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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A Sports-obsessed Toronto-area Actor and Singer, Teacher and Writer, Jeff Madden starred as "Frankie Valli" in both the Toronto and Australian productions of JERSEY BOYS. In 2009, he won Toronto's DORA award for outstanding performance in a musical by a male actor.

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
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.

www.broadwayworld.com
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.

VACATION!!!!
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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Broadway World Sports Night photos are great, and it's interesting to see everyone not in their stage garb (and all of you sure know how to stand up straight for photos!) The BWW article made me really appreciate the tension that surrounds auditions. I'd read the Globe & Mail article during the week - also an interesting piece. But the best is having seen the show (AGAIN) on Friday. SUPERB! Enjoy your vacation, Jeff, although I'm sure there will be many in the audience who will be unpleasantly surprised by your absence! They'll just have to return to see the show again another time!

Anonymous said...

I just saw the Richard O. article in the Star about the Tony awards this Sunday in N.Y. That is VERY WRONG that you were not chosen to represent the Toronto Jersey Boys!!! How can that be? All is not fair in the performance world! You deserve to be there. PSHAW!

Catherine said...

Jeff, my friend and I sat there in anticipation when we heard that the Toronto Frankie Valli would be at the Tony Awards. You can imagine our shock when it wasn't you! It's too bad you weren't on that stage. You deserved it!

Jie said...

I just saw the OMNI TV segment the other night and it was brilliant! Reminded me why I must go back to see the show for a third time.

Ms. Zilio was her usual effervescent self. Her vocal skills...m'eh...but I'll give her kudos for getting the choreography down at the end. It wasn't too bad. LOL!

Definitely agree with Jeremy that the singing should to left to you guys...a.k.a. the professionals! :o)

My childhood friend is coming to TO for a visit in August. I'm originally from Wpg so I'd love to treat her to an evening with TORONTO'S JERSEY BOYS.

Would love to see more blog posts giving a heads up about any changes to your performance schedule. I want to make sure that you'll be in the lead role when my friend is in town.

Hope you're having a wonderful vacation. No one deserves it more!

Ben said...

I'm coming to the show this Sunday afternoon. Bringing my parents along because I know they'll enjoy it. I hope you are playing Franki this weekend.
I was also very disappointed when I didn't see you as the Toronto Franki at the Tony Awards!

Anyway looking forward to Jersey Boys for the 3rd time this weekend!

Sylvie said...

I've seen Jersey Boys twice already, May 20 and June 12. I also, was surprised that you weren't at the Tony Awards. The show is amazing, and much to the surprise of my dad, I've started listening to the music he used to listen to when he was my age.
I can't wait to see the show again!

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