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Behind the Scenes

MAGAZINE Fall 2017/Winter 2018


Behind the Scenes MAGAZINE Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Dear Reader, Just like that, fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner! We have over 75 classes starting in our conservatory on September 10. Talk about variety and something for everyone! From stage combat to classical ballet, The Hanover Theatre Conservatory for the Performing Arts is already helping students of ALL ages prepare for professional careers and auditions, as well as delving into the joys of making music and learning new skills.

As we head into our 10th season of celebrating the holidays at The Hanover Theatre, all hands are on deck preparing for annual productions of treasured traditions such as The Nutcracker and Troy Siebels’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Both of these productions delight audiences with talent, live music, gorgeous costumes, spectacular staging…and let’s not forget the ghostly effects! Look for new entertainment and gift packages as we get closer to the holidays, and keep subscriptions in mind as a great way to give the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Visit our website to sign up for our email newsletter to hear about the many ways to engage with the theatre, whether it’s through social media, special appearances and opportunities, contests, Behind the Scenes interviews or taking advantage of membership benefits at all levels. Live performances offer an incredibly valuable way for people to come together for shared experiences that leave lasting impressions and create wonderful memories to cherish. As you look at the wide variety of shows coming to the theatre, think about who you’d like to bring and make it a day or night to remember! We encourage you to “Share Something Wonderful” (see page 12) for the chance to win an incredible prize package worth over $1,900. See you at the theatre,

Lisa K. Condit Director of Marketing & PR P.S. Tune in to hear Behind the Scenes interviews on WCRN AM830 Saturdays at 1pm.

Over 75 Classes For All Ages

Conservatory Open House Wednesday Sept 6 from 6-8 pm

Meet the staff and try a class!




Email or call Kelly at 508.471.1765 to RSVP.

“We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the turnout for our first ‘urban-centric’ Jazz at Sunset event. There was so much interest and excitement surrounding this concert, and we are sure that Grace Kelly will join us again next year to perform for our Summer 2018 Jazz at Sunset series.” - Amanda Carr, Executive Director WICN Public Radio, 90.5 FM

Photos by kofi poku.

If you would like to support the good work we are doing to make downtown magnificent or to invest in the Theatre District Campaign, contact Nel Lazour at for more information.

Inside Come on Down ...................................................4 Dance Takes Center Stage................................5 Dance by Popular Demand ..............................5 Share the Joy of Broadway, Music & More......6 Decoding A Christmas Story ..............................8 Celebrating Ten Years of Holiday Magic .........10 Share Something Wonderful ..............................12 Come to the Cabaret ........................................14 Something Rotten! Getting the Joke ................16 The Classics Keep on Spinning ..........................18 Jersey Boys: A Show for Everybody ...................20 Engage with Us ....................................................22

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

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Come on Down! Get your tickets to play. . . to win. . . to laugh. . . to learn. . .

Whether you prefer to gain kernels of wisdom from one of America’s greatest storytellers, an astrophysicist, movie star, characters from PBS Kids, or interactive games, one thing is guaranteed . . . you are going to have fun…and you might even get caught leaping for joy!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day! October 7

The Princess Bride: An Evening with Cary Elwes October 14

Garrison Keillor: Just Passing Through November 18

ice is r P e Th VE! I L t h Rig r 20 e b o t Oc

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Dr. Neil de An Astro Grasse Tyson: physic the New ist Reads sp Septem aper ber 28

Dance Takes Center Stage Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound After The Curtain January 29 Shaping Sound was created by the 2015 Emmy® Award winner (and six time Emmy® Award nominee) for Outstanding Choreography, Travis Wall, along with partners Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson. Fans flock to see this company’s unique fusion of jazz, modern and hip hop choreography where the artists describe themselves as ‘visual musicians’ as their dance gives shape and form to sound. Back by popular demand, the eclectic dance company brings its second show to The Hanover Theatre’s stage. After the Curtain tells the story of a man fighting to find his creative voice after the death of his one true love.

