Spotlight: ‘Jersey Boys’ makes it official – in person

SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2012

The highlight of Monday’s Best of Broadway 2012-’13 season announcement event had to be seeing in person some of the actors from “Jersey Boys.”

“Jersey Boys,” which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is the much-lauded, much-beloved musical sensation coming to town for a three-week run in October. Flying in for the announcement at the INB Performing Arts Center were Colin Trahan, who understudies seven roles in the touring production, Alayna Gallo, one of three actresses sharing more than 50 female roles in the play – she has 17 costume changes – and John Michael Dias, who plays Valli.

It’s a role, Dias told the 1,200 people in the crowd, that was his destiny to perform.

“There aren’t many roles out there for a 5-foot-6, Italian-looking guy who sings like a girl,” he said.

While there likely isn’t anyone out there who can duplicate the distinctive Valli falsetto that propelled so many songs to top of the pop charts, including “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” in a brief performance, Dias showed he comes awfully close.

The musical sports 33 songs, including five No. 1 hits and 11 Top 10 hits. It also includes “authentic New Jersey language.” In other words: swearing. Dias likened it to “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather” – it would be strange and inauthentic to hear characters in those films say “gosh darn.”

“It’s about blue collar guys,” he said. “When they wrote it, they didn’t shy away from showing these guys, warts and all.”

Joining “Jersey Boys” in Best of Broadway’s 25th season are “Flashdance,” “West Side Story,” “War Horse” and “Rock of Ages.”

Tickets go on sale to the public June 22 through TicketsWest. For details on the new season visit www.bestofbroadwayspokane.com.>

Homecoming recital

Hsai-Jung Chang, a Spokane-raised, New York-based concert pianist, will return to town Saturday to give a recital benefiting the Barton School.

Chang will perform Frederic Chopin’s 12 Etudes Op. 25, Claude Debussy’s “Suite Bergamasque,” “Arabesque” and “Poisson d’Or,” Alexander Scriabin’s Etudes Op. 42, Nos. 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 318 S. Cedar St, in downtown Spokane.

Tickets are $20, and 50 percent of profits will go to the Barton School, a volunteer literacy program for adults. They are available at Ho Ho Teriyaki, 621 W. Mallon, Suite 305, in the Flour Mill, or by calling (509) 326-6344.

Films with a foreign flavor

The Spokane Falls Community College International Film Festival kicks off April 24 at the Garland Theater, 924 W. Garland Ave. Admission to each film is $3.50 and screenings begin at 7:15 p.m.

April 24: “Tokyo Godfathers” (Japan) – Three homeless people find a newborn on the streets of Tokyo on Christmas Eve (animated).

May 1: “Cell 211” (Spain) – A prison guard is trapped in a cell when a riot breaks out. Festival organizers note this film contains scenes of brutality.

May 8: “The Grocer’s Son” (France) – A young man returns home to work his ailing father’s small grocery van. The customers are people re-enacting what they do every day in a blend of documentary and fiction.

May 15: “Undertow” (Peru) – A closeted Peruvian fisherman is haunted by the restless soul of his drowned lover, in a film that includes sexual situations, male nudity and occasional crude language.

May 22: “My Name Is Khan” (India/U.S.) – This film explores life in the U.S post-Sept. 11, and living life with Asperger’s.

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