New Year Message from John Lloyd Young

Dear Friends,

Thank you again for all the kind gestures for the holidays and throughout the year, but especially a big thank you for your monumental five-figure fundraising for both the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the ACLU. Teamwork amongst good people makes great things happen. Let’s continue to all lead this way, whether elected or not!!

Sincerely,
John Lloyd Young and Team JLY




May – August 2006

For “Frankie Valli” in Broadway’s JERSEY BOYS:

Winner, 2006 Tony Award (Best Performance by a Leading Actor)
Winner, 2006 Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Lead Actor)
Winner, 2006 Outer Critics Circle Award (Outstanding Lead Actor)
Winner, 2006 Theatre World Award
Nominee, 2006 Drama League Award (Performer of the Year)

A note to JERSEY BOYS fans:

Thank you, as always, for your e-mail and correspondence. I apologize for not being able to answer all my e-mails right now — once we’re through with the Tonys I’ll try to catch up! Thank you for the kind words, support and encouragement during this exciting time for me and for JERSEY BOYS. Fondly, JLY

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

John Lloyd, Jan, Marie-Ann, Bailey and Mary backstage at the August Wilson Theatre

John Lloyd, Jan, Marie-Ann, Bailey and Mary
backstage at the August Wilson Theatre

Thanks to old friends Marie-Ann Azar Ward and Jan Washburn & family, for visiting backstage at JERSEY BOYS, recently. Marie-Ann and Jan were former colleagues of mine from my days as a radio announcer for WCFE, FM Public Radio.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Check out my new myspace page.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lots of visitors at the stage door last night. Thanks to Aggie and friends for saying hello, thanks to college friend, Stephen and his family. And thanks to all the home-towners from Plattsburgh who came to the show last night, including the McGills! Dr. McGill was my orthodontist. Spent an extra half hour last night at the stage door visiting with everybody, and it’s always a lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I think JERSEY BOYS found their next “Frankie.” Check out those high notes!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The JERSEY BOYS, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I are singing the National Anthem tonight at Yankee Stadium, 7 p.m. EST.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Daniel Reichard at the 2006 Tony Awards rehearsal Radio City Music Hall, June 11, 2006

Daniel Reichard at the 2006 Tony Awards rehearsal
Radio City Music Hall, June 11, 2006

Thank you to voice teacher, Katie Agresta, and Dr. Gwen Korovin for helping me get back into JERSEY BOYS in record time. Was so thrilling to be back amongst Christian, Daniel, Bobby and cast, tonight. What an enthusiastic audience. And I was so happy to see writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman there tonight, too.

Nine Tony nominees document their 2006 Tony Awards experience on Broadway.com. There are photo essays from 2006 Tony nominees Samuel Barnett, Michael Cerveris, Jim Dale, LaChanze, Beth Leavel, Stephen Lynch, Alison Pill, Pablo Schreiber and John Lloyd Young. My photo essay documents the night before Tony day through to our visit to the White House the day after the Tonys.

To see the photo essays, [click here].

Thursday, August 3, 2006

It was a nice surprise to see THE VIEW’s Joy Behar out in the audience of JERSEY BOYS last night. Though she was certainly enjoying the show, I noticed she really seemed surprised and amused to watch the audience enjoy JERSEY BOYS so much. Wonder if she’ll be talking about it on her show…

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

I’m glad to be back at JERSEY BOYS tonight, after a week away. I had struggled for a few weeks trying to sing through a lingering sinus infection; my doctor said I’d better take some rest before I hurt myself. So I had to do something that’s difficult for ANY actor: spend a week on vocal rest and miss a full 8 performances. Luckily, home-bound, I was able to answer some of the e-mails that had been accumulating for months, and I’m so thankful to all of you who showed your support. Thanks, too, to the fans who heard I was sick this week and sent notes and e-mails. I’m constantly astounded at the affection and warmth lavished upon us by all the fans of JERSEY BOYS. And regrets to the fans who went to the show this week wanting to see my performance. The catch of live theatre is that it’s live, and unfortunately (for both of us, in this case), I’m human, too… Very glad to be back tonight.

I am a member of the National Advisory Board of the William Inge Festival of Independence, Kansas. A few weeks ago, a group of Inge Festival supporters came and made a Broadway visit. Among the shows they saw was JERSEY BOYS. Thanks to Inge Festival artistic director, Peter Ellenstein for inviting me to lunch with the group at Sardi’s Restaurant. Each year, the Inge Festival honors an American playwright (I performed in past years’ ceremonies honoring Arthur Laurents and Tina Howe). Next year’s honorees are Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Thank you to Peter for this photo from lunch at Sardi’s with Mr. Harnick and former Inge Festival honoree, A.R. Gurney. Tony Award or not, I was surprised to find myself feeling a bit nervous in the presence of Mr. Harnick (who wrote FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) and Mr. Gurney (who wrote LOVE LETTERS).

A.R. Gurney, Sheldon Harnick, Peter Ellenstein  and John Lloyd Young at Sardi's

A.R. Gurney, Sheldon Harnick, Peter Ellenstein
and John Lloyd Young at Sardi’s

It made me think about something I read in a recent film review. It discussed a young film director who had a huge success with his first film. The industry branded him an expert, an auteur. But the reviewer contends that so early in one’s career, a breakout hit can only truly demonstrate promise. The Tony in the Leading Actor category has historically gone to someone at the height or even end of an illustrious theatre career. The fact that I got mine in my first Broadway show, ever, doesn’t mean I know anything; only that I knew enough to get it right this time. So now I understand my own nervousness a little better. Pete Gurney and Sheldon Harnick have a career’s worth of work behind them, and I’ve got my career’s worth of work ahead of me. For me, this Tony isn’t a crown on a long, illustrious career; it just sets the bar for what lies ahead.

(You’d be nervous, too.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I took another stab at e-mail. I’m sorry — I don’t think I can keep up! I have 42 pages of unanswered e-mail from friends and fans, and I intended to answer it, but I have to stop promising. So I appreciate all the warmth and support, but I can only answer if you send me a letter. Look for my mailing address on my contact page, and I look forward to being in touch: the old fashioned way.

I also uncovered some e-mails from my former New York acting teacher, Eric Loeb. I have to add Eric to my list of thanks. Eric has achieved something that few teachers can attest to: two Tony-winning actors in so many years. 2005 Tony-winner Dan Fogler was also an Eric Loeb student. So is friend, Eric Millegan, who can now be seen on TV’s BONES. The mark of a great teacher is breakout students, and I am very proud to be one of Eric’s.

Friday, July 28, 2006

From today’s VARIETY: John Lloyd Young signs deal with ABC Television.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

JERSEY BOYS fan, Cathy Beckmann, sent me this picture from outside the stage door after a performance. Cathy is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Her home was more than 50% destroyed, and her trip to New York City and JERSEY BOYS helped to raise her spirits. Best wishes, to you, Cathy, and thanks for the photo.

Monday, July 24, 2006

“She says to me, ‘Francine needs a father.’ I answer, ‘How about a mother? Whyn’t you pull yourself together?!’
It’s my favorite line because the writers Marshall and Rick invented a word: ‘whyn’t.'”

John Lloyd Young talks to Jersey Boys Blog. [Click for link].

Friday, July 21, 2006

Last night Times Square’s Tony’s Di Napoli Restaurant unveiled this JERSEY BOYS portrait by Dan May for their Broadway Wall of Fame. A great deal of the cast was there to celebrate. Thank you to friends Kate Wetherhead, Jeff Croiter, Becca Ayers, and Alison and Charlie, for joining in the festivities.

JERSEY BOYS portrait, by Dan May www.mayillustration.com

JERSEY BOYS portrait, by Dan May
www.mayillustration.com

Also, Christian Hoff and I got our Tony Awards back from the engraver. They arrived backstage before last night’s performance wrapped in plastic, in a black, velvet-lined box. I was able to show the Tony to friends at the party last night before bringing it home; the most frequent comment, “It’s heavy!” The most frequent question: “Where are you going to put it?” It’s home on my bookshelf with my favorite plays and the other awards I won this season.

Click for photos from [Broadway.com].

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thank you to friend and fan, Lois, for the framed picture of the [NY Post] article on me and my father and the Tonys and for treating me to lunch, yesterday, between shows.

Looking over the blog this morning, I’m reminded of some of the highlights over this past year of JERSEY BOYS. I thought it might be fun to bring some of those back to the top of the blog for revisiting! Here are some of those highlights:

Broadway cast of JERSEY BOYS announced
Cast album recorded
Video from opening night
The New York Times Review
Fox News covers opening night
Jersey Boys’ first Today Show appearance
Sardi’s caricature unveiling
Video of Ryan, a 2-year-old fan
Wisconsin Public Radio interview
Bill Clinton visits JERSEY BOYS
Video documentary of Tony day

…and so much more to come. Thanks, as always, for all the e-mails and letters. I am still behind, but catching up a little every day, and I plan to answer all of them.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Had a wonderful vacation the weekend before last in upstate New York, where I was able to have a great visit with my immediate and extended family. It had been almost a year that I had been able to spend any time at home, so it was a rare opportunity to reconnect and reflect after the Tony Awards and this incredible year.
I returned to JERSEY BOYS on my birthday, July 4th, and was surprised after the performance at the stage door by a whole chorus of audience members singing “Happy Birthday.” Thank you to you all for the great surprise. After the Thursday evening performance, friends joined me after my performance at nearby Zanzibar for a birthday celebration. It was a great chance to catch up with some friends I haven’t really been able to see during this yearlong journey with JERSEY BOYS. Thanks to friend, Ellen Capon, for giving me a copy of the riveting Sundance Channel documentary [THE STAIRCASE]. (Thanks to JERSEY BOYS’ Erica Piccininni, Richard Hester, Deborah Hurwitz, Michael Clarkston, Joe Payne, Michael Clark and Michelle Bosch for also attending). Linda Lenzi was there and posted photos on [Broadwayworld.com].

I am overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of e-mail I’ve received from friends, family and fans before, during and after the Tonys. I made a little bit of a dent replying to things, today, but I have a lot of e-mail left to go through (about 60 pages’ worth). A heartfelt thanks to all of you, especially friends, old and new, to whom I haven’t replied just yet. I know your messages are there, and I’m looking forward to getting back to all of you.

As always, whenever I venture into my inbox, there are some real treasures awaiting. Thanks to JERSEY BOYS fans for sharing the following messages:

“I am 60 years old and have never written a fan letter before. When I returned to Cincinnati from New York, I visited your website. I am awaiting kidney dialysis and transplant, and occasionally that can become a bit depressing. When I read about your regimen to stay in shape for the role you play so beautifully, it inspired me to work harder to stay in as good health as possible to be ready for the days ahead. I’m watching my diet, starting to exercise more, and generally working on keeping a healthy attitude. YOU helped me see that I need to do that and to see what determination can accomplish.” — Sharon

“I am sixteen years old. I am writing to you because of your Tony Awards acceptance speech. Something happened to me when you got up on that stage and began talking to your father. I felt a crush of emotions and began to cry. My father and I have a similar relationship to what you mentioned yours to be. We are “at odds” more often than not. But despite all that, I love him so much, and he means everything to me. I am what I am because of him. You put into words what I have been feeling my whole life, but could never express. That night, you weren’t the only person thinking of your father.” — Jamie

“Your speech at the Tony Awards touched me. I am a mother with cystic fibrosis. Your speech was a beautiful reminder to me that life can and does go on in spite of tragedy, and even if I’m not here for all of it, my kids can still grow up to be healthy, happy, successful adults. Your speech was a wonderful tribute to your father, and to the power of the human spirit.” — Martha

Yesterday JERSEY BOYS and THE HISTORY BOYS were able to see each other’s shows. THE HISTORY BOYS had a special Sunday evening performance, so I was finally able to see it. Earlier in the day THE HISTORY BOYS’ Russell Tovey, Samuel Barnett, and Tony-winner Richard Griffiths all saw our JERSEY BOYS matinee. Had fun chatting with Griffiths backstage afterward (neither of us have our Tony Awards back from the engraver, yet!). Congrats to everyone of THE HISTORY BOYS on an exemplary performance. Now I understand what all the fuss is about!

Thank you to New Jersey Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, wife Anita and friends for waiting to say hello after seeing yesterday’s matinee of JERSEY BOYS.

Monday, June 26, 2006

NJ Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, John Lloyd Young, Carol Herbert, Joe Benincasa

Today I was honored by the New Jersey State Legislature. As the one JERSEY BOY who’s an actual resident of Jersey, I received a proclamation on behalf of myself, Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer, and Daniel Reichard, who were all at Central Park rehearsing tonight’s Broadway Under the Stars concert along with my understudy, Michael Longoria. Thank you to NJ Assemblyman, Patrick Diegnan, and friend Carol Herbert, Chair of the NJ Council on the Arts, for arranging this honor. I was able to meet NJ Governor, Jon Corzine before the proclamation, followed by lunch afterward with friend Carol Herbert and her husband Harold, and Assemblyman Diegnan’s wife, Anita. Executive Director of the Actors’ Fund of America, Joe Benincasa, was also along for the proceedings.
Yesterday morning, before our matinee, I performed at Hofstra University for WOR Radio’s Celebrate America Benefit. Thank you to WOR’s Joan Hamburg for inviting me to perform. In the green room, I ran into some other Broadway people performing in the benefit, including, Brandon Victor Dixon and Felicia P. Fields of THE COLOR PURPLE, John Tracy Egan (THE PRODUCERS), James Sampliner (THE WEDDING SINGER), Mary-Mitchell Campbell (John Doyle’s upcoming COMPANY) and Katie Clarke (A LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA). I also met the cast of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, who, told me they mercilessly parody me in JERSEY BOYS.

And last night after the JERSEY BOYS matinee, Alison and I attended Sarah Jones’ Tony-winning turn in BRIDGE AND TUNNEL. JERSEY BOYS’ J. Robert Spencer was also there, along with a slew of THE HISTORY BOYS. Afterward, we JERSEY BOYS accompanied the HISTORY BOYS backstage to meet and take pictures with Jones, who is in a word, incredible.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thank you to the people who have written to me in the wake of our incredible night at the 2006 Tony Awards. After my acceptance speech where I mentioned the loss of my birthmother to cystic fibrosis, I have received letters and e-mails from people who have cystic fibrosis or who love someone with the disease. Emily Schaller has cystic fibrosis, and she approached me to talk at the stage door. Emily has started the Rock CF Foundation in Detroit to raise money and awareness about CF. Please visit the Rock CF website at www.letsrockcf.org. And thank you, Emily, for sharing this with me. To learn more about cystic fibrosis and to donate to help find a cure, please visit the [Cystic Fibrosis Foundation] website.

I will be appearing tonight at 1 a.m. on the Joey Reynolds show on WOR Radio, 710 AM.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

From Today’s [New York Post]: ‘JERSEY BOY’ TONY WINNER: IT’S FOR MY DAD. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Friday, June 16, 2006

ABC World News Tonight named me “Person of the Week” tonight.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Broadwayworld.com followed me around the day of the Tonys, before, during and afterward. Here’s a video documentary of that day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Returned last evening from our performance at the White House. We left the JERSEY BOYS Tony Awards party at 1:30 a.m., boarded a tour bus and made our way to D.C., where we arrived at dawn. Each year, First Lady Laura Bush hosts a bi-partisan luncheon for all the Senators’ spouses. We were this year’s entertainment. J. Robert Spencer, Matthew Scott, Dominic Nolfi and I, accompanied by our conductor, Ron Melrose, and musicians Ken and Kevin Dow, Deborah Hurwitz and Joe Payne, along with three horn players from the U.S. Marine Corps, performed Four Seasons songs for our very enthusiastic audience. Also along were Heath Schwartz and Susanne Tighe from our press office, as well as JERSEY BOYS stage manager, Michael Clarkston. I was honored to be invited to sit at Laura Bush’s table. Beside me was Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon’s wife, Nancy Bass Wyden. To my great surprise, Mrs. Wyden turns out to own and operate one of my favorite New York institutions, her family’s business, the famous Strand Bookstore. Following the lunch and performance, we were given a tour of the White House. Then we re-boarded our tour bus and headed home to New York.

