BEHIND THE SCENES
ROSS CHISARI JOINS THE CAST OF JERSEY BOYS AS FRANKIE VALLI
The Very Popular Theatre Company (TVPTC) is delighted to announce, Ross Chisari has been cast in the lead role of Frankie Valli in their upcoming production of Jersey Boys, which opens at Newcastle’s magnificent Civic Theatre in October.
Originally scheduled to open in October 2021, the production was a ‘Covid casualty’. In the interim, the performer cast as Frankie, accepted an overseas offer. So the producers approached Ross, whom they’d offer the role to originally. As luck would have it, Ross’s schedule was now clear and he eagerly accepted the offer.
“When the Very Pop team approached me in 2021, I had a pre-existing engagement with A Chorus Line which, unfortunately, clashed with the Jersey Boys schedule,” recalled Ross.
“One of my life mottos is ‘trust the timing’, which applies to everything, from personal matters to professional engagements. I truly believe, anything that is meant for you, won’t pass you by. Jersey Boys is a prime example of this. Frankie Valli was in the stars for me. It’s just that it wasn’t right in 2021, but it is in 2022! I am grateful that, through patience (from both sides) our timelines matched up and now here we are.
“Frankie Valli is one of those roles you immediately add to your ‘musical theatre bucket list’. It’s nuanced, challenging and one of the most iconic roles in one of the most iconic musicals of all time.
“It’s a difficult role to fill – you have to be able to play Frankie from age 16 all the way up to 40+, as well as sing like the original recording artist, with his unusually powerful lead falsetto. Then you add in dancing, emotional scene work and costume changes and, well it becomes a mountain (one which I am very excited to scale)!”
This will be Ross’s first time working with TVPTC and says the team has been accommodating and welcoming since day one.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on their work and everything they have produced has impressed me. They’re great at marketing their shows and assembling the correct cast for the job. Their professional values line up with mine, which is very important when it comes to working together.”
From early September, Ross will relocated to Newcastle, from his home in Melbourne, and says he is excited about that aspect of the arrangement.
“I’ve never been to Newcastle but have heard great things about it. As a performer, relocating is part of the job. I have basically been on tour for the past decade, living in different states and different countries. So, I’m certainly used to it by now. Newcastle seems like a wonderful town, which is half business and half pleasure. And I’m a beach bum, so on my days off, you’ll definitely find me by the seaside! So, needless to say, I’m very excited to make the move!”
Ross says he is looking forward to playing this iconic role and performing in the iconic Civic Theatre, considered one of Australia’s greatest historic theatres.
“Playing the leading man of Jersey Boys is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I remember watching the Australian Premiere in 2008, and it truly blew my mind. I had my eye on Frankie the whole time, and remember leaving the theatre BUZZING! I hope I can provide the same ‘buzz’ to our audience members in Newcastle. I also hope to inspire any up and coming performers to continue to commit to their aspiring creative dreams,” concluded Ross.
Ross is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Ross has performed and starred on both Australian and International stages. Ross’s Australian Theatre credits include: West Side Story (The Production Company), The Drowsy Chaperone (Squabbalogic Theatre Company), ‘Willie Lopez’ in Ghost The Musical (Ambassador Theatre Group), Man of La Mancha (Squabbalogic Theatre Company), Aladdin The Musical (Disney Theatricals Australia), The Rocky Horror Show (GFO) and Shrek the Musical (GFO). In the United Kingdom, he performed in the No.1 UK Tour of The Rocky Horror Show for Trafalgar Entertainment, starred as the principal role of Eddie/Dr. Scott. Most recently, Ross performed the role of Al DeLuca in Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s A Chorus Line at the Sydney Opera House and Tony Aronica in the sold out season of John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo.
You can catch Ross in Jersey Boys at the Civic Theatre, and follow him on Instagram @straightupross