The Jersey boy’s back in town

He was just 11 years old when his par­ents sent him off to a sports-fo­cused overnight camp that little Brad Wein­stock didn’t par­tic­u­larly like.

“I’m sure they had good in­ten­tions, but I was nev­er very good at sports. But one day, the camp de­cided to put on The Wiz­ard of Oz, and a coun­selor sug­ges­ted I try out for a role. I did. They told me I had a pretty good voice, and gave me the part of the Tin Man,” said Wein­stock.

It was a de­cision that would ul­ti­mately change his life.

“The very next sum­mer, my par­ents sent me to a per­form­ing arts camp, and ever since then, I real­ized I wanted to be a per­former,” said Wein­stock, who’s ap­pear­ing as the one and only Frankie Valli in the multi award-win­ning show, Jer­sey Boys, on stage at the For­rest Theatre through Jan. 14.

Jer­sey Boys is the story of Valli and The Four Sea­sons. It’s the tale of a group of blue-col­lar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who be­came one of the biggest Amer­ic­an pop mu­sic sen­sa­tions of all time.

They wrote their own songs, in­ven­ted their own sounds, and sold 175 mil­lion re­cords world­wide — all be­fore they were 30. They were true per­formers in every sense of the word.

An en­er­get­ic and power­ful mu­sic­al bio­graphy of the Four Sea­sons — the rise, the tough times, per­son­al clashes and the ul­ti­mate tri­umph of a group of friends whose mu­sic be­came sym­bol­ic of a gen­er­a­tion — the show fea­tures such songs as Decem­ber 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Work­ing My Way Back to You, Who Loves You, Sherry and many oth­ers.

And of course, said Wein­stock, “Once the mu­sic starts for Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, even be­fore any­one starts to sing, the ap­plause is deaf­en­ing and many audi­ence mem­bers are up on their feet.”

Wein­stock, 27, has ap­peared in the Las Ve­gas pro­duc­tion of Jer­sey Boys and comes dir­ectly from that pro­duc­tion to this second na­tion­al tour.

“In Ve­gas I un­der­stud­ied in the Frankie role, but now to have a chance to do it all the way and every single night is a totally dif­fer­ent feel­ing. I first saw the show when I was a ju­ni­or in col­lege. To do it now, for me, is like a dream come true,” Wein­stock said. 

Pre­vi­ously, Wein­stock ap­peared in the na­tion­al tour of Wicked, the ori­gin­al Chica­go cast of The 25th An­nu­al Put­nam County Spelling Bee and sev­er­al re­gion­al fa­vor­ites in­clud­ing Sweeney Todd and Shen­an­doah.

A gradu­ate of North­west­ern Uni­versity, Wein­stock noted that even though it was his par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion who grew up with this mu­sic, today, fans of all ages re­late to Valli, The Four Sea­sons and most def­in­itely the mu­sic.

“I didn’t have a hard time re­lat­ing to Valli, which is something you really have to do in or­der to get in­to the role,” Wein­stock ex­plained. “The story is really about Frankie’s love for his fam­ily and the fam­ily he traveled with. And in or­der to stay sane in a na­tion­al tour such as this, you have to be able to do the same thing or you’d go crazy on the road. You need that love in or­der to per­form — from your ac­tu­al fam­ily to the non-con­ven­tion­al fam­ily you travel and work with.”

A Jer­sey boy him­self, Wein­stock said play­ing so close to home is won­der­ful.

“It’s al­most like the high school re­union I nev­er had,” he said. 

Re­cently, he ad­ded, a whole bus­load of people from his ho­met­own came to see the show.

“Some­times,” he ad­ded, “per­form­ing for friends and fam­ily — like your close friends, your high school drama teach­er and your par­ents — makes do­ing the show even more ex­cit­ing. And I’d be ly­ing if I said I didn’t want to be es­pe­cially ‘on’ or good that night. But, in truth, I love each and every night I get to do this show.” ••

For show times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 1-800-447-7400.

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