Lead Actor 2006 Tony Award Winners John Lloyd Young, LaChanze, Cynthia Nixon, Richard Griffiths

What an honor to have won the Tony Award on Sunday night. I was so happy to see co-star Christian Hoff take the prize for Featured Actor as well as Howell Binkley for lighting and the whole team for Best Musical.

I would like to acknowledge the following people, because no one can win an award without the help and support of many:

Thank you to voice teacher, Katie Agresta, who trained me for four months before JERSEY BOYS began and who has helped shepherd me through this entire experience in our weekly lessons. Thank you to JERSEY BOYS conductor, Ron Melrose, for his expertise and guidance from day one (including introducing me to Katie Agresta).

Thank you to all the JERSEY BOYS musicians, Ken Dow, Ben Kono, Joe Payne, Deborah Hurwitz, Matt Hong, Dave Spier, Steve Gibb, Steve “Hoops” Snyder and especially drummer, Kevin Dow, who is onstage almost as much as I am! Thank you to former agent, now manager, Nina Shreiber, for paying for those lessons with Katie when I couldn’t afford them, and for her tireless support and unparalleled work ethic. Thank you to lawyer, Ben Feldman, and to new agents Adam Schweitzer, Iris Grossman, Paul Martino and the rest of the ICM team, and to publicist, Charlie Siedenburg. Thank you to JERSEY BOYS co-stars, Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer and Daniel Reichard who make it easy to be a good actor opposite them. (Thank you to Ted Baker, for dressing the four of us for the Tonys and to Jim Haag and Jacob & Co. for the diamond accessories!)

JERSEY BOYS wins 2006 Best Musical Tony Award
(l-r) Producer Ed Strong, Daniel Reichard, John Lloyd Young, Producer Michael David, Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer, Producers Tamara and Kevin Kinsella

And thank you to fellow cast members Tituss Burgess, Heather Ferguson, Steve Gouveia, Donnie Kehr, John Leone, Michael Longoria, Jennifer Naimo, Dominic Nolfi, Erica Piccinnini, Sara Schmidt, Matthew Scott, Peter Gregus and Mark Lotito for their talent and warmth onstage and off. So happy we can all share this award for Best Musical, together. Thank you to the entire crew and staff (including David, Gus and Will at the stage door )at JERSEY BOYS, especially Amy Neswald, Lee Austin and Nancy Ronan, Nick Staub, Shaun Ozminski, Ricky Yates and Davis Duffield for keeping me together on the front lines, outside (and in). (Thanks to the tech crew, but especially to Mike for keeping me lit!!) Thank you to Maria and Lorraine from housekeeping. Thank you to stage managers, Michelle Bosch, Richard Hester and Michael Clarkston for their prowess and their patience. Thank you to choreographer, Sergio Trujillo, who taught me to dance along with dance captain, Peter Gregus, who helped him. And to associate choreographer, Kelly Devine, who played good cop.

Thank you to director, Des McAnuff, and producers, the Dodgers, for taking a big risk on an unknown actor, and to casting directors Tara Rubin and Eric Woodall for finding me and introducing me to them. Further thanks to Des McAnuff for his expertise at the helm of one of the biggest hit shows of the decade. Your achievement is staggering. And thank you to Assistant Director, Holly Anne Ruggiero for imparting all the reams of notes! Thank you to orchestrator, Steve Orich; lighting designer, Howell Binkley; sound designer, Steve Canyon Kennedy (and his home team, Julie, Mike and Dave); costume designer, Jess Goldstein; and hair designer Chuck LaPointe; along with each of their individual teams, for their enthusiasm and kindness and craft.

A big thank you to the reasons we’re here: Bob Gaudio and Judy Parker Gaudio, Frankie Valli, Bob Crewe and Tommy DeVito, who, along with their families, have all been present, supportive and inspiring to all of us throughout this whole journey. And a most important thank you to JERSEY BOYS scriptwriters Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice for having the skill to give both the JERSEY BOYS actors AND audiences a reason to care about these characters and this show. Often only one of the two happens; you two made both happen at once, and all the good that’s come to us is because of that.

Thank you to my parents, my sister, my family, and all my friends, especially old friends, the Novaceks, Isaac Robert Hurwitz and Lauren Bass and Alee Ralph for always believing. Emily Wells, it’s been such a comfort and joy to have you around for these past few months of JERSEY BOYS events. And to Kate and Becca: so proud we all debuted in 2005! Thank you to Austin, for helping me find my speech. And to Alison, for her patience, belief and love.

Thank you to Patrick Parker and Mark Waldrop for letting me housesit nearby in their NYC apartment during our grueling summer rehearsals for JERSEY BOYS.

I’d like to acknowledge my cousin, Donna Salamone, who took me to Vegas to see Frankie Valli, live, when I was researching this role. I am so grateful she was able to help me, back then, and so glad she was able to be at the Tony Awards this past Sunday.

And most important of all, thank you to all the JERSEY BOYS fans, who make it so rewarding to perform in this show, and to all the voters who agreed with them enough to reward us at JERSEY BOYS for our work.

I have so many e-mails and voicemail messages from so many of you: thank you. I’ll be answering them for weeks!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The 60th Annual Tony Awards air tomorrow night on CBS. In my early research for JERSEY BOYS, I uncovered an old press release that said, “Frankie Valli believes no one can succeed alone.” Whether I win or not, there are a lot of people to thank, and I’ll do that here on the blog early next week.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

By Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press: “The ‘Boys’ are Big Tony Contenders.” [Click here] to read the article.

Thank you to Broadway fans who voted me “Best Breakout Performer of 2006” on Broadway.com’s 7th Annual Audience Awards.

JLY accepts his Theatre World Award
photo: Broadwayworld.com

Yesterday afternoon was the 2006 Theatre World Awards Ceremony at Studio 54. Thank you to friends Charlie Siedenburg and Nina Shreiber, Alison Franck and my father for attending with me. Thank you, too, to JERSEY BOYS producer Ed Strong for being there. Ran into friends Sammy Buck, Scott Denny, Daniel Acquisto and Dan Debenport, who were all working at the event, as well as Stacy Baer, Candi Adams, Randie Levine Miller and others. It was a very touching ceremony. Twelve winners, six men and six women, were honored for their outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debut performances. The honorees were Harry Connick, Jr. (The Pajama Game), Felicia P. Fields (The Color Purple), Maria Friedman (The Woman in White), Richard Griffiths (The History Boys), Mamie Gummer (Mr. Marmalade), Jayne Houdyshell (Well), Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), Ian McDiarmid (Faith Healer), Nellie McKay (The Threepenny Opera), David Wilmot (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Elisabeth Withers-Mendes (The Color Purple), John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys). Each nominee was introduced by a former Theatre World Award winner. I was introduced by actor John Rubenstein who won his award for the original Broadway production of PIPPIN. The emcee was the Star-Ledger’s Peter Filichia and the other presenters included past Theatre World Award winners, Lucie Arnaz, Maxwell Caulfield, Ralph Fiennes, Harry Groener, Liza Minelli, Patricia Neal, Ken Page, and Jonathan Pryce.
Each presenter told the story of their first breakout performance and their experience of winning the Theatre World Award, then they introduced each of us and presented us with our awards. It was a warm and moving meeting of past, present and future in that room, and I am honored to have been a part of it. An overwhelming thank you to Harry Connick, Jr. for predicting in his Theatre World Award acceptance speech that I deserved to take home the Tony Award this coming Sunday. No matter what the outcome on Sunday, I’ll never forget that Connick, an idol of mine for 15 years, had the humility and grace to say that. At the end of the ceremony, all of the current winners, past winners and presenters gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” to 90-year-old Theatre World founder, John Willis.

And, of course, thank you to Theatre World for inducting me into this historic fraternity of New York theatre luminaries.

Here’s an article about the event, written by emcee, Peter Filichia. And click here for photos.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Peter Marks writes about JERSEY BOYS and the 2006 Tony Awards in today’s Washington Post. [Click here] for the article.

I haven’t been able to check or answer my e-mail in literally two months, but I was able to look at a few messages, today. After an incredibly stressful week and the intense pressures of the Broadway awards season, what an overwhelming and happy feeling to read the following words from some fans:

“I was fortunate enough to meet you and the other “Boys” after the show in the lobby. What really made the evening complete was when I took a picture with you, got your autograph, and you asked me if I was an actress, I said yes, and you told me to stay strong. Those words stuck in my brain and really got me thinking about how much I love the performing arts, and how I want to “make it” someday. Although I’m only a 16 year old finishing her Sophomore year in high school, I know this is what I want to do with my life. Thank you so much for your encouragement.” — Jessica

“At the point in the show where you guys sing Sherry, Big Girls and Walk Like A Man, I feel like the audience is celebrating both The Four Seasons AND the four of you. But somewhere during the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” you cross over that line. When the horns come out, the audience is celebrating Frankie Valli’s highlight of his career, but by the time you finish that song the audience is celebrating the unbelievable talent that is John Lloyd Young. Like I said, there were tears. I think they were tears of pride for you and your amazing accomplishment as a performer.” — Lyn

“Saw your wonderful show this past Tuesday. You’re the best. Your performance is nothing less than phenomenal… The American Bandstand scene brought back personal memories for me. I am from Philadelphia and I am one of the “original regular dancers” on that show. I was there the day Frankie Valli made his first appearance on the show. Seeing you perform Sherry was recapturing the moment for me all over again.” — Eddie

Thank you to fans, Jessica, Lyn and Eddie, above, and to all the other fans and friends who are writing me during this busy time. When I get a chance to catch up on my e-mail, I’ll express my appreciation to you all, individually. For the time being, though, thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement, your congratulations and your best wishes for the Tonys. Broadway can be tough, but your words certainly help soften it. With sincere appreciation, JLY

“To be in a position to be in the show as long as I want is very exciting. I think I’m gonna be with it for a nice long time,
either on Broadway or the national tour, and a London production is in the works. It would be nice to open a hit show
in a foreign country in the theatre capitol of the world.”

John Lloyd Young discusses JERSEY BOYS with interviewer David Noh
to read this interview, [click here]

Friday, June 2, 2006

What a week, and it’s not over, yet. Tomorrow morning JERSEY BOYS appears on NBC’s Weekend TODAY. Wednesday, we also appeared on the TODAY Show for Katie Couric’s farewell. I hear that with approximately 8 million viewers it was the highest rated TODAY in TODAY Show history. We performed a version of “Bye, Bye, Baby” for Katie, with alternate farewell lyrics by JERSEY BOYS scriptwriter, Rick Elice. Then, to end the broadcast, we performed another farewell number with lyrics and arrangement by Tony-winning HAIRSPRAY composer, Marc Shaiman, along with HAIRSPRAY’s Harvey Fierstein. We had to arrive at the TODAY Show studios at 5:45 a.m., and then later we had a matinee and evening performance of JERSEY BOYS. It was certainly an exhausting day, but someday we’ll be able to tell our grandchildren about being a part of this historic event.

See video clips of our May 31, 2006 appearance on TODAY:

Thanks to Joan Hamburg for having me and JERSEY BOYS director, Des McAnuff on her WOR Radio program Thursday morning.

In the midst of these great appearances and our 8-show weeks, we’ve also been busy rehearsing for these appearances as well as for our very important upcoming appearance at the Tony Awards, the evening of Sunday, June 11th on CBS.

Last night First Lady Laura Bush attended JERSEY BOYS with daughter, Barbara. Thanks also to Greg Victor, Dr. and Mrs. Barry Kohn and Roger Alan Gindi for waiting backstage to say hello after the performance.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Today Corine Dana Cohen e-mailed me this caricature, drawn by Sam Norkin:

JLY by Sam Norkin

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Profiled today by Mark Rotella in the New Jersey section of [The New York Times].

photo: Dith Pran/The New York Times

Saturday, May 27, 2006

One of the great joys of being an actor is performing for a live audience. Sometimes it’s unlike anything else you could ever describe. At JERSEY BOYS we often get multiple standing ovations during the show, which, for us, is still breathtaking each time it happens. Tonight, though, something happened at JERSEY BOYS that’s never happened before: people in the audience began to stand at the beginning of a song, all the way through it, and as the song ended the rest of the audience jumped to its feet. As the JERSEY BOYS and I came together to sing the final song of the show, a man in the orchestra stood. Soon thereafter an audience member on the opposite side of the auditorium stood. Then whole sections began to stand. As we performed our final song together as a cast, we watched this happening. We were all so moved that many of us, including me, were fighting back tears.

The JERSEY BOYS audience often thanks us at the stage door for giving them such an incredible experience. And I am always so grateful for our warm and enthusiastic audience response. Tonight, though, I’ll never forget. So to tonight’s audience: thank you.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The New York Times’ Ben Brantley discusses John Lloyd Young and JERSEY BOYS in his overview of the season. Listen to his NPR interview:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Click [here for a Broadway.com] interview with all four of us JERSEY BOYS.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

JERSEY BOYS, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I will appear on Regis & Kelly on Thursday morning (May 25th).

Photos from Sunday night’s Drama Desk Awards are posted on [Broadwayworld.com].

Monday, May 22, 2006

Early a.m. and just returned from the after party for the 2006 Drama Desk Awards. They always say an actor is only as good as his material. Well, I believe that. So I should have had our book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice write my acceptance speech for the Outstanding Actor award I won tonight because I forgot to thank them. Marshall and Rick wrote one of the best roles I’ve ever played, and the book for JERSEY BOYS is, hands down, the reason the show works so beautifully. So, thank you, Marshall and Rick.

Fran Drescher and John Lloyd Young backstage at the Drama Desk Awards
photo: Brad Balfour


Fran Drescher, pictured with me at left, presented me with my Drama Desk Award.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tonight are the Drama Desk Awards. JERSEY BOYS is nominated for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical (Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman), Outstanding Director of a Musical (Des McAnuff), Outstanding Choreography (Sergio Trujillo), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (John Lloyd Young), two for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Christian Hoff and Daniel Reichard), and Outstanding Sound Design (Steve Canyon Kennedy). Good luck to everybody, tonight!

I’d always heard of the almost mythic influence Bill Clinton wields over the people around him, but his visit to JERSEY BOYS this past Wednesday was simply uncanny.

John Lloyd Young and Des McAnuff feel the magical influence of Bill Clinton
photo: dMT

Broadwayworld.com has posted an interview with me from the morning of the Tony nominations. [Click here] to read the interview.

