We imagine it’s a lot of pressure perfecting “Sherry” onstage every night, but Aaron De Jesus owns it. The actor portrays Frankie Valli in Broadway’s Jersey Boys in NYC, and in a new exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, he gushed over how “supportive” the music icon is of his lead role.
“Frankie himself likes to come in from time to time and check-in,” Aaron shared. “I’ve met Frankie probably five or six times throughout the years and he’s very supportive and very positive and happy to see the show. I’ve had nothing but great experiences with him. It’s been really a pleasure to fill his shoes in the show.”
Aaron proceeded to gush over playing Frankie, who is known for hits including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)”, and “Walk Like a Man,” among others. “It is quite an undertaking. Especially Frankie’s role. His voice is so iconic and unique and so there’s a certain amount of pressure I guess you could say,” Aaron shared.
One of the most special parts about Aaron’s portrayal of Frankie is how much he sounds like him when he sings onstage. But so it turns out, while he does take voice lessons and works very hard at perfecting it, Aaron’s actual voice just happens to sound like Frankie’s. “The great thing about our company is they don’t expect us to be like an impersonator of Frankie or a carbon copy or anything,” he confessed. “They encourage us to bring our own personal experiences and our own selves to the role to a degree. The individuality has always been an important part of the show, which is one of the reasons why I think it’s lasted so long.”
Aaron has been with the show for seven years, but Jersey Boys itself has been around for 14 years. That said, working on a long-running show comes with some obstacles. He explained, “The big challenge for us in our show is to remember there are many people in the audience that have never seen the show and they deserve a first-time experience just like the people 12 years ago watching it Broadway for the first time had their first-time experience.”
“Our challenge is to keep it fresh and keep it new and real and for an actor that’s the best part of acting in my opinion, is those moments listening and being engaged and trying not to lose focus being in the moment,” Aaron concluded. “For me, the fun part is working hard to keep it fresh.”
Jersey Boys is fresh as ever at New World Stages with eight shows per week. You don’t want to miss this one!