As a student of musical theatre and the stage, when it comes to Hollywood stage-to-film adaptations are usually a miss. Overladen with glitz and glam, stuffed to the brim with A-list actors, and void of any story at all, Hollywood’s efforts in recreating the magic never reaches the screen. The musicals adored by fans worldwide become two-hour long music video jam sessions instead of a piece of art; the story loses its meaning under all the extra bull. Nonetheless, Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens) is the latest director to bring yet another musical to movie theaters. And this time the ability to sing and reach certain notes is “a plus.”
The Musical Genre in Need of Some Love
There’s no denying it: Mr. Favreau is talented. Not only does he have the ability to create a masterful story but he also understands the chemistry and balance between action and suspense. However, a musical is a totally different monster with a very different audience. A musical theatre audience is the toughest crowd to please. Let’s face it, we’re judgmental and protective our precious darlings. Jersey Boys will be Favreau’s first experience with the musical genre, and if all goes well he’ll have several other musicals thrown his way.
So far Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!), Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages, Hairspray) and Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) are the only directors capable of bridging Hollywood and Broadway together in film time and time again; most directors try their hand at the genre once and never return. Are there other directors out there who can get the job done? Absolutely — Bill Condon (Dream Girls), Julie Taymore (Across the Universe), Susan Stroman (The Producers). Not to mention, both Shankman and Marshall have had their slip ups with the genre. It’s great to see Favreau try his hand at musicals; he’ll no doubt add his signature touch to the story.
Can Favreau Get the Job Done?
Favreau’s casting call has its pros and cons: On one hand he’s actually searching for new talent, and not just for the supporting characters, but the lead singers of the ’60s pop group The Four Seasons. What a great opportunity for emerging talent! But on the other hand, each individual call lists the ability to sing and play instruments as “a plus.” Hmm? Right off the bat, Favreau’s pissing off the theatre crowd. There’s talented people who can sing their faces off, and the fact that it’s not required that the actors have a damn good voice is concerning. It’s simple, hit the required notes, if not you’re out. I congratulate Tom Hooper for making everyone in his Les Miserables cast sing live everyday during production right in front of the camera. It takes balls to do what that cast did.
Planning to audition? Check out the character breakdowns below. For all open call information be sure to submit your information to jerseyboymoviecasting.com. You could be the next member of The Four Seasons! Jersey Boys hits theaters 2014 and filming takes place in NYC.
20-29 yrs old. 5’8″ or under. Italian-American. A small, tenacious, scrappy kid from a tough neighborhood with an unusually high, clear falsetto. He is talented, hardworking and determined to succeed. ABILITY TO SING TENOR PART AND FALSETTO UP TO TREBLE G A PLUS.
20-29 yrs old. 5’10″ or taller. Boyish, fresh-faced Bob is the keyboardist. Something of a boy genius, he is smart and savvy beyond his years. ABILITY TO SING TENOR/BARITENOR PART IN TIGHT HARMONY AND KEYBOARD SKILLS A PLUS.
25-35 yrs old. Italian-American. A handsome, charismatic, smooth-talking operator with a quick temper, Tommy is a born hustler from a tough neighborhood and the essence of Jersey cool. ABILITY TO SING TENOR/BARITENOR PART IN TIGHT HARMONY AND GUITAR SKILLS A PLUS.
25-35 yrs old. Italian-American. A steady, sturdy, lumbering man of few words with a police record and a strong musical talent. ABILITY TO SING BASS/BARITONE PART IN TIGHT HARMONY AND BASS GUITAR SKILLS A PLUS.