“The real thrill of the smash hit, ‘Jersey Boys’ lies not in the mimetic rendering of old Four Seasons songs, but in the sheen of conviction exuded by John Lloyd Young, the young actor playing Frankie Valli. His performance turns what might have been karaoke imitation numbers into personal cris de coeur, and it rips through the synthetic fabric of a by-the-numbers biomusical.”
Ben Brantley discussing JERSEY BOYS in today’s New York Times

Friday, May 19, 2006

Shuler Hensley, Chita Rivera, John Lloyd Young

Shuler Hensley, Chita Rivera, John Lloyd Young


Yesterday was the New Dramatists Annual Gala Luncheon. This year Chita Rivera was the honoree. New Dramatists’ Artistic Director Todd London said some beautiful words to honor Chita Rivera, as did her close friend, composer, Fred Ebb. New Dramatist, and eloquent, poetic playwright Dominic Taylor was honored with an award that will send him on a trip to Antarctica! He and I chatted with mutual friend playwright Deb Baley Brevoort and realized all three of us had the common connection of having attended Brown University. Congrats to Dominic on his upcoming adventure. There were performances by Daphne Rubin Vega and a magnetic Ben Vereen. Had fun meeting my neighbors from around the block from THE COLOR PURPLE, fellow Tony nominees, LaChanze, Brandon Victor Dixon, Brenda Russell and Allee Willis.

Also chatted with fellow Brown alum and Tony nominee, Kate Burton, friend Laura Flanagan, friend and playwright Julia Jordan (who was there with her new baby boy!), as well as buddy Dr. Barry Kohn, Marian Seldes, Joe Stein, Susan Birkenhead, Sheldon Harnick, Joyce Randolph, Jamie DeRoy, Michael Cerveris, Ron and Lynn Cohen and others. It was a very fun event, honoring a very accomplished woman. I was proud to be there and excited to be in such great company.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A glimpse into yesterday’s eventful day…

morning…                                   noon…                                  night…

  

2006 Tony nominees Des McAnuff
and John Lloyd Young at the
Tony nominations press event

The JERSEY BOYS return to the August Wilson Theatre after being
police escorted back and forth during our intermission
to perform at Carnegie Hall
photo: dMT

Bill Clinton visits the JERSEY BOYS backstage
during the evening performance
photo: Bruce Glikas

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thank you to all the friends, family and fans who have called or e-mailed to congratulate me on my Tony nomination. It truly means so much to me to have heard from all of you. Keep watching the blog for updates on all the exciting events leading up to the big day, June 11th!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another great day for JERSEY BOYS. The 2006 Tony Awards nominations were announced this morning, and JERSEY BOYS received 8:
Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice), Best Performance by a Leading Actor (John Lloyd Young), Best Performance by a Featured Actor (Christian Hoff), Best Direction (Des McAnuff), Best Orchestrations (Steve Orich), Best Scenic Design (Klara Zieglerova), Best Lighting Design (Howell Binkley). Congratulations to everybody at JERSEY BOYS and to all the other nominees.

The Tony Awards will be held on Sunday, June 11th at Radio City Music Hall and will be broadcast on CBS.

John Lloyd Young

John Lloyd Young during The Safe Space Annual Spring Benefit, Lights, Camera, Action: A Night Where Stars Shine at B.B. Kings in New York City, New York, United States.
16/05/2006

Last night I performed “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” at a benefit for Safe Space. And later, the entire cast of JERSEY BOYS closed out the performances at the Annual Gala Benefit for Manhattan Theater Club at the New York Hilton Ballroom.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Congratulations to the whole JERSEY BOYS family on our 2006 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Musical as well as to JERSEY BOYS lighting designer, Howell Binkley, for his award for Outstanding Lighting Design. And thank you very much to the Outer Critics Circle for recognizing me with the Outstanding Lead Actor award. A warm thank you to my fellow JERSEY BOYS, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer for being such strong, dedicated and capable teammates. Congratulations, too, to all the other Outer Critics Circle Award winners from shows this season, on and off-Broadway. An awards ceremony will be held Thursday, May 25th at New York’s famous Sardi’s Restaurant.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thanks to the Theatre World Awards for choosing me as one of their 2006 recipients. Six male and six female recipients are chosen each year, honored for a breakout performance in a major New York debut. An invitation-only awards ceremony will take place on June 6th at New York’s STUDIO 54. Congratulations to all the winners. Here’s the complete list: Harry Connick, Jr. (The Pajama Game), Felicia P. Fields (The Color Purple), Maria Friedman (The Woman in White), Richard Griffiths (The History Boys), Mamie Gummer (Mr. Marmalade), Jayne Houdyshell (Well), Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), Ian McDiarmid (Faith Healer), Nellie McKay (The Threepenny Opera), David Wilmot (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Elisabeth Withers-Mendes (The Color Purple), John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys). www.theatreworldawards.org

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thanks to JERSEY BOYS fans Ariana and her mom, Joan, winners of the third lunch I auctioned for [Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS] and The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. We enjoyed lunch at the theatre district’s Rino Trattoria, near the August Wilson Theatre, where JERSEY BOYS plays. Ariana and her mom brought along family friend, Clay, also known as Mrs. Charlie Calello! (music arranger Calello was a long-time member of the Four Seasons) I’ll post photos when I have them.

John Lloyd Young and Jeff Marx photo: Linda Lenzi Broadwayworld.com

John Lloyd Young and Jeff Marx
photo: Linda Lenzi
Broadwayworld.com

Tonight was Broadwayworld.com’s third anniversary party at Tony’s DiNapoli Restaurant. Had fun visiting with Alison Franck, JERSEY BOYS’ Daniel Reichard and Christian Hoff, Jamie McGonnigal, Ben Toth, Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Ryan Davis, Jeff Marx, Richard Ridge, Michael Cerveris, Matt Cavenaugh, Julie Garnier, Broadwayworld.com’s Robert Diamond, Craig Brockman, Linda Lenzi, Ben Strothman, Walter McBride and others. [Click for photos].

Last night, attended the opening night party of Broadway’s TARZAN, after our performance of JERSEY BOYS, along with J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff and Daniel Reichard. Here are photos from [Broadway.com] from TARZAN’s opening night and party, including one where we JERSEY BOYS truly “go ape!”

Monday, May 8, 2006

Today was a busy “day off” for JERSEY BOYS. The four of us performed at The New York Pops Gala at Carnegie Hall. We also performed at [The Actors’ Fund of America]‘s Annual Gala honoring Jujamcyn Theatres President, Rocco Landesman, at Cipriani.

John Lloyd Young, Daniel Reichard, Frankie Valli,  Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer and Christian Hoff photo: Linda Lenzi, Broadwayworld.com

John Lloyd Young, Daniel Reichard, Frankie Valli,
Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer and Christian Hoff
photo: Linda Lenzi, Broadwayworld.com

Photos from the Actors’ Fund Gala, including the one to the left, are available at [Broadwayworld.com].

Thank you to the two busloads of friends, fans and family who all came from Schuyler, New York and other western New York towns this past weekend to see JERSEY BOYS!

Friday, May 5, 2006

What a great day for JERSEY BOYS. The Drama League Awards honored JERSEY BOYS with the award for Distinguished Production of a Musical. The play award went to THE HISTORY BOYS, play revival went to AWAKE AND SING, and musical revival went to SWEENEY TODD. Theatre veteran Christine Ebersole won the performance honor for GREY GARDENS. (Incidentally, Ebersole was in two of my all-time favorite films, TOOTSIE and AMADEUS). Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I were there along with director, Des McAnuff, producers Michael David and Lauren Mitchell, and writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard, Des McAnuff,  John Lloyd Young and Christian Hoff at the Drama League Awards photo: Broadwayworld.com

J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard, Des McAnuff,
John Lloyd Young and Christian Hoff
at the Drama League Awards
photo: Broadwayworld.com

Congrats to all involved with JERSEY BOYS and to the rest of the winners.

Photos are available at [Broadwayworld.com].

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Thanks to Plattsburgh High School’s Joy Demarse and company for attending JERSEY BOYS, today. Joy brought a student bus group of fifty from Plattsburgh, New York, where I graduated high school. Joy directed me as “Jack” in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS back when I was a P.H.S. student.

Earlier in the morning, we had a photo shoot outside JERSEY BOYS’ theatre with our friend and original Four Season, songwriter and producer Bob Gaudio. Here’s a candid from our shoot:

Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, John Lloyd Young and Bob Gaudio outside JERSEY BOYS photo: M.T.

Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, John Lloyd Young and Bob Gaudio outside JERSEY BOYS
photo: M.T.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Happy birthday, today, to dear friend and mentor, Theo Bikel, and tomorrow, May 3rd, to a new important friend and mentor, Frankie Valli.

Charlie Siedenburg was along with me, today, as I was doing some work for the [Actors’ Fund of America] at the Channel 13 WNET studios. On our way out, we ran into theatre legend, Zoe Caldwell. After introducing myself to Caldwell, she complimented JERSEY BOYS. She called it “criminally good.” Looks like JERSEY BOYS has the Zoe Caldwell seal of approval (she certainly has mine)! Afterward we had lunch with my good friend, stage manager and director Emily Wells.

John Lloyd Young and Daniel Reichard at the  Drama Desk Awards Nominee Reception photo: Broadwayworld.com

John Lloyd Young and Daniel Reichard at the
Drama Desk Awards Nominee Reception
photo: Broadwayworld.com

Had fun later in the day picking up my Drama Desk Awards nomination certificate at a cocktail reception for the 2006 Drama Desk Awards nominees. Congratulations to my friend, Leslie Kritzer, who picked up a nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL. Cavorted with fellow JERSEY BOYS nominees Daniel Reichard and bookwriter Marshall Brickman, as well as SWEENEY’s Alex Gemignani, THE WEDDING SINGER’s Stephen Lynch and lead producer Margo Lion, some of the HISTORY BOYS, friend Rich Topol who’s honored with the ensemble cast of AWAKE AND SING and met fellow lead actor nominee Harry Connick, Jr. (of THE PAJAMA GAME). Enjoyed visiting, too, with Paper Mill Playhouse’s Angelo Del Rossi. Leslie Kritzer and I both had early triumphs onstage at Paper Mill, so it was especially nice to be able to visit with Del Rossi on this prestigious occasion for the two of us Paper Mill alumni.

Monday, May 1, 2006

John Lloyd Young and 2nd BC/EFA  lunch winner, Gene Singer at  New York's Puleo's Restaurant

John Lloyd Young and 2nd BC/EFA
lunch winner, Gene Singer at
New York’s Puleo’s Restaurant


Had the second of five auctioned lunches with a JERSEY BOYS fan last week. This one was with Gene Singer, CPA and Lieutenant with the NYC Auxiliary Police. Visited with his wife, Pat, over the phone. Gene and Pat are die-hard JERSEY BOYS fans, having seen the show five times already! We enjoyed our lunch at the theatre district’s Puleo’s Restaurant, who graciously donated our meal to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative.
With the first real week of spring weather upon us, I allowed myself for the first time since JERSEY BOYS opened to venture out after the show both Thursday and Saturday and Sunday nights with friends including Christian Hoff, Becca Ayers, Scott Denny, Valerie Phillips, Alison Franck and Sammy Buck to the theatre district’s Bar Centrale. Ran into friends Roy Miller (producer of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE) and Heather Hawkins, ran into SWEENEY’s Michael Cerveris, as well as Jamie McGonnigal and Laura Benanti, fresh from THE WEDDING SINGER’s opening night party.

Outside, visited with FESTEN’s Ali McGraw whom I thanked for the very kind backstage note she sent our cast after she saw JERSEY BOYS. The lesson: there’s a lot going on out there, which I’ve been missing for months, rushing home every night to rest for the next day of JERSEY BOYS! (And: Happy Birthday to JERSEY BOYS stage manager, Michael Clarkston, who had a party Saturday night at 10th Avenue’s 44 1/2.)

We were all overjoyed to meet original Four Seasons member, Joe Long, Friday night at JERSEY BOYS. Joe came backstage afterward to meet JERSEY BOYS’ “Joe Long,” Steve Gouveia, and the rest of the cast.
Tonight is the gala opening of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, which I am excited to attend with Alison Franck. Congrats, in advance, to friend, Producer Roy Miller on his show’s opening night. I reported here on the blog years ago (!) how much I enjoyed the abbreviated presentation of the show I saw at the National Alliance of Musical Theatre in its earlier stages, and now, lo and behold, here it is opening on Broadway. Congrats, Roy (and see you tonight!)




January – April 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Actors' Fund's Joe Benincasa, Paul Rudd,  Karen Mason, John Lloyd Young photo: Broadwayworld.com

The Actors’ Fund’s Joe Benincasa, Paul Rudd,
Karen Mason, John Lloyd Young
photo: Broadwayworld.com


Last night I attended The Actors’ Fund of America’s and Philips Electronics’ presentation of “Simplicity–A Look at the Future.” The event took place at Pier 94 in Manhattan and was hosted by Actors’ Fund Board Member, Bebe Neuwirth. “Simplicity–A Look at the Future” was, as described by Phillips, “an interactive environment showcasing an extraordinary collection of future products, services and solutions. All of the products were arranged and grouped in ‘pods’ throughout the room.” Click here for photos from [Broadwayworld.com].

Today was day two of the 20th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition. Julia Roberts, Harry Connick, Jr. and Ana Gasteyer presented the winners and runners up. The winning bonnet was made by the Broadway company of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. THE COLOR PURPLE won for best skit.

Total contributions to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Actors’ Fund and Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative among all the participating shows, Broadway, Off-Broadway and on National Tours was over THREE MILLION DOLLARS!

In total, JERSEY BOYS fans and audiences alone contributed $116,224.74 of that three million dollars.

The Jersey Boys presenting at Easter Bonnet photo: Broadwayworld.com

The Jersey Boys presenting at Easter Bonnet
photo: Broadwayworld.com


And through this website, alone, between the auctioned lunches with me and your individual donations, you helped to contribute $12,292.95! Thank you.

Congratulations to friends composer/lyricist, husband/wife team Larry O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin on the announcement of their Broadway show, LEGALLY BLONDE, for April of 2007.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Today and tomorrow the Broadway community comes together at the New Amsterdam Theatre (home of Broadway’s THE LION KING) for the 20th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition. Tickets are available to the public — visit this link. Each Broadway show that participates has created a skit that showcases their themed Easter bonnet. A panel of judges choose the best bonnet, and on Tuesday, a winner is announced. There are also awards for those shows who have raised the most for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, which benefits women battling breast cancer. I’ll let you know how JERSEY BOYS fared in that element of the competition. The four of us JERSEY BOYS, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I will be presenters at the event along with Kelli O’Hara, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark and others.

I am overwhelmed and honored to be nominated for a 2006 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for “Frankie Valli” in JERSEY BOYS. Congratulations to fellow nominee, Tony-winner Michael Cerveris, with whom I’ve become friendly at events this season and who was classy enough to invite my mother backstage to give her a tour after she saw his show. Congratulations, as well, to JERSEY BOYS lead producer, Michael David, and all the cast, crew and creative team, (and especially fellow Seasons Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer) on the show’s nomination for Outstanding Broadway Musical. Other JERSEY BOYS nominees include Christian Hoff (Featured Actor), Des McAnuff (Director), Sergio Trujillo (Choreography) and Howell Binkley (Lighting Design).

The Outer Critics Circle is the organization of writers and commentators covering NY theatre for out-of-town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway. It is celebrating its 56th season of awards for excellence in the field of theater. The award winners will be announced on Monday, May 15th and the annual awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 25th (4pm) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

Congratulations, too, to JERSEY BOYS music director and conductor, Ron Melrose, on his wedding, Saturday, to Alexandra Carlson. JERSEY BOYS’ Christan Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I were ushers Saturday morning at Ron and Alexandra’s beautiful ceremony at the Universalist Church at Central Park. Original music for the ceremony was composed and performed by Jenny Giering.