Dance by Popular Demand Dance fever has struck The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, and the conservatory is a perfect way to blend technical instruction with artistry and practical experience that takes young performers from the studio to the stage. Our state-of-the-art dance studios, expanded dance offerings and new director of dance, Jennifer Agbay, formerly of Ballet Arts Worcester, provide the tools needed to hone the difficult skills that artists present as effortless. Whether it’s the big and splashy production numbers in Cabaret, Something Rotten! and Jersey Boys, ethereal beauty and precision demonstrated by professional dance companies or movements and specialty dances choreographed for The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, every scene is enhanced when live music and movement come together.

“The conservatory provides exceptional training and education for a successful journey in the arts”

- Jennifer Agbay, Director of Dance The conservatory offers a unique way to partner with some of the national touring productions by offering special master class opportunities to conservatory students, and other types of enrichment and engagement activities while the performers are in Worcester preparing for their shows at the theatre. Auditions for The Nutcracker are on September 9. Please contact Jennifer in advance at 508.471.1794 for your required reservation.

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Share the Joy of Broad Sept 6 Sept 9 Sept 10 - 11 Sept 14 - 17 Sept 20 Sept 23 Sept 28 Oct 7 Oct 12 Oct 13 Oct 14 Oct 15 Oct 20 Oct 22 Oct 22 Oct 27 Oct 28 Nov 9 - 12 Nov 13 Nov 16 Nov 17 Nov 18 Nov 18 Nov 24 Nov 24 - 26

Open House in The Hanover Theatre Conservatory for the Performing Arts Auditions for The Nutcracker Auditions for A Christmas Carol qFLIX Worcester: New England’s LGBTQ Film Festival Gordon Lightfoot in Concert: The Legend Lives On The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute v Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson: An Astrophysicist Reads the Newspaper Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day! v Jay Leno Lewis Black: The Rant, White & Blue Tour The Princess Bride: An Evening with Cary Elwes v Bucky Pizzarelli and the Vaughan Monroe Orchestra v The Price is Right LIVE! v Don Phipps’ 85th Birthday Concert featuring the White Heat Swing Quartet and David Wickerham on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Brian Regan Live Comedy Tour ORIGINAL STARS from American Bandstand Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin v Broadway Series: A Christmas Story, The Musical vv« Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox v Under the Streetlamp v Volkswagen presents Warren Miller’s Line of Descent v The Freshman: Silent film accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ v Garrison Keillor: Just Passing Through Black Friday one day sale and open house The Nutcracker sponsored by Commerce Bank v

Did You Know? All Access Club

This is your season pass to the ultimate theatre experience, plus membership in the exclusive Franklin Square Society, our VIP club. Contact Diane at 508.930.2424 for more information about this exciting opportunity to fully engage with The Hanover Theatre.

v Broadway Subscribers Get the Best Seats With attractive pricing, guaranteed seating and the benefits of a complimentary Friend Level membership, subscribers experience six or seven incredible shows at one of the top theatres in the world. Contact Lilly at 508.471.1791 to find out how you can get the best seats for all seven Broadway tours, save on student subscriptions and make the most out of the new season.

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dway, Music & More . . . Dec 1 Dec 2 Dec 8 Dec 15 - 23 Dec 17 Dec 18 Dec 28 - 31 Jan 20 Jan 29 Feb 9 Feb 20 - 25 Mar 10 Mar 15 - 18 Mar 30 Apr 5 - 8 Apr 11 Apr 12 - 15 Apr 21 May 6 May 15 - 20

Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic Diane Kelley presents Holiday Spectacular! v 2017 Holiday Pops Tour sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group The 10th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol «v sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Assumption College Sensory-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol WGBH presents A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan v Broadway Series: Cabaret vv« Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock and Roll vv Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound After the Curtain v The Stylistics v Broadway Series: Something Rotten! vv« Decades Rewind v Broadway Series: Jersey Boys sponsored by Cornerstone Bank and Reliant Medical Group vv« Music Worcester presents Sleeping Beauty performed by Moscow Festival Ballet vv Broadway Series: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour vv« Hotel California vv Broadway Series: Bright Star vv« Che Malambo vv A Collection of Laurel and Hardy silent short films accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ v Broadway Series: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I vv«

v 20 Shows for $20 Are you a student, or just entering the “real world” and willing to be flexible about your seating? Choose three or more shows from over 20 performances for just $20 each. Better yet, participants could be surprised with a seat upgrade! Please note that this offer is only valid on opening nights for shows with multiple performances. Visit or call Lilly at 508.471.1791 for more info.

v Member Discounts and Early Access These shows may not be available yet. Our members receive discounts and early access to tickets for most shows before they go on sale to the public. Contact Veronica at 508.471.1772 to join.

Jay Leno October 12

« ASL and Audio Description services are available at select performances. Every show at the theatre is wheelchair accessible. Options may be limited, so be sure to ask about them when you purchase your tickets so we may accommodate your request in advance.

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

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Decoding A Christmas Story Nov 9 - 12

Christopher Swan as The Old Man and the cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical. Photo by Gary Emord Netzley.

To say that Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the hottest thing on Broadway right now would be an understatement. The songwriting pair dominated the musical world in 2017, winning the 2017 Tony®Award for Best Musical for their Broadway smash Dear Evan Hansen, as well as the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from the hit film “La La Land” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. But to the duo, A Christmas Story, The Musical will • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

always hold an extra special place; it was their first work to make it to Broadway when the show hit the Great White Way in 2012. “We didn’t really grasp the scope of it at the time,” says Paul. “We were 25-year-olds, who didn’t know anything, saying, ‘Sure! Let’s give it a whirl!’ We weren’t intimidated by the movie’s relevance, resonance and ubiquity. We just dug in and wrote a big, traditional musical comedy.”

But when it came to adapting the show as a full-scale Broadway musical, the team found that the popularity and adoration of the 1983 film was both an asset and hindrance to their process.

more subtle part in the film,” says Paul. “While we didn’t want to change very much, we felt that she was deserving of some really good material – she is a very special character to us. She’s sort of the special engine that keeps the whole thing running.”

