The runaway worldwide smash hit musical, JERSEY BOYS, currently playing in major cities worldwide including New York, Las Vegas, London, Auckland, Brisbane and across the USA, makes its South African premiere at the Teatro at Montecasino on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 and will then open at Artscape, Cape Town Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
JERSEY BOYS South African Producer, Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management announced the cast and introduced the Four Seasons played by Grant Almirall (Chicago, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Frankie Valli; Daniel Buys (Boys in the Photograph, Mamma Mia!) as Tommy DeVito; Kenneth Meyer (Boys in the Photograph, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Bob Gaudio and television star Emanuel Castis (Scandal!, Isidingo, season 4 winner of Strictly Come Dancing) as Nick Massi with Jaco van Rensberg (Showboat, Chicago, Grease ) playing Frankie Valli at certain performances.
The three leading female characters are fondly dubbed, the “Jersey Girls”. Carmen Pretorius (Footloose!, Mamma Mia, Cabaret) is Lorraine, Taryn-Lee Hudson is Mary and Kirsten Murphy (Some Like it Vrot, Grease, M-Net’s Crimes Uncovered) is Francine. The ensemble features a host of multi-talented local performers including Duane Alexander (Chicago, Cats, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast), Bjorn Blignault (Jam Alley, Idols finalist Idols, Dreamgirls), Charlie Bouguenon (The King & I, Buddy – the Buddy Holly story, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Matt Counihan (Grease, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cabaret), Christopher Dudgeon (Showboat, Tree Aan!, Rocky Horror Picture Show), Ryan Flynn (Beauty and the Beast, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cinderella), Stephen Jubber (Dalliances, Mamma Mia!, Jesus Christ Superstar), Lara Adine Lipschitz (Pippi Longstocking, Isidingo), Kyle Matthews (Ragtime, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar), Byron Olivato (Hairspray, Boys in the Photograph, African Footprint) and Stephan van der Walt (Giselle, Chronicles, E-Boyz).
Bryan Schimmel, Musical Director heads the South African creative team. Anton Luitingh is Resident Director; Duane Alexander is Resident Choreographer and Dance Captain; Alistair Kilbee is Technical Director and Yolanda Kimber is Company Manager. The visiting top- notch New York based global creative team of Ron Melrose, Music Supervisor; Richard Hester, Production Supervisor and Danny Austin, Associate Choreographer are responsible for staging JERSEY BOYS globally. The two creative teams will work closely together.
The remarkable aspect about this company is they begin rehearsing in Johannesburg and then finalise on-stage preparations in Singapore where the show first opens internationally at the Marina Bay Sands in November, 2012 for a 14 week season before returning to South Africa to premier at The Teatro, Montecasino in April 2013, followed by a season in Cape Town and future Asian territories. The opportunity for the South African performers, band and crew to work internationally on JERSEY BOYS is simply, “too good to be true”.
JERSEY BOYS is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo with music direction, vocal arrangements and incidental music by Ron Melrose. The production design team is Klara Zieglerova, Scenic Designer; Jess Goldstein, Costume Designer; Howell Binkley, Lighting Designer and Michael Clark, Projection Designer.
JERSEY BOYS is presented by Dodger Theatricals, Base Entertainment, Showtime Management, Joseph J. Grano, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group in association with Latitude Link, Rick Steiner.
“JERSEY BOYS is a powerful piece of theatre with extraordinary music – it runs at breath-taking pace. When the final curtain falls and you are on your feet – and EVERYONE is always on their feet – all you want to do is come back to see it a second time! This is a evening of exceptional entertainment…!!” says Hazel Feldman.