Thank you to New Jersey State Council on the Arts chair, Carol Ann Herbert and husband, Harold, for visiting with me between Saturday’s JERSEY BOYS performances and introducing me to New Jersey Assemblyman, Patrick J. Diegnan and wife, Anita.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Through just after Easter, the Broadway community raises funds for [Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS] and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative which benefits women battling breast cancer. JERSEY BOYS’ fundraising at the August Wilson Theatre ended today. Thank you to audience members Bob and Agnes who won an auction from the stage to have dinner with us JERSEY BOYS after the matinee performance (the auction ended at $1,300). Altogether, between collections at the theatre as well as numerous items auctioned off on Ebay, you helped JERSEY BOYS raise over $110,000 for these causes.

One of the items up for auction on Ebay was lunch with JERSEY BOYS’ “Frankie Valli,” John Lloyd Young! Four lunches brought in a total of $5,735.95 — thank you!

The following fans sent me individual donations for BC/EFA at the theatre:

Charles Alexander, Jimmie and Pat Anderson (in memory of Tommy Wiseman), Donna Aufiero, Carol Ruth Axelrod, Rich and Marlene Ayers, Patricia A. Ball, Kathy Bartsche, Catherine Beckmann, Veronica Bruscini, Leeann Bruzek, David A. Cace, Dan Caradoni, Dorian Chui, Cindy Ceen (in memory of Rex C. Woodard), Evan Cohen DDS, Virginia Coroniti, Harry Day, Kristen DellaRocca, Rich Delloff, Michele DelSordo, Jerry & Andrea Demuth, Mia DiRaimo, Karen Doskow, Damaris Dugan, Betty Eaton, Brenda Edgington, John H. Emmet, Bob Foster, Pat Fowler, Fran Gatto, Gina Gleeson-Bentz, Irwin & Phyllis Goodfriend, Lois Halpern, Kathryn Hanson, Linda Hayashi, Mary Jo & Margie Hillman, Sally Hines, Frank Ingrasciotta, Georgine Kaczmarek, Nick Kaster, Elinor A. Koehl, Tracy A. Kuntz (TCM), Erin Kuntzelman, Kayla Kuzbel, Danielle Lalehzar, Sue Lasbury, Karen Longest, Victor Mancuso, Lillian Mangum, Sheila McNulty-Bobholz, John Meglino and family, Anastasia Meyers, Jonnie Miller, Linda & Christopher Montague, Nicole Nardizzi, Carol Onuma, Rebecca Pisano, Bill Pritchett, Coleen Raccuglia, Hilary Ranucci, Jean Reese, Barry Rogan, Robert Romano, Frank Rovello, Shannon Rymsza, Fr. David Sambor, Shannon Scanio, Sid Seidenberger, Jim & Sara Sevey, Elisa Halpern Sheftic, Joan & Jerry Shevlin, Doreen Shulman, Holly Sieger-McElroy, Bonnie Simms, Pamela Singer, Susie & Dale Skarl, Marilyn Smith, Bobbi Soroka, Kathy Spinner, Lisa Spodak, Ben Stiefel, Sandy & Dave Stortz, Nancy Taylor, Gayle Kamen Weinstein, Robin Wilkinson, Thea Wudyka, Mary Wychowski, Rev. Mike Yarbrough, Frank York (who donated proceeds from his business), Barbara Young, Amanda Zeller

A big thank you to all of you, who, together, through this website, helped me to surpass my personal goal of $5,000!

Between the auctioned lunches with me and your individual donations through my website, you contributed $12,292.95 to BC/EFA! Congratulations!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to JERSEY BOYS’ “Tommy DeVito,” Christian Hoff!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today the Drama League announced their 2006 award nominations. The Drama League Awards are New York’s oldest theatre awards, pre-dating the Tony Awards by 12 years. This year’s awards ceremony takes place on May 5th. JERSEY BOYS is nominated for Distinguished Production of a Musical. Christian Hoff and I are nominated among approximately 70 other performers for the Distinguished Performance Award, all of whom will sit on the dais at the ceremony. One performer from among the 70 will be named Performer of the Year. The four of us JERSEY BOYS were already announced as honorary co-chairs of the event. Congratulations to Rick Elice, Marshall Brickman, Des McAnuff, Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli and all the creative team, cast and crew for our nomination for Distinguished Production of a Musical!

From today’s New York Daily News: “Chess Chick Heads Best of City”
John Lloyd Young one of several New Yorkers chosen for Reader’s Digest 100 Best of America:

L. Doctorow (literary light). John Lloyd Young, who plays Frankie Valli on Broadway (alter ego). Barry Landau (collector). Steinway & Sons in Queens (company tour). Disney’s “Tarzan” on Broadway (swinging single). Olivia the Pig, created by author-illustrator Ian Falconer (pig art). –BY OWEN MORITZ, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
April 19, 2006

[click for article]

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Congratulations to friend Joe Calarco, whose production of URINETOWN at D.C.’s Signature Theatre just won 8 Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Director (Joe Calarco) and Best Musical.

Yesterday, April 17th, I participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the Actors’ Fund of America’s Lillian Booth Actors’ Home in Englewood, NJ. Presiding over the ceremony were Actors’ Fund President, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Actors’ Fund Executive Director, Joe Benincasa. James Earl Jones, whose father is a resident of the home, recited Shakespeare in honor of the Bard’s 442nd birthday! The Actors’ Home is a retirement home run by the Actors’ Fund, and named for Lillian Booth, a major benefactor. The facility and grounds are beautiful and the atmosphere inside and out is joyous. Met Actors’ Home resident Barbara Belle Newman, who wrote the song “A Sunday Kind of Love,” which is featured in the beginning of JERSEY BOYS. Barbara’s a big fan of the JERSEY BOYS CD!

Groundbreaking at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home

Groundbreaking at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Home

I was privileged to visit with some other luminaries attending the event including Joyce Randolph (“Trixie” from TV’s THE HONEYMOONERS), Actors’ Home namesake and benefactor Lillian Booth, Celeste Holm and husband Frank Basile, THE SOPRANOS’ Dominic Chianese, Abby Schroeder with husband and Actors’ Home resident, songwriter Aaron Schroeder, who wrote such songs as Elvis’s “It’s Now or Never;” even actor, Bill Britten (remember him as TV’s Bozo the Clown?). All in all, it was a beautiful afternoon, a meaningful ceremony and a great chance to witness and explore, firsthand, one of the many essential social services the Actors’ Fund supports. Thank you to Home administrator, Jordan Strohl, for the tour. Some of the friendly staff at the Actors’ Home promised to send me pictures, which I’ll post when they come.

To learn more about the Actors’ Fund (and to contribute) please visit www.actorsfund.org.

“Young never did talk with Frankie Valli before the show started, but he did pay him a visit. He saw Mr. Valli perform live at the Flamingo in Las Vegas one night (unbeknownst to Mr. Valli). At the time, Young had just been offered the role and didn’t want to jinx his first Broadway job. So he just watched him on stage and took notes on napkins, gathering more information for his character.”
John Lloyd Young discusses [JERSEY BOYS] with New Jersey’s Upstage Magazine.

[Click here] to read the article.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Video from April 6th’s Drama Desk Panel with John Lloyd Young, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Jonathan Pryce and choreographers Sergio Trujillo, Casey Nicholaw and Kathleen Marshall is viewable now online: Richard Ridge’s Broadway Beat.

Also, here’s an [article] about my first lunch to benefit BC/EFA with auction winner, JERSEY BOYS fan Kara Angelastro. Thank you to Kara for her generous donation to BC/EFA and for Tony’s DiNapoli Restaurant for donating the lunch.

JLY's first BC/EFA lunch with auction winner, Kara Angelastro. Donated by New York's Tony's DiNapoli Restaurant Click for an article from Broadwayworld.com

JLY’s first BC/EFA lunch with auction winner, Kara Angelastro. Donated by New York’s Tony’s DiNapoli Restaurant
Click for an article from Broadwayworld.com

Friday, April 14, 2006

Here’s some interesting history on the sound of the Four Seasons and some behind-the-scenes info on how JERSEY BOYS re-creates that sound:

The signature sound of the Four Seasons, originally called “The Four Seasons, featuring the sound of Frankie Valli” was created by having Valli record his vocal part twice and then running them back together. If you listen to the original recording of “Sherry” you will hear TWO Frankie Vallis! This technique was called “doubling,” and the Four Seasons were one of its earliest pioneers, using it on some of their most famous songs.

When we recorded the JERSEY BOYS cast album, we were able to do exactly the same thing in the studio. If you listen to the JERSEY BOYS CD carefully you’ll hear TWO John Lloyd Youngs on some of the signature up-tempo Seasons songs (for instance, track #5, “Sherry”). Other vocal parts are doubled, as well, just as in any choral arrangement.

To recreate that sound live, onstage, JERSEY BOYS uses live offstage or onstage singers just like in the chorus of any other musical, (except a doubler sings in unison with the lead vocal line, not in harmony). Doubling is a way to layer support under a sound, not a replacement for it, which is why you’d hear it if I made a vocal mistake: there’s no place to hide. You can always hear me singing every single note every time I open my mouth; the doubling is there to help recreate that full studio Seasons sound, NEVER to replace my voice or sing for me. Doubling is not used on any of my ballads or solo numbers during the show; it’s only those signature four-part harmonies (which, in reality, can have as many as ten voices onstage and off supporting each of the four vocal parts). It happens in parts of the show where I’m not one of the singers: look for other characters onstage singing in the early scenes of JERSEY BOYS where the “Variety Trio” is performing — those are doublers.

It’s very rewarding to know the authentic signature Four Seasons recording studio sound we all remember is being recreated live every single night onstage at JERSEY BOYS.

On to other news:

Today is the first of the three lunches-with-a-fan I’ve auctioned so far to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. Hoboken resident, Kara Angelastro won the auction with a bid of $1,625. (Thank you, Kara.) We meet, today, at Tony’s DiNapoli Restaurant in New York City. Kara writes:

“I am always thrilled to help out a good cause especially because seeing Jersey Boys provided such a positive experience for my family! We took my mom to see Jersey Boys for Christmas while she was going through a rough time, not only could she identify with the play since we all grew up in Jersey but it brought us all closer together and gave us something to talk about! So helping a cause John Lloyd Young supports is the least I can do to say thank you!”

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Just for JERSEY BOYS fans: [Check out] the new Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)!

Monday, April 10, 2006

“Proud Jersey girl” and JERSEY BOYS fan, Christie, writes that as a nervous, expecting mother, when she was carrying son Niccolas she’d sing him “Let’s Hang On.” Now Niccolas “is growing fast and learning new things everyday. The new challenge is learning to walk. The song my husband sings to Niccolas is ‘Walk Like A Man.'”
Christie sent this photo of Niccolas in his “Walk Like a Man” JERSEY BOYS onesie.

Nicholas

Niccolas


I wouldn’t normally push JERSEY BOYS merchandise, but I know the young moms, aunts, grandmas, etc. who read this blog might be dying to know where to get the onesie Niccolas is wearing. (For girls, they also have a “Big Girls Don’t Cry” version.) I looked online, and, unfortunately, it looks like the only place to get them right now is at the August Wilson Theatre, where JERSEY BOYS is playing. For those of you unable to easily make it to our theatre in NYC, I’m going to pressure our stage managers to list some for auction on Ebay, where we are selling things to benefit Broadway Cares.

Our Broadway Cares fundraising has been going very well. Thank you to the individual fans, above, who have contributed over $3,000 to the cause so far. Broadway Cares also benefits the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, which assists in the fight against breast cancer. Breast cancer survivor, Kathy Lassen, visited JERSEY BOYS, and she told me about her t-shirt line for breast cancer survivors, their families and friends.

Tonight the other JERSEY BOYS and I will perform at the Dramatists Guild’s Annual Benefit, at New York’s Millenium Hotel, hosted by playwright, John Guare, saluting the playwrights, composers and lyricists who created this season’s most exciting musical moments. The benefit will raise money for the Dramatists Guild Fund. Also appearing at the benefit: Meryl Streep and daughter, Mamie Gummer (introduced by playwright Christopher Durang), in a tribute to late playwright Wendy Wasserstein, the casts of THE COLOR PURPLE, RING OF FIRE, GREY GARDENS, and SWEENEY TODD, and James Earl Jones and Courtney B. Vance will perform a scene to honor late playwright, August Wilson. Kathleen Marshall directs the benefit, and the JERSEY BOYS will be introduced by our writers, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

As JERSEY BOYS’ Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative spring fundraising comes to a close, the producers have given permission for us to auction off a walk-on role in a JERSEY BOYS performance on Ebay to a fan who wants to be a Broadway star for a day!

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Today’s Drama Desk Luncheon panel at Sardi’s was a lot of fun. Jonathan Pryce of Broadway’s DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS also joined the panel. Broadway Beat’s Richard Ridge was an excellent moderator, well-prepared with great questions. Click [here] for photos by Ben Strothman of Broadwayworld.com.

Thanks to college buddy and L.A. writer, Austin Winsberg, for visiting JERSEY BOYS last night!

Drama Desk Luncheon Panel (l-r): Casey Nicholaw, Kathleen Marshall, Sutton Foster, Richard Ridge, Kelli O'Hara, Sergio Trujillo, John Lloyd Young, Jonathan Pryce photo: Broadwayworld.com

Drama Desk Luncheon Panel
(l-r): Casey Nicholaw, Kathleen Marshall, Sutton Foster, Richard Ridge, Kelli O’Hara, Sergio Trujillo, John Lloyd Young, Jonathan Pryce
photo: Broadwayworld.com


Last week JERSEY BOYS was visited by Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas and the real Hal Miller (portrayed by Tituss Burgess in the show). For photos from Broadway.com, click [here].

Monday, April 3, 2006

Kelli O’Hara from THE PAJAMA GAME has been added to the Drama Desk Luncheon Panel on Dancing on Broadway previously announced here on the blog. O’Hara and PAJAMA GAME choreographer, Kathleen Marshall, will join me and JERSEY BOYS choreographer, Sergio Trujillo, as well as Sutton Foster and her choreographer for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Casey Nicholaw. Panel is moderated by Broadway Beat’s Richard Ridge, is open to the public, and happens at Sardi’s restaurant, this Thursday morning 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., April 6th. Click here for a Broadway.com article about the event.

JERSEY BOYS fan and actor Frank Ingrasciotta writes:

“Aside from my work as an actor, I am a strong advocate of keeping and increasing arts programs in NY schools. I’ve witnessed miracles with kids when the arts have been used as a teaching tool in the curriculum. I’ve seen it increase test scores and give kids an avenue for positive self-expression.”

This Thursday Frank will be recognized with Westchester Arts Council’s Arts Award for his outstanding achievement as a performing artist and arts educator in Westchester County. Past honorees have been Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Renata Scotto. Senator Hillary Clinton will be there as a presenter. Click here for an article about the event. Congratulations, Frank, and thank you!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Tonight was an eventful night at JERSEY BOYS. Christian Hoff announced from the stage that he and wife, Melissa, are expecting. Then, to top it all off, JERSEY BOYS’ Erica Piccininni experienced her own life-changing event: her boyfriend Andrew emerged from the wings in a tuxedo, got down on one knee and proposed to her in front of the cheering crowd. (She said yes.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Got the following message from a fan:

Dear Mr. Young,

My name is Trisha Reich and I recently saw Jersey Boys with my sister and my mom. Seeing this play was a stepping stone for us. For about 10 years we have made it a point to see at least one play a year, we missed the year of 2005, because our family was hit with a tragic event. My sister’s 19 year old son was a marine serving in Iraq, when every military family’s worst nightmare happened. Jan. 1 2005, 3 marines knocked on my sister’s door to advise them that their son LCPL Brian P. Parrello was killed in action. To make a long story short Brian is our home town hero (West Milford, NJ). Brian and a fellow Marine CPL Fol were known to their unit as the “Jersey Boys.” My sister and Brian would go once a year to see a play, just the two of them. JERSEY BOYS was the first play she has gone to since Brian’s death. When you sang “Fallen Angel” the 3 of us were crying. We felt it was like a sign from Brian, letting us know that our Jersey Boy was O.K. I wish I could thank you all personally for making this night so special to us. The JERSEY BOYS cast is full of talent that will not go unnoticed.