“People know this movie really well, and that was our best friend and “The Mother’s song ‘Just worst enemy,” Paul says. Like That’ is truly one of “Some moments would our favorite moments in just appear onstage and the show,” adds Pasek. Christian Dell’Edera as Flick and the cast of A Christmas Story, the audience would laugh “At its core, A Christmas The Musical. Photo by Gary Emord Netzley. and clap. That familiarity Story is about nostalgia also makes audiences wonder if you’re going to and remembering your own childhood. In this song, screw things up. We learned that some things, like we see a mother trying to capture that one moment the Orphan Annie decoder ring, we could lose, while as her kids are growing up too quickly. It’s one of the others, like the leg lamp or the tongue frozen to the moments in the musical that didn’t exist in the film, flagpole, could never go away.” so it gave us the opportunity to explore the mother’s character and make her the sort of emotional anchor “There was a story in place, a structure that already of the show.” works,” adds Pasek. “With this particular movie, it’s loved by so many people. And knowing that you While the task of undertaking a movie that is have to satisfy their expectations and allow them to so beloved by so many was at times daunting, hear those lines that they want to hear, sometimes understanding what audiences have found so that can be challenging. We wanted to honor appealing about the film was key, says Pasek. “It’s people’s favorite parts of the film and enhance them not a sort of glossy, shiny, perfect representation of for the musical stage without tampering with them too what Christmas is, it’s really true to life, in the sense much.” that not everything works out. In fact, many things don’t work out. When you think about the moments Part of the movie’s genius, and one of the factors as that you really remember with your family, it’s not the to why it has been able to endure through the years, moments where everything went perfect and you got is that it takes a story from the 1940s and focuses along. It’s the fights, and the times that the turkey on characters and situations that are timeless. Kids gets eaten by the dogs, when everything is a mess.” will always get obsessed with certain presents at Christmastime, whether it’s a BB gun or whatever Following its Tony® -nominated Broadway run, A the “must-have” toy that year is. Similarly, bullies will Christmas Story, The Musical has toured the country always be bullies, dads will always have their quirks, since 2013 and taken its place alongside the classic furnaces will always misbehave and kids will always movie as a perennial holiday favorite. be taking dares they’ll quickly regret. “It’s so beautiful to see parents who grew up with For Pasek and Paul, one of the beauties of taking this movie bring their kids or even their grandkids the movie and expanding upon it for the stage was out to the theater, and they’re all experiencing ‘A the opportunity to invest in certain characters and Christmas Story,’ but in a whole new way,” says Paul. storylines that they weren’t able to delve as deeply “We hope A Christmas Story, The Musical is still being into in the movie version. performed in 20 years. What we’ve always taken away from working on this show is that the holidays “One thing we’re really proud of is that when it came you remember most are the crazy, wacky ones with to this project, we really felt like we wanted to invest your family, the ones you talk about and laugh about a lot in the character of the Mother – she plays a for years.” Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Celebrating Ten Years of Ho Join us! November 24 Black Friday one day sale and open house “The decorations at the theatre around the holidays are wonderful…makes it so enjoyable to come a little early and have a drink and socialize.”

The Nutcracker Nov 24 - 26

sponsored by Commerce Bank

“A great way to start the holiday season!” “…it’s become an annual family tradition for us!”

Clara and the Nutcracker. Photo Mike Nyman

2017 Holiday Pops Tour December 8

sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group

“My family had a grand old time. The Pops were spectacular.” “The Boston Pops concert was one of the best events I’ve ever attended. The atmosphere of The Hanover Theatre made the night magical.”

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oliday Magic “The performance, props, sets, special effects and costumes were excellent. Marley’s entrance was OMG! I loved the ambiance of this theatre; the mix of old and new.” “The performance was spectacular! The music, the dance, the story…it was magical.” SPOILER ALERT: Look for even more magical special effects developed through a new partnership with Technocopia for the 10th Anniversary Production!

A Sensory-Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol December 17 at 11am “The sensory-friendly show was GREAT! The pre-show introduction of the two scariest characters was also interesting to the general public, especially the insights into how the 12-foot ghost actually works. It was also very noticeable how the audience (especially the younger members) reacted to Scrooge’s transformation and childlike characterizations.”

10th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol December 15 - 23 sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Assumption College

“It’s a family tradition to attend a holiday show with my grandchildren and we hope that continues for years to come. Thank you for a great day!”

WGBH presents A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan December 18 “We come to The Hanover Theatre every year to see A Christmas Celtic Sojourn. Love it…best night of the year!” Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

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Share Something Wonderful Refer a friend to subscribe and you’ll both be entered to win! The Hanover Theatre, Flying Rhino, deadhorse hill, The Muse and WLimo are partnering to offer an ultimate subscriber experience, including over $600 in restaurant gift cards for a season of perfect theatre outings!

If you’re looking to satisfy your appetite, the Flying Rhino Café & Watering Hole offers fusion cuisine in a cool, eclectic atmosphere. Enjoy tasty appetizers like buffalo chicken wontons and crab rangoon, or a filling entrée of Korean barbecue beef or mango-glazed duck breast. If you’re hungry after the show, the Flying Rhino is open until 2am offering a special late-night menu with everything from glutenfree entrees to burgers and sandwiches.

