Jersey Boys at the Capitol Theatre

If you don't already know the name Ryan Gonzalez, you're about to! This man is Australia's up and coming star of the musical theatre scene and now he takes on his biggest role yet as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, currently playing at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. Carly chatted with Ryan this week, after seeing him take to the stage as Mr Valli, about his incredible year and what the process of finding The Four Seasons has been like for him. Musical Theatre insiders are calling this the 'Year of Gonzalez' and for great reason! Get to know this brilliant homegrown talent, you'll be glad that you did! Have a read of Carly and Ryan's chat below:

Ryan, firstly thank you for taking this interview! 2018 has absolutely been your year – it seems that no matter where we go, there you are on stage! In the last 12 months you’ve finished up Kinky Boots, starred in The View Upstairs and In the Heights at the Hayes and performed in Funny Girl and Assassins at the Opera House (did I miss any?!) Can you talk a bit about this year and your experience going from show to show, and then how you came to prepare for your role in Jersey Boys?

This year has been INCREDIBLE! And to be honest it seriously came out of no where. I got the call saying I had been cast in Jersey Boys around November last year. It’s always awesome to know you’re going to be doing a commercial show for a long amount of time, you have the time to plan your year etc... But everything after that has been so unexpected.

So you play Frankie Valli – the lead singer of the Four Seasons quartet. What was your process in finding that character and how much of the real Valli have you put into your characterization?

I do have to say all the work is in the script and the dramaturging. Our incredible American team had very very specific details about the show and Frankie, and there was large research bible in the rehearsal room that had a lot of tricks and tips about the four seasons life. But I do think my main influencer is Frankie’s sound! Listening to that unique voice is a process enough. He is one of a kind, so I just absorbed myself into listening to all of the Four Seasons records before we started.

Throughout the show, your character goes from being 16 to having 6 kids and from naivety to heartbreak. As an actor, what is that journey like and do you have any pre-show or during show rituals or triggers to get you to that place?

It has to be one of the hardest character arcs I’ve had to conquer. You’re right. He starts so young, and finishes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. I guess what I find the most informative is everyone’s performance around me. All I have to do is be as truthful as Frankie can be at that specific age, and let the script and songs and rest of the cast inform the audience about age and progression of Frankies life and success.

Okay, I have to ask – those notes are high!!! Did you come into this being able to hit that so comfortably or has that been the product of some rehearsal time? Because you make it sound completely effortless and we all know it is definitely not!! How do you do it?!

It is all about breathe and placement. It takes a lot of brain power to sing like Frankie Valli. You always have to be thinking about the support and maintaining control throughout your whole performance, because Frankie isn’t a sprint, he’s a 2.5 hour marathon every night. I don’t know whether I had the notes before the show. When I auditioned they could sense that I had good placement for falsetto sounds, but the hard work started when rehearsals began. They are high, but the songs are all so damn good, I tend not to think about them, and get lost in the music.

What is something you’ve learnt about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons that you didn’t know coming into this?

The main thing I learned about the four seasons is their sense of Family. Especially with their Italian Jersey backgrounds. To the audience it just seems like the band is breaking up or going through a rough patch. But to the characters themselves, this is the biggest thing in their lives. Their band IS their family, and family is EVERYTHING.

Talk to us about working with this cast and in particular, your 3 quartet mates. How has the process been and what do you look forward to about heading out on tour with this show?

These boys are just incredible. I fall in love with them every night individually for different reasons, not only because of their characters but because of their personalities themselves. Incredible humans. I have to say the best bit about touring with this show will be the company. It’s rare to get a group of such professionals, who lead their own lives outside of the show and have so much respect for everyone around them. And the support is beautiful, we all really care about one another.

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

Favourite production you have ever seen?

This year I was lucky to see Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away on Broadway, they both stole the spot for favourite productions this year.

 

You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?

Europe! FOOD!

Dream role to perform?

At the moment I am obsessed with Hamilton. So I have to say Alexander Hamilton.

Plays or musicals?

I love plays.. But musicals have my heart.

A hobby you have beyond the theatre?

Reading!

What’s next for you after this show?

The life of an actor... I have no clue. But I will definitely need to do some travelling, see more of the world.

If you haven't already got your Jersey Boys tickets, make sure you get them quickly! Especially if you're a long time fan of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, this is a jukebox musical you're sure to love! Tickets are currently available for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane shows.

 

Continue your sneak peak below - all photos are credited to Jeff Busby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be a part of the audience today. Click the image below for tickets:

Ryan Gonzalez

Cameron MacDonald, Ryan Gonzalez, Glaston Toft and Thomas McGuane. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Ryan Gonzalez and Cameron MacDonald. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Thomas McGuane, Ryan Gonzalez, Cameron MacDonald and Glaston Toft. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Thomas McGuane, Ryan Gonzalez, Cameron MacDonald and Glaston Toft. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Ryan Gonzalez and Thomas McGuane. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Thomas McGuane, Ryan Gonzalez, Cameron MacDonald and Glaston Toft. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

Thomas McGuane, Ryan Gonzalez, Cameron MacDonald, Glaston Toft and Company. Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

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