Thank you again,
Trisha Reich

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Saw Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of THE PAJAMA GAME. Loved Kelli O’Hara in LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, and she does a complete turnaround from that role, here, playing a hard-nosed union leader. She and Harry Connick, Jr. have great chemistry, and Megan Lawrence nearly steals the show in Act II. I’d say see it, but it’s already sold out!

Photos from yesterday’s opening of JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS are posted on [Broadwayworld.com]. Had fun hanging out with lots of buddies including Nina Shreiber, Joe Drymala, Ryan Davis, Trisha Jeffrey, Cindi Rush, Kevin DelAguila, Alison Franck, John Buzzetti, Eric Woodall, Thom Clay, BREL director Gordon Greenberg, BREL producer Dan Whitten, Stacy Levine, BREL lighting designer Jeff Croiter and others. Pictured with me at left is friend Kate Wetherhead of Off-Broadway’s current SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, playing the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Kate Wetherhead and John Lloyd Young at the JACQUES BREL opening night party photo: Broadwayworld.com

Kate Wetherhead and John Lloyd Young at the
JACQUES BREL opening night party
photo: Broadwayworld.com

The BREL cast, Natascia Diaz, Robert Cuccioli, Rodney Hicks, Gay Marshall and Eric Svejcar were excellent and the Zipper Theatre was a perfect mood-setting space for this nostalgic show.

Monday, March 27, 2006

My friend Iris Bahr is starring in the new Larry the Cable Guy movie, LARRY THE CABLE GUY: HEALTH INSPECTOR.
Tonight I’m attending the opening night of JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS, directed by buddy, Gordon Greenberg at NYC’s Zipper Theatre.

Thanks to all who have sent in their donations to BC/EFA (see above). I will begin to list everybody who donates here on the blog!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

“The first 12 minutes [of the movie TOOTSIE] are excruciating and humiliating and
somehow — maybe it’s because I’m Catholic — it appealed to me.”

John Lloyd Young on discovering he wanted to be an actor

Listen to [this interview] with Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge”

Sunday, March 19, 2006
This weekend a Fox TV special featuring JERSEY BOYS aired in the New York metropolitan area.

An abridged version of one of the best new musicals out there, SARAH, PLAIN & TALL, just began previews downtown at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Don’t forget to bring your Kleenex. This show is touching, warm, well-acted, funny and unbelievably good. Directed by Joe Calarco and written by the award-winning writing team, Larry O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Julia Jordan, SARAH, PLAIN & TALL stars Becca Ayers, Heather Ayers, Gene Biscontini, Kenneth Boys, Herndon Lackey and Kate Wetherhead.

Friday, March 17, 2006
“Foster, Marshall, Nicholaw, Trujillo, Young Set for Drama Desk Panel” Thursday, April 6th. Open to the public.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Photos from the red carpet at Monday’s premiere of the remastered LIZA WITH A Z are posted online at [Broadwayworld.com].
liza9
The Bob Fosse-directed 1972 television special, about to be rebroadcast exclusively on SHOWTIME (April 1st), is now available on DVD. Seeing the show for the first time, ever, and on the big screen at the Ziegfeld Theatre was a lot of fun. The star-studded audience reacted as though it were a live performance. Liza Minnelli’s 60th birthday was the day before. Alan Cumming presented her with a cake and the audience sang her “Happy Birthday.” Afterward, the screening was followed by a lavish reception at NYC’s SUPPER CLUB.

Photos from last week’s bash at Madame Tussauds for DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS are now online at Broadway.com.

Monday, March 13, 2006
Last night I accompanied Paper Mill Playhouse casting director Alison Franck to the opening of the Playhouse’s CARNIVAL, directed by Erica Schmidt. A cast led by Elena Shaddow as “Lili” was excellent in this dark and visually-arresting production. Had fun visiting with Paper Mill buddies at the party afterward at Martini’s in downtown Millburn, N.J. Photos by Linda Lenzi from the opening night party are posted on [Broadwayworld.com]. Thanks, Linda!

Will run into Linda again tonight at Showtime and BC/EFA’s gala premiere of “LIZA WITH A ‘Z'” at New York’s famous Ziegfeld Theatre.

CARNIVAL opening night party:  Charlie Pollack (CARNIVAL's

CARNIVAL opening night party:
Charlie Pollack (CARNIVAL’s “Paul”),
Will Chase, John Lloyd Young
photo: Broadwayworld.com


“If you have the confidence that you need in order to succeed as an actor, you know when you’re waiting tables or ushering in a theater that it is just for now, and not forever, and you’re just waiting for the role to come along that is going to break you out of that.”

Above is from a [recent interview] I did with Jersey’s Exit Weekly Magazine.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Some of JERSEY BOYS’ youngest fans:

2-year-old Miranda, below, likes to listen to the JERSEY BOYS cast album.

Miranda

Miranda

Above, Ryan and Christopher proudly wear the t-shirts I sent them as a thank you for the great video their dad sent of 2-year-old Ryan singing along to our JERSEY BOYS Today Show TV appearance.

Ryan and Christopher

Ryan and Christopher

Thursday, March 9, 2006
Tonight Broadway’s DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS celebrated the addition of its new cast members Rachel York and Jonathan Pryce. Stopped by the party at Times Square’s Madame Tussauds after our performance tonight of JERSEY BOYS. Thanks to Broadway.com’s Bruce Glikas for the photos with the wax Jennifer Lopez and Tony Bennett. Can’t wait to see them. (3/15/06: photos now on [Broadway.com])
1.48526

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Photos from Monday’s NOTHING LIKE A DAME concert (written about, below) have been posted on [Broadwayworld.com].

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
There’s a video interview online with Broadway Beat’s Richard Ridge from my February 23rd Sardi’s caricature unveiling:

Last night the girls from JERSEY BOYS, Heather Ferguson, Jennifer Naimo, Erica Piccinnini and Sara Schmidt appeared in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ annual Nothing Like a Dame concert on the stage of Broadway’s Imperial Theatre. The girls appeared along with other stars of the New York stage, including Cynthia Nixon, Bebe Neuwirth, Tyne Daly and others.

The JERSEY BOYS and I made a surprise appearance at the end of the event to present a check for $300,000 to the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, one of the main beneficiaries of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Had a lot of fun backstage talking with buddy, Leslie Kritzer, who was in the evening’s opening performance singing “River Deep, Mountain High.”
DAMES-06-Check-Photo

Friday, March 3, 2006
“Downtown theater can be grueling. Just ask John Lloyd Young, who, not so very long ago, found himself onstage with a gaping head wound from a self-inflicted gunshot in the unforgiving heat of summer.”
Click to read [this article] from offoffonline.com.

Thank you to friend David Ellenstein for attending JERSEY BOYS last night. David is the artistic director of San Diego’s North Coast Repertory Theatre in California, and he directed me in one of my favorite roles to date: “Danny Saunders” in THE CHOSEN, opposite Theodore Bikel. After the show, David, Alison Franck and I had a bite to eat at Sardi’s and then went to over to the Leisure Time Bowling Alley at Port Authority to watch the newly-formed JERSEY BOYS bowling team. JERSEY BOYS stage manager, Richard Hester, got two strikes in a row and chased each strike down with a full pitcher of beer. Good morning, Richard!

I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials on TV for A LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. I love this show. Have run into its new stars Katie Clarke and Aaron Lazar around town, and I’d love to see them in it. I wonder if it’s possible outside of my JERSEY BOYS schedule to see it again. Of all the Broadway shows that opened last season, PIAZZA is probably my favorite. If you haven’t seen this show, go.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Daniel Reichard, Christian Hoff, James Gandolfini, John Lloyd Young and J. Robert Spencer

Daniel Reichard, Christian Hoff, James Gandolfini,
John Lloyd Young and J. Robert Spencer


Just found photos online from a visit earlier in February from THE SOPRANOS’ James Gandolfini.
Click here for more photos from [Broadway.com].

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

JERSEY BOYS fan, John, writes:

“My wife and I are big fans, loved the show, and saved to our Tivo your performance on the Today Show a while back. Since then, our 2 year old son, Ryan, has become obsessed with both the cast album, the performances from the TV broadcast, and the original Four Seasons recordings themselves. He “performs” (song and dance) regularly along to your music for my wife and I, his little brother, and any guests we have at our home. My sister-in-law recently edited a video of him singing and dancing in front of our TV while watching the Today Show and I just thought it would bring a smile to your face.”

Ryan, JERSEY BOYS' next

Ryan, JERSEY BOYS’ next “Frankie”

And here’s another message I received from fan Evan Gadda, in Reno, Nevada:

“Dear Mr. Young,
I am a handicapped musical theatre major at the University of Nevada Reno. Even though I am confined to a wheel chair I still manage to direct four shows, and I have done twenty two roles. When I hear you sing Frankie Valli you take me back to when I was a kid again, and you make the pain of my disability disappear. I don’t think you performers know what you do for a person like me. When I hear you sing, it gives me a means of escape from this chair and it makes me feel normal.
Warm Regards,
Evan Gadda
Reno, Nevada”

Monday, February 27, 2006

Elle, a JERSEY BOYS fan, has created a new JERSEY BOYS fansite: Big Men in Town.

Tonight I was a co-host of the annual gala for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, click here for the NYMF website. Congratulations to friend Isaac Robert Hurwitz, one of the festival’s founders.

John Lloyd Young as a co-host at NYMTF 2006

John Lloyd Young as a co-host at NYMTF 2006

John Lloyd Young and Karen Ziemba photo: Linda Lenzi

John Lloyd Young and Karen Ziemba
photo: Linda Lenzi


JERSEY BOYS’ Tituss Burgess also appeared at the gala to sing the closing number.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Friend Daniel Acquisto sent a picture of him, Sammy Buck and me at Sardi’s last Thursday:

jlydansamcaricature

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yesterday afternoon was the unveiling of my caricature at Sardi’s. Thank you to Mom, Dad and everyone who attended, including some friends and colleagues from the very earliest days of my New York theatre career. Among them: Cheryl Mintz, who stage managed my first-ever professional production out of college at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Vera Novacek who let me sleep on her couch when I first moved to New York, Alee Ralph who gave me my first theatre internship and college buddy Maggie Edelman who introduced me to him, and director Gary John LaRosa who gave me my Equity card. Thanks again to everyone who attended, and SPECIAL THANKS to Sardi’s for an unforgettable honor.

johnlloydyoungscharicaturesardis2006
The photos here are from Broadwayworld.com’s coverage of the event.
And here are [more photos] from Broadway.com.

As I walked into that fourth floor room where the unveiling was held, I passed the caricatures of Lillian Gish and Helen Hayes, two actors who had celebrated, durable, long and illustrious lives and careers. Receiving a Sardi’s caricature this early on thrusts an immediate obligation on me to live up to the careers of the other luminaries portrayed on those walls, a challenge I’m happy to assume…

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Arrived home late Monday night from an out-of-town funeral, just in time for our important Letterman appearance, yesterday. The David Letterman show was a blast. Had a rehearsal with the cast at the LATE SHOW studios at the Ed Sullivan Theatre at around 4 p.m. and then went back to the August Wilson Theatre to get into costumes and mics and go back to the studio where the show tapes everyday at 5:30 p.m. JERSEY BOYS’ Jen Naimo is a big Matthew Fox fan, and she and many in the cast were excited to see him backstage. The performance was a lot of fun, in front of a live audience (just like at home at the August Wilson), except in this case, Letterman keeps his studio at a balmy 48 degrees! It was like singing outside in the cold. Tough. I was wearing my scarf and winter coat right before being called out onstage… Minutes after our performance there, we we were back at our theatre, nice and warm, changing into Act I costumes for our 7 pm show. Most exciting of all, we were all able to get home in time to watch our Letterman appearance on TV with the rest of the country. Check back within the next few days for photos, video or both.

Tomorrow New York’s Sardi’s Restaurant in the theatre district will add me to their famed collection of caricatures. The caricature will be unveiled in a brief ceremony and reception at the restaurant. Some select family, friends, JERSEY BOYS cast and crew and business acquaintances will be there to celebrate. Of course, I’ll share a photo of the caricature when I have one.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

by AP/Richard Drew

Be sure to catch the cast of JERSEY BOYS on David Letterman tonight [on CBS].

[An article by Mark Kennedy] of the Associated Press is making its rounds in national newspapers this week.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The cast of JERSEY BOYS will appear on CBS/TV’s THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW, Tuesday, February 21st, 2006.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I recently experienced a death in the family, and thank you to Charlie Siedenburg for reminding me of the following passage from Chaim Potok’s novel, THE CHOSEN, (I did the dramatic adaptation of THE CHOSEN at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2004).

In THE CHOSEN, the Orthodox Jewish father of Reuven Malter tells his son that, whatever his specific choices of faith and career, he must choose life:

“Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life…. I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives the span, he is something.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The JERSEY BOYS Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I performed at the Drama League’s 21st Annual Spring Gala benefit concert in a program also including JERSEY BOYS’ Tituss Burgess and performers Michael Cerveris, Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Lazar, Rachel York, Harry Connick Jr., Liz Callaway, Julia Murney, Mary Testa, Marian Seldes, Richard Easton, Katie Clarke, Tina Fabrique, Liz McCartney, Clark Thorell, Roz Ryan and others. The performance was directed by friend Joe Calarco with music direction by JERSEY BOYS’ Ron Melrose.
Thank you to Patti Lupone and Alex Gemignani (of Broadway’s SWEENEY TODD) and Carolann Page for stopping backstage after JERSEY BOYS, today, to congratulate the cast. Thanks, too, to friends Joey Liao and Isaac Robert Hurwitz who saw the show tonight.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thank you to Bruce Willis and daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallullah and friends for coming backstage tonight after JERSEY BOYS to say hello to the cast.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

A couple years ago, I was [interviewed] for Actorslife.com, an online resource for actors. ActorsLife.com’s Joanna Parson conducted a post-JERSEY BOYS follow-up interview with me, which can be read [here].

Monday, February 6, 2006

Back from vacation and ready to jump into JERSEY BOYS again. It was a welcome break after ten months of daily training, rehearsals, previews, opening and the holidays.

Saw some Chicago theatre: Frank Galati’s “after the quake” and Richard Greenberg’s THE WELL-APPOINTED ROOM at Steppenwolf; Mary Zimmerman’s PERICLES at the Goodman; and a one-act play at the Lookingglass Theatre. THE WELL-APPOINTED ROOM was my favorite. It’s a searing and riveting world-premiere of the newest Greenberg play, two separate one-act plays set in the same apartment before and after September 11th, 2001, with top-notch direction by Terry Kinney and funny, nuanced performances by actors Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, Josh Charles and Kate Arrington. Two plays by Greenberg will bow on Broadway this year, THREE DAYS OF RAIN, starring Julia Roberts, and THE HOUSE IN TOWN at Lincoln Center. I hope THE WELL-APPOINTED ROOM gets a New York production, too. It’s a fantastic, frustrating play, and for this New Yorker, its 9/11 themes resonated greatly. Here’s a review of the Chicago production: Chicago Sun-Times.