The winner of the ultimate subscriber experience can take advantage of free parking and access to our exclusive Franklin Square Salon, where you can relax and enjoy complimentary beverages before the show and during intermission. The winner will also get a unique “Behind the Scenes” experience this holiday season with a VIP package for four to attend the 10th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol, which includes a backstage tour so you can see how the magic happens. As our special guest, you will be treated to everything you’ll need for a perfect night. Take advantage of the $300 gift provided by WLimo, Worcester Airport Limousine’s car service, and arrive for your special evening in style.

Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy

For classic American cuisine, check out deadhorse hill restaurant and café, located a few blocks from the theatre in the historic Bay State Hotel. The café opens at 8am and offers casual breakfast and lunch. In the evening, the restaurant offers à la carte and chef’s tasting menus inspired by the flavors of the season, made from fresh vegetables and seafood provided by farmers and fishermen throughout the Northeast.

Subscribe to our Broadway Series and treat yourself to seven fun-filled theatre excursions. Share the experience with a friend and when they subscribe, you’ll BOTH have the chance to win a grand prize package valued at more than $1,900!

Whether it’s a romantic date night or a night out with friends, a drink at The Muse, located right across the street from the theatre, will provide a sophisticated atmosphere for conversation before or after the show. Enjoy innovative cocktails and craft beers while admiring work by local artists at the resident art gallery. • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

Every trip to the theatre is a special event to enjoy with family and friends. Subscribe now and “Share Something Wonderful” for a chance to win the ultimate subscriber experience to make your season of Broadway even better! Visit or call Lilly at 508.471.1791 for more details on how to subscribe and “Share Something Wonderful” today!

Diane Kelley presents

Holiday Spectacular!

a New Holiday Tradition

Saturday December 2 at 6pm See Worcester County’s Finest Singers and Dancers • Dancing Elves • Santa • Snowmen • Angels • Gingerbread Men • Tumbling Toys • Dancing Dolls

“Festive, Uplifting & Magical” Tickets available at

A holiday tradition the whole family will enjoy! “Our experience working with the team at The Hanover Theatre has been first class. Their recent renovation of new event spaces and their undivided attention to detail has made the theatre a must for your next event location.” – Derek Grillo, Struck Catering

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Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Come to the Cabaret

Dec 28 - 31

The cast of Cabaret surround the Emcee in the Kit Kat Club. Courtesy tour photo.

Life is a cabaret! The phrase feels festive, doesn’t it? This December, plan a trip to the theatre so you can celebrate and leave your troubles outside, because life is beautiful at Cabaret! The Tony® Award-winning production has some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” “Wilkommen” to the Weimar Republic. Weimar Republic is the name given to Germany between 1919 and 1933. The name refers to the city where its constitutional assembly first took place. The end of World World I in 1918 brought radical change to a defeated, disillusioned Germany. Early on, the Weimar Republic ended censorship and enacted liberal social policies. These new policies, combined with a favorable exchange rate for foreign money, attracted artists, scientists and “outsiders” such as gays and lesbians from around the world. Berlin quickly became the cultural capital of the western world. Traditional rules about gender • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

and sexuality were also being challenged. Gay and lesbian bars appeared. Women, who had entered the workforce during the war and recently gained access to some forms of birth control, were no longer defined by marriage and child-bearing. Weimar Berlin was a city in chaos. The old rules no longer applied. New ideas about art, money, gender and sexuality arose and were brought to life on the cabaret stage. The word “cabaret” is a French term for tavern or taproom, social spaces where there were often impromptu performances. From its beginnings, cabaret was an art form dedicated to counterculture, to pushing the boundaries of art and questioning society. Berliners sought out cabaret as a wild way to process their difficult, changing lives. Three kinds of cabaret were present in Berlin in the early 1920s. “Literarisches Kabarett” were small music halls that strove to present work with literary value. “Wilde Buhne” (Wild Stage), the most famous of these, was founded in 1921 but closed in 1924 at the