For further information visit www.jerseyboyssa.co.za or follow the Jersey Boys journey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JerseyBoysSA and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/JerseyBoysSA/425649164133222
J O H A N N E S B U R G
Teatro at Montecasino
From Wednesday, April 3, 2013 to April 28, 2013
From Wednesday, June 19, 2013 to July 14, 2013
BIOGRAPHIES: JERSEY BOYS PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS PLAYING “THE FOUR SEASONS”
GRANT ALMIRALL (Frankie Valli) Grant obtained his National Diploma in Musical Theatre from Tshwane University of Technology in 2003. His professional debut was in the international touring company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, with which he toured Korea, Shanghai, Taipei, Qatar and Scandinavia. Other theatre credits include; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Showboat, See How They Run, We Will Rock You, Bangbroek Mountain (a South African musical directed by Fred Abrahamse), Romeo and Juliet at Maynardville Open Air Theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar (tour to Athens), Rent, Hairspray, Chicago, African Footprint, High School Musical (South African and Asian tours). He played the role of Mungojerry in the 2009 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and was in the 2010 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s Boys in the Photograph as well as the 2011 production of Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
JACO VAN RENSBERG (Alternate Frankie Valli) After seeing an amateur production of West Side Story, Jaco realised at the young age of 12 years that the stage beckoned. Despite his mocking peers, he made his way to the local dance studio. He joined the Cape Dance Company in 1998 and continued working for them on an ad hoc basis. After he completed his B.Tech Musical Theatre Degree, Jaco performed coveted theatre roles both in productions that toured South Africa and internationally, including Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats and Simon Zealotes in Jesus Christ Superstar. Other productions include Joseph and the Amazing, Technicolour Dreamcoat, Showboat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, Rent, Grease, Footloose and others (by this time the mocking ceased). Jaco also works as a Choreographer and Resident Director (Fings ain’t wot they used t’be, Cinderella the Pantomime, Dawid the Musical) and he has a passion for teaching. Jaco dedicates this production to his parents without whom none of this would be possible.
KENNETH MEYER (Bob Gaudio) Kenneth graduated from Tshwane University of Technology in 2009 where he studied musical theatre. In 2010 he made his professional musical debut in The Boys in the Photograph. Directly after that he played his first leading role as Che in the musical Evita. In 2011 Kenneth joined his third career musical, Jesus Christ Superstar followed by the role of Razoul in Aladdin. In 2012 Kenneth began diversifying his career by playing roles written for Afrikaans audiences. These included playing the supporting lead in his first feature film Pretville and the stage production, Dawid the musical. Kenneth recently played the role of a cat called Thomas in The Purr Factory. Jersey Boys marks his most important debut as a young performer. He can’t wait for that experience to begin.
DANIEL BUYS (Tommy de Vito) Daniel started singing at an early age when his teacher at St. Stithians College recognised his vocal talent. He was successfully involved in choirs and eisteddfods throughout his school career and he sang in school musicals including Pirates of Penzance and Fame. After matriculating Daniel moved to Cape Town to train as a chef. He continued singing with an amateur dramatics company and played the lead role of Danny Zuko in Grease. When he moved back to Johannesburg Daniel completed a diploma in contemporary music. In 2007 he reached the finals of Idols and since then he has made singing and performing his full time career. In 2008 he played Prince “Chuck B. Charming” in Janice Honeyman’s Snow White pantomime after which he completed a Tyrone Watkins production called Spotlight. The year 2010 brought ensemble work in Boys in the Photograph and Mamma Mia, reaffirming his love for musical theatre! Last year Daniel was a production singer on board the Costa Deliziosa cruise ship and on his return to South Africa he joined Beautiful Creatures. Being cast as Tommy in Jersey Boys! makes 2012 the most exciting year ever and Daniel is thrilled to a part of what he considers to be the highlight of his career thus far…
EMMANUEL CASTIS (Nick Massi) Emmanuel may have made his name over the last six years playing Steven, the agony aunt of Horizon Deep on SABC 3’s popular soapie Isidingo, he has also just recently been on screen, as the character of Chris Spencer, on SABC’s ground-breaking drama series Erfsondes, and Cole Harris in the ETV soap Scandal! Castis’ formal university training in drama has prepared him well for the demands of the stage. Over the years, he has performed in shows at Carnival City and The Carousel. Not to mention his turn as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, the prince in Janice Honeyman’s pantomime Cinders and Her Fella and his life long dream Danny Zuko in Grease is the Word for the Banyard Circuit. Emmanuel is also the winner of season four of the popular Dance programme Strictly Come Dancing, with his partner Lindsey Muckle. He is also the front man of the band; Emmanuel Castis…and the Crush! having released his debut album in 2008, and releasing his new single in 2012.
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