Also visited the Art Institute of Chicago and browsed the collection’s treasures. Favorites among them: Monet’s stacks of wheat, Chagall’s windows, the extensive collection of Joseph Cornell shadow boxes and Breton’s “The Song of the Lark.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hello to Jenna! Jenna sent me a message saying she will be 10 in April and she loves the JERSEY BOYS CD. Click here to listen to some of the album online.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Saw Broadway’s HAIRSPRAY for the first time, ever, last night. The show plays across the street from JERSEY BOYS, and I went over to see their Sunday evening performance after my own Sunday matinee. The show is infectious. Understudies Michelle Dowdy and Blake Hammond were on in the roles of Tracy and Edna Turnblad, respectively, and they both were excellent. Kudos to buddies Becky Gulsvig and Rashad Naylor, who were also great (honestly, everyone was). And now I’m a new fan of Tracy Miller, who is hilarious every moment she’s onstage as Penny Pingleton. Great job, guys.

And congrats again to HAIRSPRAY producer Margo Lion. I shudder to admit that this was the first time I ever saw the show: but during all those years as a starving actor, it was hard up till now to afford a ticket to a hit Broadway show…

The real-life family of original Four Seasons member Tommy DeVito sent pictures from their JERSEY BOYS visit on Saturday, January 22nd. Actor Christian Hoff (below, left) plays Tommy DeVito in the show.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Thanks to friend Marty for lunch, yesterday!

Last Sunday was JERSEY BOYS’ Actors Fund benefit performance (pictured at right is the cast assembled beforehand). An enthusiastic audience filled the sold-out August Wilson Theatre that night. For information about the Actors Fund, visit www.actorsfund.org.

Monday, January 16, 2006

From a young JERSEY BOYS fan, Lauren:
fromfanlauren

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Better late than never: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade photos.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Got a nice backstage delivery, today: thank you to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban for the white orchid.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Harold M. Shapiro, President of Meretz USA, invited me to attend their celebration of Theodore Bikel, tonight. Perrformers Bruce Adler, David Bromberg, Tovah Feldshuh and Debbie Friedman all paid tribute to the ever-energetic and jovial octogenarian actor, folk musician and political activist. Theo looks great, sang great, accompanied by Tamara Brooks, and, as always, gave a searingly moving and inspiring closing speech.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Happy New Year! What a way to end the JERSEY BOYS holiday schedule with an appearance on NBC’s Today Show this past Friday. I rose at 4:15 a.m. to start warming up for all of the live, early morning singing we were about to do. The entire cast assembled at NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center at 6:00 a.m., and we got into costume and rehearsed for our numerous segments throughout the program. First off was outdoors to sing Katie Couric a surprise “Happy Birthday” (in a great doo-wop arrangement by JERSEY BOYS music director, Ron Melrose). We appeared again about four times during the program to perform some musical numbers, and Katie Couric interviewed the four of us Jersey Boys along with Frankie Valli, who joined us live via satellite from Los Angeles.
Click here for [photos]




September – December 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

A [radio interview] I did with Robin Young of NPR’s “Here & Now” about JERSEY BOYS can be heard online.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Pick up the current December 30, 2005 “Best of 2005” issue of Entertainment Weekly. JERSEY BOYS makes two “Best of” lists: one for yours truly in “Great Performances of 2005,” the other for the show itself in “Best of 2005: Stage.” Also, spies tell me The New York Times has included me in tomorrow’s year-end Sunday Times theatrical roundup as one of the “Celestial Star Turns” of 2005.

Thank you to all the friends and JERSEY BOYS fans who voted for me for Broadway.com’s Star of the Year 2005. I’m sure all your votes made quite a dent. The award went to the hilarious star of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 2005 Tony-winner, Norbert Leo Butz.

The cast of JERSEY BOYS will be appearing January 6th, 2006 on NBC/TV’s The Today Show. I’ll post details when I know them.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Today Broadway.com included me among the nominees for their 2005 Star of the Year. Click here to vote!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Last night was the opening of Chita Rivera’s new Broadway show CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE. The Jersey Boys, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and I were all invited, and we had a great time at the show and the after-party at New York’s famous Copacabana. The show was great. Chita Rivera is in top-form and the audience went ballistic at the end of the evening with a warm and persistent standing ovation.

Broadwayworld.com has already posted pictures from the opening night red carpet and the after party.

Playbill.com has coverage of last night’s opening, too, including a quote from yours truly.

Last week I had an interview with writer Corine Cohen for her website www.corinescorner.com. Follow this [link] for the interview.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Happy Birthday to friend, Robin D. Carus!

Going to see JERSEY BOYS pal and co-star Daniel Reichard perform tonight at Ars Nova Theatre.

JERSEY BOYS television appearances update: The CNN Showbiz Tonight segment with the four Jersey Boys and the real Frankie Valli that mysteriously never aired last Monday will air tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th on CNN Headline News in the 7pm – 8pm EST hour and again during the 11pm – midnight hour.

This past Friday I spoke with NBC-TV’s Sue Simmons on New York’s local NBC affiliate Channel 4’s news program LIVE AT FIVE about JERSEY BOYS. To find a video of this interview that you can watch online, please click here.

Thursday, November 25, 2005

Rose this morning at 5:15 am to get ready to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It went off without a hitch — we all had a great time. To view JERSEY BOYS’ Thanksgiving Day Parade performance online, click here.

The cast of JERSEY BOYS makes its next television appearance, Monday November 28th, along with Frankie Valli, on CNN’s Showbiz Tonight (the segment airs during the 7pm-8pm hour, EST, and re-airs at 11pm EST)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanks to my former acting teacher Lowry Marshall for catching JERSEY BOYS this past weekend. Lowry and I had fun catching up Sunday evening with the cast and crew at a birthday party nearby for JERSEY BOYS book writer Rick Elice and original Four Seasons member, songwriter Bob Gaudio (both born November 17th). Click for photos from the party.

Today we rehearsed our segment from JERSEY BOYS in Herald Square for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up on Thursday. The parade will air Thursday morning on NBC. Check www.nbc.com or www.macys.com for details.

Just discovered today that the JERSEY BOYS ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING can be heard online for FREE. To own a copy of the CD, you can order from Amazon.com, here.

Also dug up some gossipy Fox News coverage of the JERSEY BOYS opening night, here.

A lot of fans and friends are asking how it feels to be starring in a bona-fide Broadway hit. Well, considering at this time last year I was an usher at a Broadway show, to be starring in one, now, feels pretty great! Eight shows a week as Frankie Valli is no easy feat, though. I have to go home early from all the great parties, never stay out late, don’t touch a drop of alcohol, I have to turn down meetings with people I couldn’t even get on the phone a few years ago, just so I can stay rested enough for the show, I don’t speak a word on my days off. A friend from JERSEY BOYS asked me last night at Bob and Rick’s party if all that sacrifice was worth it. I think the answer is yes: it’s a small price to pay for getting to go out there on that stage and be engulfed by that overwhelming wave of affection from the audience night after night in a great, challenging role.

Monday, November 14, 2005

JERSEY BOYS opened November 6th to rave reviews. A lot has happened over the past few weeks. Happily, much of it has been recorded in photos and on video. Check the photos and media pages for new JERSEY BOYS content.

On November 5th, I attended a party hosted by Charles Alexander and Frank Rovello for the international fans of the Four Seasons. Photos from that event as well as video clips from news segments about JERSEY BOYS and more, can be found here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Today the Virginia Theatre, where JERSEY BOYS is playing, was officially re-named the August Wilson Theatre, for the late playwright.

JERSEY BOYS previews are well underway — two weeks under the belt with the official press opening steadily approaching, November 6th. Thank you to all the fans who have been e-mailing and sending letters and to the great audiences for their overwhelmingly warm and enthusiastic reception. It’s a very busy time with performances at night and rehearsals and publicity appearances during the day, but I wanted to write just briefly to share some exciting news:

On October 25th, the JERSEY BOYS Original Broadway Cast Album will have its exclusive premiere on XM Satellite Radio’s Broadway Channel (channel 28). An interview with the four of us actors who play the Four Seasons and the real Bob Gaudio (of the original Four Seasons) will air at 12 noon and again at 9 p.m. EST along with never-before-heard tracks from the album. The cast album of JERSEY BOYS has its official release on the Rhino record label November 1st.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

JERSEY BOYS had a surprise visitor at rehearsals, yesterday. More photos from Broadway.com.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Video from ‘JERSEY BOYS’ invited press rehearsal on 9/8/05 appeared today on Broadway.com.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Happy Birthday to friend Kate Wetherhead!

Another week of rehearsals under the belt. On Thursday, the press was invited to a rehearsal of JERSEY BOYS, at the 42nd Street Studios in Manhattan. Press Rep Adrian Bryan-Brown, director Des McAnuff and writers Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman all gave brief presentations, and the JERSEY BOYS cast performed two sections from Act One. Photos from the invited press rehearsal are linked here.

JERSEY BOYS choreographer, Sergio Trujillo, has another show on the boards, right now, The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Seeing that tomorrow.

Sunday, September 4, 2005
Just ended week three of rehearsals for JERSEY BOYS, yesterday, with a run-through of the show. Things are in great shape. We made the JERSEY BOYS Original Broadway Cast Recording, last week, too. What a rush, recording all those great songs in the studio with original Four Seasons composer, Bob Gaudio. It was a lot of work, but the album is going to be incredible… To see more photos from the recording session, click here.

The Virginia Theatre, where JERSEY BOYS begins previews October 4th, will be re-named the August Wilson Theatre on October 17th, 2005, in honor of playwright August Wilson.

The signage for JERSEY BOYS is popping up all over Manhattan. Here’s a snapshot of the Times Square billboard. The official JERSEY BOYS website has launched, too: www.jerseyboysbroadway.com.

Enjoying my first day off in two weeks, today. Saw THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN this afternoon and had some laughs…




May – August 2005

Friday, July 15, 2005

Thank you to all the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fans who have already begun to e-mail their best wishes. It’s overwhelming to see so much enthusiasm for JERSEY BOYS, already, before we’ve even begun rehearsals! For information on the show, which opens on Broadway this Fall, please visit the official website for JERSEY BOYS. Some early information is there now, more will follow.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Spent the July 4th weekend in upstate New York at the family farm. Lots of barbeques, family get togethers, homemade Italian food, leafing through photo albums, great country star-gazing (no urban haze) and…looking at cows. My girlfriend and I gathered our own breakfast eggs from the chicken coop, with help from 2-year-old baby cousin Jeffrey Salamone, who’s braver with the chickens than either of us city folk.
This past weekend saw the superb production of Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? on Broadway with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. And planning to see Julia Jordan’s WALK TWO MOONS sometime in the next week or two at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The show opens Wednesday. Go.

And, of course, today, an article of some personal interest appeared on Broadway.com.

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

I was excited to see the winners of this year’s Tony Awards on Sunday. I’m especially interested in seeing THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, now. (Congratulations to Jess Goldstein for winning a Tony in Costume Design for THE RIVALS). As fun as the Tonys are to watch, it’s always disappointing to see the plays take second stage to the musicals, every year, especially in a year like this, where the plays, like DOUBT, THE PILLOWMAN, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, TWELVE ANGRY MEN, …VIRGINIA WOOLF, etc., were so strong.

Lots of hopping around the country, over the past month. Got back from Los Angeles a week and a half ago, and a week or so before that my cousin and I went to Las Vegas to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons live at the Flamingo. He was excellent.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Becca Ayers and I went to the Broadway opening of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, Monday night, as guests of our friend Kate Wetherhead, who’s making her Broadway debut with the show. Ran into buddies Jeff Marx and Greg Schaffert at the after party at Cipriani.
Tonight, I’ll be seeing LUMINESCENCE DATING a show friend Isaac Robert Hurwitz has produced, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, directed by the always-amazing Will Pomerantz.




January – April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

This past Monday went to Kevin Covert’s birthday party at Park with Alison Franck. Kevin’s in Broadway’s SPAMALOT, so a good deal of the cast was there. Ran into Steve Rosen, Sarah Gurfield and Scott Schwartz and others. Park is a great place for a party; had never been there before. And Thursday night was another birthday party in Chelsea for friend Tiffani Gavin.

Last week was the 2005 William Inge Festival honoring playwright Tina Howe in William Inge’s hometown of Independence, Kansas. Tina Howe is hilarious. The whole Upper-East-Side-New-Yorker-displaced-in-Kansas thing made for some good comedy when Howe accepted her award after the Festival’s final presentation in her honor. She’s very funny, and so are her plays. Before the Festival weekend, I only knew Tina Howe’s MUSEUM, THE ART OF DINING, and COASTAL DISTURBANCES, which I read specifically in preparation for a scene for Howe’s final tribute that I performed with actress, Robyn Cohen. By the end of the Festival, though, everyone there was familiar with the full scope of her work. I had a lot more to do this year than last, and all by the seat of my pants: each day there was something new to quickly rehearse and then put up for an audience. Director Michael John Garces helped throw together our reading of the new play, MAGICIAN’S CHOICE, by Lynne Kaufman, which was very well-received. We also did a reading of THE NIGHT THOREAU SPENT IN JAIL by past Inge Festival honorees Lawrence and Lee. I read “Bailey.”
One of the Festival highlights was the new play Lincoln Center has commissioned Tina Howe to write, currently titled LUNCHEON ON THE GRASS. On the first night of the Festival we heard a reading of the not-yet-completed play, directed by NY’s Carl Forsman of the Keen Company, and featuring a cast led by Elizabeth Wilson and the absolutely riveting Lynn Cohen. Howe got up on stage afterward to share with us how she planned to end the play. The Festival’s Hannah Joyce-Hoven promises to send pictures once they’re ready, and I’ll post them when they arrive. Pictures from last year’s Festival honoring Arthur Laurents are on the photos page.

Next year is the 25th anniversary of the William Inge Festival, and the plan is to reunite all the past living playwright honorees. So far it looks like 6 or so have already confirmed. Hope I can make it back…

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Off to the William Inge Festival tomorrow. Excited to meet the other artists, read some new plays, sit on some panels, and put together the final evening’s multimedia tribute to Tina Howe. The tribute to Arthur Laurents last year was impressive — like a live documentary of his career. Eager to participate in this year’s.

Saw Broadway’s DOUBT about a week ago. The performances are exemplary, as I’d heard they would be. Cherry Jones and Brian F. O’Byrne, and Adriane Lenox, are all terrific, and Heather Goldenhersh is intriguingly vulnerable and odd as “Sister James.” I became a fan of hers a few years ago when, researching for an audition, I saw her in the archival tape of Richard Nelson’s GOODNIGHT, CHILDREN EVERYWHERE at the Lincoln Center Theatre on Film and Tape archives. She gave an equally compelling performance as a young, semi-spoiled aspiring actress in post-World-War II England — a far cry from the sheepish Bronx nun she’s playing in DOUBT.

Also went to opening night of THE BAKER’S WIFE at Paper Mill on Sunday. It’s a charming production with a great cast, fantastic set and lighting by Anna Louizos and Jeff Croiter, respectively, directed by Gordon Greenberg. The leads were excellent, and of the supporting cast Kevin del Aguila was hilarious as the town drunk and Gay Marshall’s performance as “Denise” seemed to magically bathe the show in a warm, French nostalgia. Friend Jesse Bush assistant directed. I thank him for the pre-show drink. I’m sure the warm, French nostalgia had something to do with that, too.