height of Germany’s financial instability. “Kabaret der Komiker” (Cabaret of Comedians), or KadeKo, was the most famous of Weimar Berlin’s later cabarets. KadeKo featured populist entertainment with a leftleaning political slant. A typical night would feature an hour or so of cabaret songs followed by a one-act parody or play, all hosted by a witty conférencier, or emcee. In contrast, like the fictional Kit Kat Klub, other cabarets were more nightclub than artist’s pub or theatre. As Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in the early 1930s, cabarets were forced out of business or turned to creating nationalist propaganda. The golden era of the Weimar Republic was over. It was no longer safe to be gay or Jewish or to oppose the government, let alone to do so in song.

Cabaret is a great example of a show where the more you know about the background and historical context of the show, the richer your theatre experience will be. New this season, look for dramaturgy and discussion groups on our blog. We’ll even give you some guidance as to the show’s themes and whether or not you might want to bring the family, or in the case of Cabaret, make it an adult night out.

Sally Bowles takes the stage in Cabaret. Courtesy tour photo.

Did you know?

• The original Broadway production of Cabaret opened on November 20, 1966. • In addition to several Broadway and West End revivals, Cabaret has been staged in over 16 countries. • The 1998 revival won four Tony® Awards, including Best Revival. • The revival ran an impressive 2,377 performances. • Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, Sienna Miller, Natasha Richardson, Brooke Shields and Molly Ringwald have each played leading lady, Sally Bowles. • Several notable actors including Alan Cumming, John Stamos, Michael C. Hall and Neil Patrick Harris have stepped into the role of the Emcee over the years. • Cabaret is based on the book “The Berlin Stories” by Christopher Isherwood and the film “I Am A Camera” by John Van Druten. • The music and lyrics of Cabaret were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. • The book of Cabaret was written by Joe Masteroff. • Cabaret is one of the first productions, and one of the few, where actors also take on the role of the orchestra.

Special offer to Behind the Scenes readers! Use promo code BTS2017 at checkout for early access. Tickets go on sale to the general public September 26. Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

Feb 20 - 25

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. Photo © Jeremy Daniel

Getting the Joke

The humor found in Something Rotten! The laugh lines in the Broadway hit Something Rotten! flow from different sources.

Bottom as if it were their first time (and not in a literary sense).

Some come at the expense of William Shakespeare, the rock star of his day, here played as a worldweary writer who finds being famous so much more enjoyable than actually coming up with new ideas.

The show’s humor, the work of brothers Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick (score), Karey and John O’Farrell (book), director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw and music arranger Glen Kelly, has been tested, vetted and carefully calibrated so that theatergoers can have a good time whether they know a lot or only a little about Shakespeare and/or musical theater.

Some are pointed at musical theater itself, a veritable feast for fans and geeks who adore RENT, Cats, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Les Misérables, Annie and dozens of other iconic musicals from the Broadway canon. Others are bawdy, with the judgmental Puritan leader Brother Jeremiah helplessly slipping into sexuallytinged double entendre, and his daughter Portia experiencing a sonnet read by her writer-beau Nigel • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

O’Farrell recalls, “We’d be sitting around, trying to write a song or a scene, and Wayne and Karey would say, ‘You know that song from Sunday in the Park With George?’ And I’d say no. And I’d say, ‘You know that thing in ‘The Taming of the Shrew?’ And they’d say no,” O’Farrell recalls.

Special offer to Behind the Scenes readers! Use promo code BTS2017 at checkout for early access. Tickets go on sale to the general public October 3. “We were conscious of not wanting to be so inside that you could only get it if you had seen the most obscure musicals,” Wayne Kirkpatrick says. “We went broad, purposely. We referenced not only the musicals that inspired us, but also musicals people would know even if they hadn’t seen them, or maybe they’d only seen the movie. The same with Shakespeare. Everybody knows some Shakespeare lines. There are a lot of what we refer to as his ‘hits’, that everybody is going to know.” The end result is a show so fresh and funny, audiences of all ages and backgrounds love it. “It doesn’t matter how much you know,” director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw confirms. “My nieces and nephews say it’s their favorite show that I’ve done and they don’t know any of the references.” O’Farrell concludes, “If it works as a musical for people who don’t know musicals or Shakespeare, then I’m happy. It’s about show business and putting on a show. The show works on many levels, but the main level it works on, I hope, is that it’s just a great fun night out.”

