Telling a tale of four guys from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey, who went on to world-wide musical fame, Jersey Boys has been one of the hit musicals of the 21st Century.
And this week, its UK tour returns to the North West, sharing the story of how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came to fame, dealing with death, drugs and mobsters on the way.
In true gangster style, Stephen Webb, who plays Tommy DeVito, says he’s now well and truly part of the family.
“They call it the Jersey Boys family when you join the show,” Stephen said.
“It’s a huge honour to portray someone still alive, and to tell his story. And it’s quite a fragile story in parts, having Frankie Valli’s daughter’s death featured, and my character is not portrayed as a nice guy.
“It’s not a type of jukebox musical; it’s four guys telling their story.
“Tommy DeVito opens the show, telling how they came together, as he was the one who started it off, and each of the Four Seasons tells their part.
“It’s so simple, but such a clever way of telling it, and makes it more of a play with music. There are more and more shows like it happening now too, like Beautiful telling the Carole King story.”
The tour opened at Manchester’s Palace Theatre in September last year, and is back in the city’s Opera House until Saturday, November 7, featuring the band’s hits such as Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Who Loves You and many more.
After more than a year on the road, however, the production’s been kept ‘fresh’ with some new cast members helping to give it a ‘different outlook’, according to Stephen, who along with the other ‘Seasons’ has been with it since the off.
With such a high profile show, there are pressures and perks to be had - including meeting the musical legend Frankie Valli himself.
“He was performing in Manchester when we were in Liverpool with the show,” Stephen explained. “It was just great timing.
“You know about him, and his background - of course, that’s the story - but to have him telling us that story himself was surreal.
“He is such a tiny man, actually, but such a legend. He’s been performing live since he was 15 and is very humble and passionate about the show - he says he is in awe of what we do.
“He told us ‘it’s not about you individually, it’s about you four guys as a family’.
“It’s amazing to meet the man himself.”
* Jersey Boys, Opera House, Manchester, until Saturday, November 7. Call 0844 8713018 for tickets.