A good deal of friends are appearing in or helped to write The Transport Group’s show, THE AUDIENCE (no surprise, since all-told, there are probably 40 to 50 actors in it, with equally as many contributing writers). The show has been getting some great attention. The real audience watches a fictional audience onstage who, in turn, is watching a new musical. It’s a fascinating concept, but, unfortunately, I dragged my heels on this one, and it’s going to close before I get to see it. But that doesn’t mean YOU can’t.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Something big is brewing…

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

THE DRAWER BOY closed this past Sunday, but that’s been barely perceptible since I’ve been catapulted right out into audition-land again. Ran into an old buddy from Brown University, McCaleb Burnett, at a LAW & ORDER audition on Monday and caught up a little. It’s been a busy week, but lots of audition activity means the next booking could be sooner rather than later, so…great.

Looking forward to going back to the William Inge Festival this year, honoring playwright Tina Howe. I’ll be playing “David” in a reading of a new play by Lynne Kaufman called MAGICIAN’S CHOICE, as well as sitting on panels in various symposia during the festival and performing a scene from Tina Howe’s COASTAL DISTURBANCES in the multi-media tribute to the playwright of honor, which rounds out the festivities each year. The festival takes place miles and miles away in William Inge’s hometown of Independence, Kansas. Last year I flagged down one of the scores of cabs flying down the Manhattan streets at 6 a.m., went to LaGuardia, and 11 hours later, there I was in a Kansas town so small they don’t even have any cabs. Each year entertainment professionals from NY and LA converge on Independence for a long weekend to honor William Inge and the year’s playwright of honor. Last year’s Inge Festival honored playwright Arthur Laurents — here are some pictures. Past guest honorees have included Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, etc. Here’s a link to the William Inge Festival website.

Just got a letter today with some exciting news from pal, Theodore Bikel, who played my father last year in THE CHOSEN. He’ll be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 29th. He’s 80 and still hasn’t slowed down: he’ll be in THE DISPUTATION in D.C. in September and will be doing a new two-person play at Miami’s Coconut Grove Playhouse (where we originated THE CHOSEN), in February. Congrats, Theo!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Had a busy day yesterday. Three auditions, a voice lesson and THE DRAWER BOY. Got the news that I’d play “Miles” in last night’s performance, opposite John Mahoney and Paul Vincent O’Connor, so I called my agent to reschedule my third audition, and rushed out to Paper Mill to review lines and run some scenes with Paul and the stage manager. The show went really well. THE DRAWER BOY is about a young actor who comes to study two old farmers — a stranger coming to someone else’s house. So it worked really well that I was a new actor (a stranger) coming into this show the other two actors knew so well already. Friend Julie Novacek was able to get out to see the show on short notice, and she, Alison Franck and the other understudy, Edwin C. Owens, and I, all went out for a late dinner at Joe Allen’s Restaurant after we got back to Manhattan. Ran into producer Hank Unger, whose production of WICKED is still going strong on Broadway, and now, too, on national tour.

Got some great news a few weeks ago from friend Kate Wetherhead. She’ll be making her Broadway debut, joining the cast of William Finn’s THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, when it transfers from its off-Broadway run to Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre, in mid-April.

Friday, March 4, 2005

THE DRAWER BOY opened last night. Had a fun time hanging out at the party afterward with friend Jesse Bush, who’s assistant directing the next show at Paper Mill, THE BAKER’S WIFE; and friends Joe Drymala and Ryan Davis, who were at the press opening representing their theatre website, StageSpace.

Monday, February 28, 2005

First day off from THE DRAWER BOY, after two weeks of tech and previews. After the two shows on Saturday, stopped by Geoffrey Soffer and Rachel Hoffman’s joint birthday party at Bar 9 with Alison Franck. Ran into Jamie McGonnigal, Bridget Berger, Cindi Rush among others. Paper Mill’s weekend schedule has five shows, so overall, it’s a weekend killer. But we’ve got Mondays and Tuesdays off. Perfect to kick back and get buried in this Nor’easter.

Two shows, again, yesterday — but got back in time to catch the tail end of the 2005 Academy Awards. I’m most excited about Morgan Freeman’s Best Supporting Actor win for MILLION DOLLAR BABY. His quiet dignity, clarity and unwavering honesty grounds every single film he appears in. He’s been nominated three times before; I’m glad he finally took a statue home. And it was so great to see Freeman’s wife, Myrna, celebrating there next to him. Myrna is a costume designer, and she costumed my first professional show out of school at Rites and Reason Theatre in Providence; she told me she fell in love with Morgan when she saw him up on stage in a show and he was “incapable of telling a single lie.”

Friday, February 25, 2005

The tech period for THE DRAWER BOY is over, and now previews are underway. Official opening will be March 3rd. There’s a great special effect in the second act — we’ll see if it gets the buzz I think it will. Friends Kate Wetherhead and Becca Ayers thought the effect was cool — they came to see yesterday’s matinee. Press coverage has begun to pick up, too. Here’s an article with John Mahoney that appeared, today.

Monday, February 15, 2005

Today, the makeup artist came in to rehearsals for THE DRAWER BOY to do the wounds and scratches (it’s a show set on a farm — s*** happens). It’s always so exciting when the special effects makeup people become involved in the process. When I was a kid, I idolized the Hollywood makeup artists Dick Smith (The Exorcist, Amadeus) and Rick Baker (2001, Planet of the Apes), and I wanted to become a special effects makeup artist for the movies. So in addition to being obsessed with Nintendo and Alyssa Milano on Who’s the Boss, as kids, my friends and I also spent hours reading Fangoria, perfecting prosthetic gashes and wounds and trying to trump each other each Halloween. One year, worked for a month or so on creating an ambitious facsimile for myself of Freddy Krueger.

I’ve long since put the pursuit of that interest to rest, but I do get to re-experience it every once in awhile, doing a show (most recently, THE CHOSEN, transforming from real-life angstful young urban New Yorker into bearded, Hasidic Jew). But every time the makeup people get involved when I’m doing a play, it’s a brief trip down memory lane… Talked to THE DRAWER BOY costume designer, Jess Goldstein, the other day, and found out he designed the padded hose that Tovah Feldshuh wore in GOLDA’S BALCONY, which helped along her physical transformation into an aged, vericose-veined Golda Meir. Jess wasn’t behind today’s wound-creation, but gotta send some respect that way, too — my girlfriend thought those legs were really Feldshuh’s (“Her legs are so ugly!”) — sorry Tovah.

Monday, February 14, 2005

It’s another day off from THE DRAWER BOY, and the last for two weeks. Technical rehearsals will start late next week, and then the show will start its first performances. Despite an eventful and arduous rehearsal week, still got out and had some fun. Saw Becca Ayers in the play JOY, last night, directed by Ben Rimalower and cast by friend Michael Cassara. The audience was packed and enthusiastic. Kate Wetherhead came along with me, and we all got together for drinks afterward at Film Center.

Saw a preview of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS the other night with Alison Franck. John Lithgow was as watchable as always, and Norbert Leo Butz is giving one of the most entertaining performances I’ve seen in a Broadway musical for a long time. His character is really such a lovable jerk. I’m probably not too far off the mark in guessing that this show has some of the most audacious lyrics ever to be heard from a Broadway stage.

Still religiously tuning in to UNSCRIPTED on HBO, every Sunday. The show’s format may have its critics, but I’ve accepted it, and the realistic depiction of struggling L.A. actors is often so spot on to the point that many of the people and projects mentioned by the actors in the show are people and projects my friends and I are auditioning for, too. It’s a guilty pleasure, and I don’t have many, so…I’ll own this one.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Had the day off, today, from THE DRAWER BOY. Yesterday ended the first week of rehearsals with a stumble-through of the show. Spent the day off lazing around Manhattan. Stopped by the Actor’s Equity Lounge/Audition Studio to read the bulletin board and see what was going on there. Some big open calls for summer stock. Ran into Mark Campbell, who I did a production of A Christmas Carol with, and caught up. Then went to The Coffee Pot to write and do some script reviewing. Called friend Becca Ayers whom I haven’t seen for months, because she was out of town doing a show. She was at an audition, nearby, for a production of THE LAST FIVE YEARS, so she came and visited for awhile with me. Ran into friend Ryan Davis, there, too, and chatted for awhile. Becca’s in a play, JOY, directed by friend Ben Rimalower, (starring the “Dell dude,” Ben Curtis) at the Producer’s Club. Going to go see it in a week with Kate Wetherhead.

Later had drinks with Alison Franck, Patrick Parker and John O’Neill, who had all just gotten out of conducting some auditions for THE BAKER’S WIFE, which plays Paper Mill after THE DRAWER BOY.

And now, back to the script. These are not the easiest lines to learn, especially since the character tells the same story three times, but each time in different way. And, man, it’s hard to keep that straight… Saw an interview with Judy Dench a while ago, where someone asked her how she learned her lines. She said she draws a hot bath and does not get out until she’s learned them all. (Doesn’t her script get wet?)

Friday, February 4, 2005

Well, now, after three days of table work on THE DRAWER BOY with playwright Michael Healey in the room, I have such a deeper understanding of and enthusiasm for this play. Last night I went and had dinner at The Delta Grill to visit friend Jesse Bush who was bartending there. I talked the play with him, since he has a special interest in it, having recently directed a production of it a few months ago at Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre. Jesse was especially interested in hearing what playwright Michael Healey had to say about his own play; most never experience the luxury of having the playwright’s point of view, firsthand, in rehearsals. Paper Mill is pulling out all the stops to give this play a superior production; I’m really excited at how it’s coming together…

Later went to see Trevor Oswalt’s band, The Lost Tricks, at the Ars Nova space. Great harmonies, cool instrumentation, and skinny white ties!

Tuesday, February 2, 2005

Last night I did a reading of a play, Pandora’s Box, a mock Restoration comedy. Played the insufferable fop. Friend Isaac Robert Hurwitz directed it, and we read it to an enthusiastic crowd as a sendoff to its playwright, Sally Faraday, who’s on her way home to Australia.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Back from L.A., learning lines for THE DRAWER BOY, and trying to decide what to bring to Jeff Marx and Rena Strober’s shabbat potluck dinner at Hurley’s on Friday. Something to complement kugel… decisions…

Tuesday, January 10, 2005

Just got around to watching the extras on the DVDs of two of my favorite movies, Milos Foreman’s AMADEUS (the director’s cut) and Mike Nichols’ THE GRADUATE. My favorite thing about DVDs are the extras (I’m disappointed with the DVD of TOOTSIE, though, another favorite film of mine, which has no commentary, featurette, interviews or anything). Anyway, was watching the documentaries on the making of THE GRADUATE and the making of AMADEUS, and there is something endlessly fascinating to me to hear actors like Dustin Hoffman or F. Murray Abraham referring back to their time in the trenches, early on, before their first breakthrough roles. The frustrations, confusions, struggles and neuroses they discuss in themselves as young actors are comfortingly familiar; not so comforting is how strikingly apparent it is that even after things take off, the frustrations, confusions, struggles and neuroses continue. It’s a good thing, then, that I’m such a glutton for frustrations, confusions, struggles and neuroses.

This morning had breakfast with my friend and former acting teacher from Brown, Mark Cohen. Mark’s a professor of acting, now, at Emerson College in Boston. Was fun to catch up after not having seen each other for about three years. Back in college, Mark introduced me to one of my favorite plays, Ibsen’s LITTLE EYOLF, as well as stoking the fire under my complete intolerance for B.S. in acting.

Saw friends Kate Wetherhead and Jesse Bush, tonight, at the Delta Grill. I wouldn’t have felt compelled necessarily to say anything about that at all, except for the fact that Jesse asked if he’d be appearing on my blog. I told him, “no.”

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Attended a matinee yesterday of LONE STAR LOVE: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas, by friend John Haber. The show was great with a fantastic cast led by Jay O. Sanders as “Falstaff.” Later attended Joanna Parson’s HAPPY HOUR SALON, an open mike with six or so different acts that Joanna conceived and MC’s, followed by a party at Richard Topol’s, friend from THE CHOSEN at Paper Mill.

I know I’m like a broken record about this, but I find Joe Calarco’s trip to Tokyo to direct the Japanese premier of SHAKESPEARE’S R&J to be fascinating. Now in addition to his journal about the trip, there are photos from the trip, too, all on, or linked from, his website.

Tonight I’m attending the opening night of HAROLD & MAUDE at Paper Mill Playhouse where I’m excited to be returning myself in a month or so to understudy the role of “Miles” in THE DRAWER BOY. Friend Eric Millegan plays “Harold,” opposite Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons as “Maude.” Too biased to post any sort of review of the show, but I’m excited to see it, tonight. I’m a huge fan of the film; really eager to see how they’ve adapted it to the stage…

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Joe Calarco has arrived in Tokyo to direct the Japanese premier of his SHAKESPEARE’S R&J. Here are some of his first impressions.

Monday, January 3, 2005

Hope everyone had happy holidays and a great New Year’s celebration. Before writing about anything else, I wanted to provide a link to any of you who are able to contribute something, even the smallest amount, to help aid the victims of the horrible disaster in Asia. There are many charities who could use your aid and that take donations online. Here is just one: United States fund for UNICEF. Thanks to friend Dan Diggles for the link.

Since my last entry, we lost a great actor and New Yorker, Jerry Orbach. In reading many of the articles and obituaries and Internet postings about this talented and jovial actor, I was able to piece together a surprising and touching realization about my own experience having worked with him on an episode of LAW & ORDER. In one article, someone Orbach knew said that he “always knew his lines and everyone else’s.” Another recounted how extremely kind Orbach was to the actors in featured roles who would work opposite him on the show. If they flubbed a line, he’d tell them to keep going, knowing that everything would be fine in the final edit. If they were nervous, he’d try to put them at ease. He was outgoing and approachable: between setups, Orbach chatted with me about politics in the wake of the first Bush victory, voter fraud in Miami, and cards.

It was my first-ever TV appearance, and in the scene I shot with Orbach, I had some challenging technical jargon to speak. In the middle of a take, I went up on my lines. Of course, there were other takes — it wasn’t the end of the world — but privately, I felt a little embarrassed. We shot some other angles and then the final shot in the scene was a closeup on Orbach. He began his take, and then HE flubbed a line. “What’s my line, again?” he said to the crew. No one answered him — they just immediately started another take and he got it right.

At the time, (and in these two years since), I thought, “OK, it was a little embarrassing to have gone up on my lines, but so what? So did Jerry Orbach.” Though in the back of my mind I think I already suspected this, I’m now pretty certain that this man who “always knew his lines and everyone else’s” went up on purpose, for the psychological benefit of a nervous young actor.

What a class act. It was a privilege to have appeared in my first TV spot opposite someone like him.

Rest in peace.

Friend Joe Calarco has left for Japan to direct the Tokyo production of his SHAKESPEARE’S R&J (in Japanese!). Joe has joined the blogging world, and will be journaling about his experience there. No news, so far, about his first day in Japan (but it’s a long trip; maybe he’s still en route). Guess I can take out LOST IN TRANSLATION, in the meantime, and imagine what it could be like…




September – December 2004

Sunday, December 12, 2004

UNLOCK’D ended its run, yesterday, with a full house and a warm standing ovation. Thanks to friends Joe Calarco, Nell Benjamin, Michael Cassara, Alison Franck, and Patrick Parker for coming to see the show. Afterwards at Molly Wee Pub for drinks, Joe Calarco showed us the script for his upcoming Tokyo production of his SHAKESPEARE’S R&J, written entirely in Japanese. Joe may not be able to read his own script, but luckily he’ll have two translators when he goes to Tokyo to direct the production in January.