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. Photo © Jeremy Daniel

WSU = I CAN DO THIS Continuing your education shouldn’t be a hassle. At Worcester State, we know what’s important to you: • Evening classes available for more than 10 bachelor’s degrees • Credit and non-credit professional development programs to advance your career • More than 80 online & blended classes for added flexibility



Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

The Classics Keep on Spinning The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute September 23

Enjoy the greatest songs by the brightest stars. From classic hits performed by original stars to contemporary artists, these shows hit all the right notes. Whether you prefer the ultimate classic rock experience or gravitate toward gramophone music in a smartphone world, there’s something for everyone at The Hanover Theatre this season.

Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin October 28

ORIGINAL STARS from American Bandstand October 27

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox November 13 Under the Streetlamp November 16

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Fall Open House October 22 and November 5 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Difference We believe we’re a little different from other independent schools. We are a student-centered community where you can be you. Through rigorous academics, strong leadership opportunities, competitive athletics, and inspiring arts programs, we are focused on helping students become the best versions of themselves. We are real…and it’s in our DNA. Join us for one of our fall Middle and Upper School Open Houses and experience the difference of Worcester Academy. RSVP at or 508-459-5841. Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

A Show for Everybody Emphasizing friendship, Jersey Boys crosses generations and wins new fans

March 15 - 18

Tickets go on sale Oct 10

sponsored by Cornerstone Bank and Reliant Medical Group (l to r) Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus and Keith Hines. Photo: Jeremy Daniel.

Jersey Boys, the Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning Broadway musical about the spectacular rise of pop icons Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, has been seen worldwide by over 22 million people, all of them captivated by the dazzling recreations of classic 1960s hits such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” set within a gripping rags-to-riches story. But for many, the show’s most unforgettable moment comes when Frankie Valli, as lead singer, decides to enter into a business partnership with the group’s keyboardist and songwriter, Bob Gaudio.

have so much gotten away from those values of real friendship, of loyalty, of consistency in relationships, it stands out to me tremendously.”

“So should we have somebody draw up a contract?” Gaudio asks. Frankie responds by offering his hand.

“This is a man’s show,” asserts Ms. Prescott. “Sometimes when I go to the theater, especially musicals, my boyfriend says, ‘Why don’t you take one of your girlfriends?’ And when I first went to Jersey Boys, I did go with a girlfriend. Afterward, I told my boyfriend, ‘You have got to see this show. You’re going to love it.’ And he actually went with me twice.”

“You want a contract? Here . . . a Jersey contract.” Their handshake becomes a pact, cementing a relationship that has endured for close to 50 years. “The story of the friendship between Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio is something that just makes my heart melt every time I think about it,” says Pat Prescott, popular radio host on Los Angeles’ 94.7 The Wave and a longtime Jersey Boys fan. “When I think about that handshake and what it has meant,” Ms. Prescott observes, “how we as a society • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

In Jersey Boys (with a book by Tony® Award nominees Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice) four young men persevere against incredible odds to fight their way to the peak of stardom. Later, they stand together through high times and devastating lows. The show’s universal themes of courage, friendship and survival have inspired a diverse legion of new Broadway fans, many of them men.

Other husbands and boyfriends have become just as enthused. Before Jersey Boys, Dale Skarl was a selfdescribed “Broadway novice.” Now, having seen the show more than 50 times across the US and Canada, he understands why it has earned such a following with “the guys.”

