that old supermarket standby Cosmopolitan Magazine, also did an interview with the four of us. It was for their show Oh So Cosmo, Cosmo TV’s new half-hour magazine-style TV show (‘We offer fun, fearless females entertaining stories and segments celebrating the lifestyle of hip, urban women. Hosted by Josie Dye, our sexy, irreverent Cosmo girl, Oh So Cosmo explores style, men, sex and relationships with a healthy dose of fun and style’, says their website.) If anyone sees this, let me know. I'll try to find out when it will hit the air.

OMNI TV is now running an interview/commercial with the Four of us. Lucy Zilio is the host, associate producer and writer of the informative and entertaining "Tuned In" segments seen weeknights during various shows on OMNI Television and City TV. She is described as “one of the most upbeat, energetic and entertaining personalities on the TV scene”. That’s an understatement. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think – I haven’t yet.

Writer Kelly Cameron interviewed ‘Toronto’s Four Seasons’ recently after a show for BroadwayWorld.com. The interview is quite extensive, and gives background info on each of our unique audition process before being selected to the show. It's a fun read. Check out the link. Exclusive Interview

Sports Night
Kelly also covered some other events we did, including our ‘Sports Night’. Dancap organized a series of events with a sports theme, and invited several members of the media and Toronto’s sports teams to the show one night. It was a hit, and you can see several photos of the event.

The absolute highlight for me was going to a Blue Jays game with my Dad on his birthday, being down on the field during batting practice, and meeting Baltimore Oriole starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and Blue Jay Kevin Millar. We chatted before the game, and Guthrie gave me a signed baseball, while Millar gave me his batting practice bat! Later that night, they came to see us perform in Jersey Boys, and then they hung out with our cast for almost an hour chatting about music and sports. It was a day I’ll not soon forget. The article and interviews are at this link. Sports Night Interview and Pics

The Sports night pics are also featuring on the popular Jersey Boys Blog, too. Check them out there if you like. Jersey Boys Blog

Globe and Mail Car Interview
My Globe and Mail Car interview finally appeared in the newspaper this past Thursday. It turned out really good, I think. The picture is cool, the article is easy to read and fun. Check it out. Me and My Car Interview

Canadian Living Magazine
Our Canadian Living Magazine spread has finally hit the newsstands, too. It’s in the June, 2009 issue with a big juicy BBQ back-rib on the cover. Yummm. We’re on pages 52-54, looking all buffed and shiny and new. There’s also a brief editorial on page 8 that talks about Jersey Boys. Pick the magazine up next time you’re out and about. It’s worth it for the great recipes alone!

Movie Medley a Hit
We were lucky enough to take part in a great fundraiser concert for Barrie’s Theatre By The Bay a few weeks back. Quinn, Michael, myself and Grant Tilly subbing for Jeremy performed (for the first time) a ‘Guy’s Guy’ medley of Movie Theme songs, arranged in the Jersey Boys style. We brought the house down. The number ended the first act with a bang – literally, as Quinn cracked his mic stand hard by mistake on the final move of the song. The crowd didn’t mind one bit, and they leapt to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation.

We look forward to doing the number again at another GALA coming up in June. It is a fundraising gala for the Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School. The Gala raises funds which go entirely to funding subsidies so that no child is turned away from getting a Jewish education. The school happens to have lots of parents who work in the arts in some capacity (directors, producers, music executives, sound engineers, actors) and because of this, they are able to put together an annual variety show of the highest caliber. Past performers include Tony Award Winner Bob Martin (Drowsy Chaperone), Colm Wilkinson, Sean Cullen, Molly Johnson, Amy Sky and Jackie Richardson. This year we have secured Kristin Thompson, Ted Dykstra, Melanie Doane, Richard Greenblatt, Natalie Reznik and Miles Faber (finalists from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA) and Toronto’s Jersey Boys. The Gala is held at the intimate Al Green Theatre (Bloor/Spadina) on Monday June 8, 2009 for an audience of about 350 people.

And now, I leave you for a week. I’ll be back, refreshed and tanned, rearing and ready to go for another long run of Jersey Boys. I'll fill you in on the pool-side fun, share a few pics, and tell you about some cool Jersey Boys stuff happening on the TONY Awards TV Broadcast Sunday June 7. Until then, keep on Taking the Wheel, everybody.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Most of you already know that I wrote five diaries for the National Post newspaper. They ran last week in the Arts and Minds section in a somewhat edited fashion. I've decided to run them here, too. This is what I wrote, word for word. I'd love to hear your comments.


How does a Human Biology Major wind up playing ‘Frankie Valli’ in JERSEY BOYS?


I’ve loved music ever since I was a kid. I started piano lessons at age seven and trumpet lessons at 10. I can't remember when I started singing, but I sang in lots of choirs (boy soprano, at that!). I come from a musical family – siblings, parents, aunts, and grandparents - so it always felt normal to play music. Most were amateur and did it for fun. I admire that.