Went to see an evening of songs by Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, tonight, directed by Michael Cassara who assembled a great cast including Michael Arden, Kate Shindle, Mandy Gonzalez, Alison Fraser and others for the performance at Opia.

Friends Eric Millegan and Jeff Gurner start rehearsals tomorrow for the world premiere of HAROLD & MAUDE at Paper Mill Playhouse, starring Academy Award-winner, Estelle Parsons. Here’s a great publicity shot of Eric as “Harold” and Parsons as “Maude”: Harold & Maude.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Had rehearsal for UNLOCK’D, yesterday. The cast and writers — well, everyone involved — are hilarious. It’s been a good two weeks. Performances are this coming week, and they had all sold out only a few days into rehearsals. I’m curious to see who all these people are who will be coming. Later went to dinner for friend Pam Adams’ birthday, followed by another birthday party for friend Robin Carus at VINTAGE and ending up with seeing Jeff Gurner’s band LISA JACKSON AND GIRL FRIDAY at CBGB’s.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Along with Alison Franck, UNLOCK’D writer Sam Carner and UNLOCK’D cast members Andrew Palermo, Jeff Gurner, Laura Bell Bundy and Kate Wetherhead saw Derek Gregor play last night with his excellent band, M-LAB at The Knitting Factory.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Saw the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Craig Lucas’s RECKLESS, tonight, starring Mary Louise Parker (excellent, as always). Rosie Perez and Debra Monk are standouts, as well.

Friends Kenny Boys and Bethany Brooks are getting some great reviews as “Pastor Manders” and “Regina,” respectively, in Ibsen’s GHOSTS at New Jersey’s Luna Stage Company.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Saw a screening last night through BAFTA with Alison Franck of the new film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. There was a talk-back afterward with director Joel Schumacher and star, Emmy Rossum. I’d give my impressions of the film, but that would be tacky, since it doesn’t officially open until December 22. The reviews will be extremely readable, though; I can promise you that much…

Met the rest of the cast of UNLOCK’D, in our first rehearsal, yesterday. The cast is a veritable who’s who of really great young up-and-comers: Richard Todd Adams, Catherine J. Brunell, Laura Bell Bundy, Jeff Gurner, Marya Grandy, Jim Newman, Andrew Palermo, Amanda Paige Ryan and Kate Wetherhead.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Start rehearsals tomorrow for UNLOCK’D by Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, with director Will Pomerantz with whom I’ve been hoping to work for a long time. Now, happily, I get the chance to. Friend Kate Wetherhead is also in the cast along with Richard Todd Adams and some others whom I guess I’ll have to be surprised by, tomorrow, since I haven’t been told who else is in the cast!

Details on the show (or rather a link to information) are posted on my news page.

Friend Jamie McGonnigal’s all-star benefit concert of PIPPIN will happen on November 29th. Info about the concert can be found at www.pippinconcert.org.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged… I moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn and took some survival jobs, which I’ve been busy with before embarking on UNLOCK’D this coming week. One of the jobs is ushering at 42nd STREET, which will be closing, soon, at the Ford Center, soon to be re-named the Hilton Theatre. Hilton Hotels will be setting up a booth in the lobby to sell time shares. (Irving Berlin would roll in his grave. He didn’t even allow a gift shop in his Broadway theatre, The Music Box, under the conviction that it was theatre, not the circus. Now they’re selling time shares.) (Story courtesy Talia Krispel!) I heard a rumor that the Belasco Theatre, where DRACULA is currently playing, is going to be renamed The Hoover in a brilliant display of marketing synergy, with free vacuum-cleaner demonstrations in the lobby during intermission. But I digress…

42nd Street has some huge tap numbers, which for a non-dancer (like this guy) are endlessly fascinating to watch. Standouts in the cast are, of course, Nadine Issenegger as “Peggy,” Blair Ross as “Dorothy Brock,” but my favorites are actually Alana Salvatore and Kelly Sheehan as “Annie” and “Lorraine,” respectively. Honestly, though, if you’re going to have to take a survival job between acting gigs, you could do worse than having to watch 30 beautiful girls dance for 2 1/2 hours. Say what you will about David Merrick, but he had the right idea about that one.

Joe Calarco asked me to read stage directions a few days ago for a few public readings of Beth Blatt and Jenny Giering’s THE MISTRESS CYCLE, which he directed. I said yes and was a lone male sitting among the five beautiful “mistresses,” Rebecca Luker, Julia Murney, Mary Bond Davis, Stephanie Bast and Sally Wilfert. During the performance it was like being “Guido” in 8 1/2, except with none of the women ever paying any attention to you. But seriously, the three full-capacity performances, produced by the new theatre company AWOL, were all enthusiastically received, even by me, limited only to my peripheral vision!

Went to Rye Mullis’s birthday party last night at the Irish Rogue and ran into friends Michael Cassara, Jamie McGonnigal, Adam Arian, and others, but after a callback in the morning, work at 42nd Street and work, again, typing at a second survival job, I only stayed about an hour. And drank not a drop. Oh, well. Sometimes it’s OK to let the other kids have all the fun. Plus, I have more script work to do before rehearsal on Monday…

Thursday, November 4, 2004

See this. It’s great!
Cam Jansen
by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
at the Lamb’s Theatre, NYC

There are 7pm performances on Nov 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26 and 27th
Tickets for CAM JANSEN can be purchased at: www.telecharge.com
Follow this link for discount tickets to certain performances.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

VOTE!!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Last night I attended the opening of Roundabout Theatre Company’s TWELVE ANGRY MEN, directed by Scott Ellis, at the American Airlines Theatre. This was a pretty tight revival of a well-known play and a natural-predecessor to television dramas like LAW & ORDER. And it was enjoyable in the same way. I have to say, though, that after one stale revival after another on Broadway, it’s refreshing to see something presented without apology for the fact that it was written 50 years ago, and still have it come off so well. (Technically, this is the play’s Broadway debut, though it’s been around forever…) Often it seems as though there’s a fear behind some of the revivals presented on Broadway that they necessarily have to be updated or made relevant to today, when they were written during and belong in another era. This production of TWELVE ANGRY MEN still feels like it’s from the era in which it was written (the 50’s), but it is exciting to sit there and watch it. It’s like being inside an old movie. The social issues in this play, which then were probably pretty groundbreaking, could be perceived as cliched, now, but everyone knows the play was written in the Fifties; it comes off both charming and engaging to see things presented as they were in their original context with no apparent script-tweaking. And it doesn’t hurt that some of New York’s best stage actors illuminate the cast: Tom Aldredge, Mark Blum, Philip Bosco, Larry Bryggman, Robert Clohessy, Peter Friedman, Boyd Gaines, Kevin Geer, Michael Mastro, Matte Osian, John Pankow, James Rebhorn and Adam Trese.

Monday, October 25, 2004

I just posted my profile on www.stagespace.com. If you haven’t checked this site out, yet, do — it’s like Friendster for theatre fans and theatre professionals. Sign up for free here: Sign up for StageSpace.com

Thursday, October 21, 2004

As I sit here staring poverty straight in the face, I’m glad to have beside me an excellent memoir, written by British actor, Simon Callow (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), entitled BEING AN ACTOR. A great book about the daily ins and outs and ups and DOWNS of an actor’s life. You can play to accolades one month and be eating out of cans, the next (…hmm, I think I can relate…) Lots of great theatrical anecdotes and lore. The book is filled with quotations by tried-and-true actors like Ruth Gordon (Harold & Maude) who said, “It’s not enough to have talent. You have to have a talent for having talent.” Now chew on that…

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last night I attended the Casting Society of America’s ARTIOS AWARDS with Paper Mill casting director, Alison Franck. The ceremony was held at Caroline’s Comedy Club, NYC. Among the many winners were Bernard Telsey and Will Cantler for MCC’s production of THE DISTANCE FROM HERE, directed by Michael Greif; Judy Blye-Wilson for ALL MY CHILDREN; and Cindy Tolan for AVENUE Q, which she casts with associate, Matt Schreiber.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Spent the day watching the 45-minute presentations of this year’s selections for the NAMT Festival, held at Dodger Stages. A standout amongst the presentations was the new show, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.

Later, attended a CD launch party at the theatre district’s Angus McIndoe restaurant for the a cappella group, Pieces of 8. Friends Jose “Chach” Francisco and Mandy Linden are members of the group. Their website.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Saw friend, Jesse Bush, last week just in time to catch him before he left for the Kitchen Theatre, in Ithaca, to direct my absolute favorite new play, THE DRAWER BOY, by Michael Healey.

Friday night saw ALTAR BOYZ. A really entertaining show with a great script by Kevin Del Aguila. If this show doesn’t transfer to a commercial run, then my powers of prediction…suck. **9/28/04 update: my powers of prediction DON’T suck. They’re transferring. Whew.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A busy day…Went to the Broadway Flea Market, which was buzzing with activity, then saw a matinee of WICKED. Ensemble member Kristy Cates was on for Idina Menzel in the role of “Elphaba.” She did a great job. Had gone to see friend Michelle Federer (“Nessa Rose”) a year ago when the show was in previews. A lot of cast members are different now, including Jennifer Laura Thompson in the role originated by Kristin Chenoweth. Jennifer Laura was excellent, and new cast member George Hearn brought a welcome gravitas to the role of the Wizard. The show is still turning people away at the door, a year in. The place was packed.

While doing THE CHOSEN with Theodore Bikel, he highly recommended Tovah Feldshuh in GOLDA’S BALCONY, on Broadway. Well, months later, now, I finally saw it. I only knew Tovah Feldshuh in her role as the (may I say) hot, hard-edged defense attorney “Danielle Melnick” on LAW & ORDER. Her transformation from real-life bombshell into late-life Golda Meir is astounding. Any actor who knows the delight and difficulty of complete absorption into character and total physical transformation must see this performance.

In two weeks, GOLDA’S BALCONY will break the record for the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Attended the launch party of Joe Drymala and Ryan Davis’s new theatre website www.stagespace.com, tonight, at the Ars Nova Theatre complex. Along with running into friends Sandy Rustin and Marny Smith, also met actor and headshot photographer Trevor Oswalt, whose photography is truly exemplary.

Later stopped by Jeff Marx’s birthday party at Hurley’s — lots of friends, there. These parties at Hurley’s are starting to seem like a Gen-X version of the Algonquin Round Table. Except without the Dorothy-Parker vitriol…Well, I’m sure there was vitriol somewhere–this is New York theatre–but no one shared it with me…

Monday, September 13, 2004

Attended the opening night performance of Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2004-2005 season opener last night, the Gershwins’ rarely-produced OF THEE I SING. This is the first season completely under the helm of new Paper Mill President Michael Gennaro, who came to Paper Mill from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. This fantastic, ambitious and energetic production was ably directed by Tina Landau. Friend Herndon Lackey appears in the show, along with a cast of 29. A review has already appeared on Talkin’Broadway.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Went to the opening gala of the new Dodger Stages off-Broadway theatre complex tonight. An incredible facility. Guided tours left every ten minutes and saw each of the 5 new theatre spaces. The high-tech lobby stretches the length of an entire city block! Article on Dodger Stages.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Got back on Labor Day from a road trip around New England. Stopped through Brown University, where this year’s wide-eyed freshmen sat on the main green to hear their first orientation speech; had a burger at Charlie’s Kitchen diner in Harvard Square and wrote postcards to friends; walked the Central Market in Boston. Prime rib, at a chilly dusk, up near Dartmouth. Dinner in a quaint Vermont mill town, Bellows Falls. Coffee on an overcast Sunday in Williamstown. Leaves hadn’t started turning yet, but what a refreshing place to escape to, far away from the Republican National Convention and its resultant madness.

David Ellenstein’s most recent production of THE CHOSEN, which he directed at his theatre out in San Diego, just opened to great reviews. Here’s one: THE CHOSEN in San Diego.




July – August 2004

Sunday, August 29, 2004

SPARE CHANGE closed last night. Thanks to friends Robin Carus, Michael Alltop, Sammy Buck, Sara Eigenberg, Amy Raudenbush, Jesse Bush, Sid King, Shana Rigby, Nell Benjamin, Peter Millrose, Issac Robert Hurwitz, Julie and Vera Novacek, Heather Knox, Emily Wells, Joyce Isabelle, Patrick Dwyer, Kate Wetherhead, Michael Cassara for coming to the last few performances!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Heather Ayers has been away in the Berkshires doing CYRANO, while Becca Ayers and I have been doing SPARE CHANGE. Heather just got a terrific review for playing “Roxanne” in CYRANO.

Monday, August 23, 2004

DRACULA opened on Broadway last Thursday. Had a conflicting performance of SPARE CHANGE, so I was unable to see the show, but I did attend the opening night party afterward with Alison Franck. Ran into Stacy Baer, Hank Unger, Michael Rego, Michael Vergoth, Alee Ralph, Rob Mickelsen, Christiane Cayea, Nina Shreiber and new friends, Jenn Colella and Scott Nevins, with whom I appeared in Ben Rimalower’s reading at Manhattan Theatre Club last week.

Friend John Haber, director of Dodger Productions’ Special Events, did a great job, again, planning a really fun opening night party. John’s show, LONE STAR LOVE, opens off Broadway, November 21st. An article about LONE STAR LOVE appeared a few days ago on Playbill.com.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

SPARE CHANGE opened at the SoHo Playhouse this past Saturday as one of the 191 shows in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival. In the audience, along with my sister and her friends, were friends: Jamie McGonnigal, Alison Franck, Stacy Baer, and Brette Goldstein.

Michael Greif is getting some of the best reviews of a Chekhov production I’ve seen in a long time for THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The New York Times called it “thoroughly disarming” and a “surprising, intuitive” production.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Ran into Scott C. Embler at 440 Lafayette Studios, today, where we were tech rehearsing SPARE CHANGE. The show Scott’s directing, BURNING BOTTICELLI, will be playing in the black-box theatre there, in the Fringe.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Finally got around to watching the excellent DVD of THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE, the documentary about Hollywood producer Robert Evans. Fascinating. This man defines the word maverick. On the DVD extras, Dustin Hoffman’s impersonations of Evans are priceless.

Kate (Wetherhead) finished her run as “Percy” in THE SPITFIRE GRILL up in Burlington, tonight, so she’s on her way back to NYC. Her next show is going to be Larry & Nell’s (O’Keefe & Benjamin) CAM JANSEN.

Becca (Ayers) is leaving soon after our Fringe play, SPARE CHANGE, to play the lead in EMPIRE, a new show about the creation of the Empire State Building. The show’s playing the Stamford Center for the Arts, in CT.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Jamie McGonnigal had his birthday party at Hurley’s. Jamie knows everybody. It was extremely well-attended, which was great, because I ran into lots of friends, including Isaac Hurwitz who’s working on the festival that’s presenting THE BLUE FLOWER, the show I wrote about last time; and Marny Smith who’s always working someplace great — this time for Hopkins, Smith & Barden. Joy Styles talked to me about the new show she just workshopped about Lena Horne, and I hope it gets picked up, because she’s great.

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Becca (Ayers) and I had callbacks for THE BLUE FLOWER last Friday. We didn’t get the show, but we were falling all over ourselves about it. A great show with excellent music, self-described by the author as Brecht meets Hank Williams. Website for the show is: www.weimarband.com. The project has the perfect director, Will Pomerantz, who directed the visually-breathtaking production of Julia Jordan’s TATJANA IN COLOR at the Culture Project last year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

There’s censorship controversy over a Connecticut production of Joe Calarco’s SHAKESPEARE’S R&J. Joe posted a response to the controversy on his website (joecalarco.net).