Jacob Interviews….Jersey Boys’ Colby Foytik

Colby Foytik is no stranger to the Jersey Boys. He recently finished up a 10-month run on the Vegas production of the show before joining the nationwide tour. (Photo property of Dodger Properties.)

By: Jacob Elyachar

One of the greatest Broadway musicals that was released in the last decade is Jersey Boys.    The show follows the high and lows of the legendary musical career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  Jersey Boys has received dozens of awards including three Tony Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.   Right now, the show is currently on the road for their second nationwide tour with stops in cities including Dallas, Atlanta, Denver and New Orleans.

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Colby Foytik, who portrays Tommy DeVito in the show, while they were preparing for three-week stay in Kansas City.   We talked about his experience with the show, meeting the real Tommy DeVito and reasons why people should come and see the show.

Jacob Elyachar: Why did you want to be a part of the Jersey Boys touring company?

Colby Foytik:  I was actually working with Des McAnuff (the director of Jersey Boys) on the pre-Broadway workshops of Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula about eight years ago and that’s when they were originally casting, the original production of Jersey Boys at the La Jolla (Playhouse in San Diego).  Des brought me for Tommy then and the feedback that my agent got was that they (the show’s creative team) thought I was great but I was way too young.   But I will never forget reading the sides for the first time eight years ago thinking that this script was one of the best things I have ever read.

The thing that I love about the show is that yes it is a musical but you can take the music away and still have a brilliant play: the script is so solid on its own.   The obvious is that it is one of the best-selling Broadway musicals of all-time and it is going to have some stage power and longevity.   It’s the closest you can get to job security in a very scary field at times.

JE: You play Tommy DeVito in the show.  What was his impact on the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons history?

CF:  Tommy DeVito is one of the original Four Seasons.  He is kind of the one who got the ball rolling, he and the bass player Nick Massi, were playing music 13 years before The Four Seasons became the Four Seasons.  He was the one that pulled Frankie onstage for the first time, which I even say in the show.    Joe Pesci came to Tommy, who was basically running and managing the group and he was also their lead guitarist.

JE: You worked on both the Vegas show and now you work with the National Touring Company.  Did you ever have a chance to meet Tommy DeVito?

CF:  I did.  I met him in Las Vegas a year and a half ago at the Jersey Boys holiday party.  He’s 84-years-old now and this tiny little Italian man and I was introduced to him and he looked up at me and said: “Hey, you will be playing me!”  It was a pleasure to meet him and that is also an incredible thing doing the show where I am not just playing a character; I am playing somebody who is a real person and who is still alive and you want to do justice to the person you are playing and even more so that it is a real person.

JE: How did you prepare to play Tommy? Did you watched old Four Seasons videos to study his mannerisms?

CF:  The creative team of the show is incredible with research which they call it the show bible.  It is a foot-thick book of information that they collected, which gives you all the history of these guys individually but also the group.  The research is all readily available to you.   In addition, I think that it is important to look at the way it was written.   Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli had such a say in the script and it shows, which I say makes this a hit.  Most people know the music already, even if you don’t, the audience will recognize so many of the tunes.   The script is written so well and so truthful that a lot of the research is done for you (the actor) as well.

JE: What are your favorite songs to perform on the show?

CF:  It is always a treat to do what we call: “The Big Three” every night which is “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like A Man.”  I do not think of the songs as individual songs so the way is crafted into the show and it is such a great moment, it is crafted so well and the audience just cannot wait to burst into applause after “Walk Like A Man.”   “Walk Like A Man” is probably one of my favorites that I get to perform.

JE: So why should people come and see the show?

CF:  People should come because it is a guarantee that they are going to love the show.  I mean even if you do not know the music, which it is hard to meet somebody that does not know some of these songs.  They are going to be thoroughly entertained and learn something about this group, which became one of the biggest pop groups of all-time in rock n’ roll history.

JE: If you have any advice for aspiring actors who want to try out for any Jersey Boys production, what would it be?

CF: Don’t give up.  If you have a passion for doing this for a living, it is not about one great show, it’s about stage power and you must have a drive and don’t take things personally.  We have people on this cast and when you hear their stories, they auditioned several times and they would never get into this show.  Look where they are now, they are here and they are doing it.

To learn more information about the show, visit the show’s Website: http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/tour/index.html


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