Skip to content

West End Theatre ‘blown away’ by Jersey Boys demand

‘I knew it would speak to a lot of our demographic in Sault Ste. Marie’: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons coming to Sault Community Theatre Centre in April
West End Theatre Project's upcoming production of "Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons" will feature Stephen Gagnon-Ruscio, Ethan Heimonen, Leo Moore, and Andrew Stuetz in the lead roles

West End Theatre Project’s upcoming production of Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons is selling off tickets faster than any other show the company has done – and they’re still two months out from curtain.

Rehearsals are ongoing for 13 local cast members who will share the evolutionary story of the four blue collar kids who eventually got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Winner of Best Musical at the Tony Awards and Olivier Awards, the jukebox musical promises to take audiences on a wild ride across three decades as the harmonic pop and doo-wop quartet works their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom.

Theatre goers will hear their chart-topping hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” among others, when West End Theatre brings the show to life at the Sault Community Theatre Centre (White Pines) this spring.

“It moves quite quickly,” said director Lucas Beaver. “It’s such a different show to direct than some of the other ones we’ve done. There isn’t really huge production numbers with a lot of choreography. It’s definitely not like Priscilla.”

The cast will be led by Ethan Heimonen (Bob Gaudio), Andrew Stuetz (Nick Massi), Leo Moore (Tommy DeVito) and Stephen Gagnon-Ruscio (Frankie Valli) as The Four Seasons.

“They are some of the top male singers in the city when it comes to musical theatre,” Beaver said. “Some of them have known each other for a while in different capacities, but they really have bonded so well. That’s great news for the show.”

Beaver told SooToday he had wanted to do Jersey Boys last year, but the rights to the show weren’t available in the area yet.

Instead, West End Theatre put on a production of Million Dollar Quartet, another jukebox musical that highlights the famous recording session at Sun Records in 1956.

While both shows are adapted from historic music events, this year’s production has a much different ambience according to the director.

“In Million Dollar Quartet, it was like watching that show in real time – it all happened in one evening,” Beaver explained. “But with Jersey Boys, you see a timeline spanning three decades. The songs are used in different ways with this show as well. Some of them are done in concerts, arenas, or state fairs, but they’re also used to emote the characters’ feelings.”

“The scenes are also different because they’re trying to get so much important information in,” he added. “Act one for instance is 33 scenes, but some of the scenes are just one page. It moves along quite nicely the way it’s structured, just one conversation to the next.”

Amazed by the community’s early interest in the production, Beaver said the main floor has already sold more than 80 per cent of its seats across the four-show schedule.

High demand has since prompted West End Theatre Project to open the galleries in the back of the auditorium, which will provide 337 additional seats per night.

“When I do the spring shows, I usually only put the floor on sale,” he said. “But this show just took off right away. We had a huge pre-sale before Christmas.”

“Ticket sales at this many weeks before the show is outdoing what Elf was doing, and that was our top-selling show,” he added. “We’ve already sold double of what we sold for Million Dollar Quartet. We’ve been blown away, but people really like this music. I knew it would speak to a lot of our demographic in Sault Ste. Marie.”

While he recognizes this time of year is busy for the arts and culture scene in Sault Ste. Marie, noting the Musical Comedy Guild has their upcoming production of Legally Blonde, Beaver feels appreciative to live in a community where interest levels from both the performers and the public have remained consistently high.

“I’m very fortunate to be able to work in the Sault where there’s such a huge pool of talent,” he said. “You go to some communities, and some of them probably couldn’t support two shows like that because of the talent pool. There’s lots of different artistic things going on here which is amazing to see.”

The ensemble of Jersey Boys includes Steve Araba, Kara Colynuck, Jay Faught, Josh Filion, Jesse Lethbridge, Jude Rasaiah, Sarah St. Amour and Christina Speers.

Rony Dal Cin is the show’s music director, while David Dellarie and Nancy Kinney are the vocal directors. Kristine Thomas will lead the stage management team and include Betty Currie and Trudy DeGraw. Valerie Pluss will produce for West End Theatre Project.

“This cast has bonded so quickly, and it’s been a lot of fun working with them,” Beaver said. “There really are exceptional singers here. Just hearing their voices has been so much fun.”

Jersey Boys will take the stage at the Sault Community Theatre Centre from Apr. 17-20 at 7:30 p.m.

Beaver wants to remind the public that Jersey Boys may be inappropriate for children aged 12 and under as the show contains strong language. The show’s runtime is approximately two and a half hours plus a 20-minute intermission.

Tickets are available online or in-person at the Sault Community Theatre Centre Box Office.

What's next?

If you would like to apply to become a Verified reader Verified Commenter, please fill out this form.


Alex Flood

About the Author: Alex Flood

Alex is a recent graduate from the College of Sports Media where he discovered his passion for reporting and broadcasting
Read more