I also loved science and math, and did really well in school. So, I figured I'd follow the family fold and get a 'real' job while playing music on the side for fun.

I dabbled in theatre and continued to play in bands while getting migraines finishing my degree at U of T. By third year, I still couldn't figure out what I wanted to be. So, I quit the arts entirely to focus on my studies and find my career path.

The migraines got worse. Something wasn't right. I wasn't happy anymore. It wasn't just the responsibilities of ‘growing up’; it was Nature trying to tell me something. I wasn't being true to what was in my heart.

2.5 credits away from my degree, and I decide to take acting classes, dance classes, and singing lessons. Something clicked. I ‘found’ my career path. I finished my degree, but I've been following my dreams ever since, and it's been a pretty darn good ride.

And you know what, being an artist IS a 'real' job. It takes dedication, years of hard work, training, and honing your craft. And, it has real value - yes, to the economy - but more importantly, to the soul. What we do moves people, makes them feel, think, question life and their place in it. I admire that, too.


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.

This past week was a rough one for me. My eldest daughter Sydney caught the flu, and being 2.5 yrs old, meant that she needed around the clock care. Which makes it difficult for my wife and I, because her one-year-old sister Emily also needs around the clock care.

As any parents of young children will tell you, even with healthy kids it's a struggle just to function. When they're sick, it can be a nightmare. Schedules go out the window, and you get by on ‘survival mode’.

I've discovered (the hard way) that I need at least six hours of sleep and a light physical and vocal warm-up mid-day to perform optimally. If not, doing the show is like running up a mountain for 2.5 hours.

My wife Christine is incredibly understanding and supportive of my needs, and I try to be as helpful as I can. She is an incredible woman, and an amazing mother. I'm a really lucky guy. I've got a great family and a great job. What else could I ask for?


This past day off was great. By 9:30am my girls and I are downstairs 'rolling some balls' in our condo’s Billiard Room, checking the mail, and watching Kids’ shows on the Party Room TV.

By 11am I'm feeding Emily lunch when Sydney, naked from the waist down, proudly walks into the room carrying wet socks. "Daddy, have to put in washing machine," she exclaims. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Between 11-1pm I get each kid some lunch and Emily down for her nap. This gives me a chance to check my email, confirm two interviews, and download two songs I’m learning for an upcoming concert.

1:30pm Christine comes home and I’m off to do groceries. 3:30pm brings more phone calls to set-up rehearsals, interviews and photo-shoots. 5pm is dinnertime for the kids, and packing for our big trip... to a Hotel!

6pm Take the kids for a swim. 7pm Bath time for the kids while we wait for Room Service to arrive. 7:30pm Scarf down our eats while keeping the kids from destroying the room. 8pm Take the kids home, get them to sleep. 9pm Babysitter arrives, and we're free! It’s been five weeks since our last real date.

Back at the Hotel, we open some mini-bar wine and unashamedly enjoy finishing off our cold room service dinners. And try not to fall asleep!


I've gotten lots of great comments from people who've seen JERSEY BOYS. Things like, "That role is perfect for you", or "You were born to play that part". I take these comments as they were intended, as a compliment.

But, what about the other roles I’ve played. Does this discount my work in those shows? Was my creative vision less fulfilled?

And further, actors rarely get the chance to create something original. The parts we play came out of somebody else's mind first. It seems to me, if you write - novels, music, plays, and screenplays - you are truly creating.

Last year I released a CD called "Taking the Wheel". Although I wrote none of the songs, I still felt as though I was creating something unique. I chose the songs, arrangers, musicians, style etc. But, is someone who merely interprets the work of others still creating?

Who, then, is Jeff Madden, as an artist? Am I a combination of all the parts I play, the songs I sing? I wonder if I’ll ever know.


Last night was a great show. Everybody was connected, the pacing was crisp, and the crowd was awesome. JERSEY BOYS plays great to a subdued and quiet crowd, but when a energetic, near-capacity crowd is digging it, laughing loudly, cheering wildly and going with us on the ride, it's an unbelievable feeling.

It's funny, though, sometimes ‘you never can tell’ (props to Mr. Shaw). Before the show, I wasn't feeling confident about how it might go for me personally. I hadn't had much sleep, and rushed my preparations before the curtain. Playing ‘Frankie Valli’ is an incredibly demanding role vocally, both singing and speaking. And then there’s the splits.

But, I nailed it last night. One of my best shows ever. The crazy falsetto stuff flew out of my mouth like I was ordering dinner. The chesty rocking stuff was strong and clear. I was emotionally connected every moment.

I tell you, there's nothing like it, when you know you're doing your best work.


COMMENT below, and let's keep the conversation going.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Hi Folks,

Don't know if this deserves a blog post all to itself or not, but what the heck...

I just wanted you all to know, in case you're considering buying tickets in advance to come see JERSEY BOYS: My Week Off is fast approaching.


(Not sure where yet, but I'll fill you in later.)

Therefore, I will not be performing the week of May 25-31st.