Last month we heard that Clint Eastwood was looking for theater actors to star in his screen version of the award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” The famously efficient director was specifically looking for actors who had appeared in the show on Broadway or on tour, so that they would have the musical numbers down enough to not need a lot of handholding and would be ready to dive in pretty quickly.
Well, it turns out Eastwood meant what he said–Variety reports that Eastwood has chosen theater vets John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza to star in the show. All have performed in the show except for Piazza; he’s best known for his work on “Boardwalk Empire,” but he does have stage experience.
“Jersey Boys” tells how a group of New Jersey street toughs became Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, one of the top recording groups of the 1960s, and how that rise was accompanied by plenty of strife and infighting. The band’s hit songs provide the score for the show.
Young would star as lead singer Frank Valli. The band members would be Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Piazza as Tommy Devito and Lomenda as Nick Massi. Young played the role of Valli in the original 2005 Broadway production, and won the Best Actor Tony Award that year; the show won Best Musical.
Warner Brothers is apparently confident enough in their longtime collaborator Eastwood and the popularity of the show to have approved the cast, without demands for a star name. They’re hoping to have a start date soon.