“It’s because of the camaraderie between the four main characters,” Skarl states. “The story is about men and men’s success, and their triumph over failure. Maybe it’s like the team aspect that goes back to sports, or brotherhood and fraternity. It’s a story about not giving up.” Together Dale and his wife, Susie, administer the Jersey Boys fan site and blog. They fell in love with the show around the time it opened on Broadway in 2005. “To be honest, I was the one who dragged Dale to Jersey Boys,” explains Susie, “because I’ve been a big fan of The Four Seasons forever. I went just because of loving the music, growing up with it.” At first, Susie recalls, the experience seemed like “your typical fun night at the theater, people having a nice time.” But then, she says, “something unexpected happened.” “When I actually watched the people in the audience, whether they were 60 years old or 22, everybody was bopping in their seats. I don’t know if they had a rough week at work, or else they were going back in time to high school, but you would have thought they didn’t have a care in the world. If they could have gotten up and danced, they would have.”

his own and with The Four Seasons. “And there are things in the show that, even for me, every time I go back, I pick up on. Some things are like that, you can’t get enough.” Kara Tremel, who has performed several roles in the national tour of Jersey Boys, credits multiple Tony® Award winning director Des McAnuff (Big River, The Who’s Tommy, The Farnsworth Invention) with creating a fast-paced, visually engaging production that attracts theatergoers who were not born when The Four Seasons’ hits dominated the airwaves. “For young people it’s an exciting type of show to see,” Tremel observes. “The way Des directed it is so quick: the set moves with the actors, lighting shoots over to another side of the stage, and we’re in a totally different scene in a matter of seconds. It’s good for a younger generation that needs that kind of quick pace. And whatever your age, you can’t not like this music.”

“A Jersey contract” (l to r) Aaron De Jesus and Cory Jeacoma.

Photo: Jeremy Daniel. “We’ve noticed this on multiple occasions, with many different audiences,” Dale adds. “You’ll look over to your left or right, and you’ll see someone that’s sobbing because the music takes them back to a place that they remember so well and has meaning for them. In the end everybody’s on their feet and everyone loves the show.”

“You’re thinking you’re going to hear a bunch of great hits, and you do,” says Susie, referring to the Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons classics performed in the show (the music is by Bob Gaudio with lyrics by Bob Crewe). “But then, the story is so interesting and compelling that you want to come back. It’s a classic story of success that resonates with everybody. You really do get something out of it each time you see it.” It’s an observation shared by Frankie Valli himself. “Jersey Boys is a true story,” says the legendary singer, whose sterling falsetto has graced dozens of hits, on

Pat Prescott, the radio personality, grew up in a household where music of all kinds was respected and enjoyed. As someone who has loved Broadway ever since her father took her to see the hit musical, Purlie, in the early 1970s, she understands how theater has the potential to reach across generational divides.

“This current generation has grown up with a lot of media thrown in their faces,” Prescott remarks. “It may be hard to get them excited about some music from the 1960s or early 70s, but when you put the whole package together, songs and story, into this incredible show, I don’t think anybody can resist it. I noticed every time I went, you would see people of all ages, all races. Everybody was in there.” The acclaimed 2014 film version of Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood, has grossed nearly $70 million internationally, but it hasn’t stopped fans and first-timers from packing houses on Broadway, on tour, in Las Vegas and around the world. “There’s so much going on that you need to see it at least two or three times, just so you don’t miss anything,” Prescott believes. “I wish everybody could see it. This show is really, really special.”

By David Freeland

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre • Fall 2017/Winter 2018

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Behind the Scenes Magazine fall 2017 / winter 2018  

This issue offers editorial from four of the upcoming 2017-2018 Broadway tours, the 2017-2018 show calendar, dance & conservatory news, upco...

Behind the Scenes Magazine fall 2017 / winter 2018  

This issue offers editorial from four of the upcoming 2017-2018 Broadway tours, the 2017-2018 show calendar, dance & conservatory news, upco...