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'Jersey Boys' star: Show is rock biography

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NEW YORK, Dec 28, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- "Jersey Boys" star J. Robert Spencer says his new hit Broadway show is a rock biography with great music, not a jukebox musical.

The critically adored show charts the creation, rise and fall of The Four Seasons and features more than a dozen of the legendary group's greatest hits.

"With jukebox musicals, they always take(someone's)popular songs and then they write some crappy-ass story around it," Spencer, who plays late Four Seasons member Nick Massi, recently told UPI.

Describing the smash hit "Mamma Mia!" as the exception to that rule, Spencer said the jukebox-musical label doesn't fit "Jersey Boys" because the show was based on what really happened to the group.

The actor, also an accomplished comedian and singer/songwriter, said it might have fallen into that category if it was a fictionalized story about "Sherry" whose father sings "Big Girls Don't Cry" after her boyfriend dumps her.

"That's not what this is," he said. "This is totally structured like a rock biography. ... It's really a play. The music just acts as an underscoring and the bottom line is you're dealing with four guys who are musicians, so, of course, you have to do their songs."


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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