Celebrating the hits of the ’60s music sensations Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, New Jersey Nights guarantees you an uplifting night filled with nostalgia.
Calling in from his home in London, New Jersey Nights cast member Ricky Rojas is excited to be bringing this exciting musical journey of one of the biggest-selling groups of all-time to Australia and regional Victoria in April.
“You can’t go wrong with that type of music, it’s ageless and everyone loves it,” Rojas smiles. “I was actually a fan of the staples like ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Walk Like A Man’ and ‘Sherry’, but there were also some songs that I had no idea were originally recorded by The Four Seasons, and some that I thought were originally recorded by The Temptations or The Drifters, or other Motown groups,” he laughs.
With a sensational cast of award winning West End singers and dancers, complete with a live band on stage, New Jersey Nights has been receiving rave reviews since its first show in 2013, and has since smashed box office records right across the USA and UK, proving to be one of the most successful touring shows of all time.
“We first did it in 2013 which was in the UK for a year and it sold out everywhere,” Rojas exclaims. “It was nuts, just ridiculous! Since then, it’s been on and off and it’s kind of one of those shows that keeps coming back. If it continues going after Australia, I’ll definitely jump on board.”
In this spectacular celebration of the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Rojas explains that while they cover the most famous Four Seasons tunes, fans can also expect to experience more than just the favourites.
“We also cover a lot of the back catalogue, some of the ones that aren’t that popular, but for the connoisseurs of music, they will appreciate it,” he laughs. “We also cover some of his solo hits as well that he did from his later career, like in the 1990′s he did a ’60s album of his favourite songs with different renditions of his favourite tunes. I actually sing ‘Grease Is The Word’ which he recorded originally for the movie.”
Covering 30 hits from a group whose harmonies were legendary, Rojas, alongside fellow singers Jon Hawkins, Damion Scarcella and Simon Schofield, work hard to replicate the music of Valli and fully relish at the chance to create some stunning pop nostalgia.
“The other three boys get this as well; it’s such a fun show but vocally it’s pretty heavy. Because it’s such good music, you get into it a lot, and towards the end of it you start giving everything you can and then by the end of the week, you are just tired,” he laughs. “It’s having to pace yourself, especially with that type of music. It’s just a really fun show to do and it’s fun to sing with your friends because we all get along really well.”
With a passion for performing since his first professional production “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” and going on to play various parts in productions in the West End (Fame, Buddy, Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat) and Broadway NY ( Burn The Floor), Rojas admits to being most at home with his guitar.
“I kind of fell into musical theatre way back when but that’s where my passion really lies, songwriting and working on my own stuff,” he smiles. “I’m still creating, I’m still writing now when I’ve got a chance.”
This passion is mirrored through Rojas’ solo performance of ‘Earth Angel’ within the New Jersey Nights production.
“My favourite moment; there’s a version of ‘Earth Angel’ which Frankie Valli did a cover of and it’s really stripped back,” he explains. “It’s usually done with just a piano and saxophone, and that’s a nice moment, it’s nice to just sing a song by yourself on stage.”
Join Rojas in a fast-paced, joyous tribute to one of the most celebrated and influential pop acts of the sixties, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This one is not to be missed.
When & Where: Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – April 20 & Costa Hall @ Deakin University, Geelong – April 21.
Written by Talia Rinaldo