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'Jersey Boys' musical comes to the Fox Theatre

If you go

• What: “Jersey Boys”

• When: May 22-27, May 29-June 3, June 5-10, times vary

• Where: The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta

• Cost: $28 to $138

• For more information: Visit foxtheatre.org

ATLANTA -- Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi of The Four Seasons rose to fame in the late '60s, broke up in the '70s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and their legend lives on through the jukebox musical "Jersey Boys," telling their tale through their music and stories.

The Tony-winning musical calls the Fabulous Fox Theatre home from May 22 to June 10 to entertain audiences with 33 songs, including five No. 1 hits and 11 songs that made Billboard's top 10.

Hitting the high notes and taking the lead role as Frankie Valli on the nationwide tour is former Jersey native, Brad Weinstock, who became attracted to the part while in college at Northwestern University.

"I saw the show when I was in college when it was the original show on Broadway," he said. "And Frankie Valli was the best look for me -- short, dark complexion and sings high-pitched. There aren't many roles that look like me in musical theater."

Before Weinstock solidified his position as Valli, he had to audition for the part, then attend camp.

"I hadn't specifically trained for the role beforehand," he said. "I auditioned once in college, which was five or six years ago, and they said I was too young. Then started taking the role a little more serious and auditioned in August of 2009. It took me a full two years to get into the show.

"When they made a few cuts, they sent the rest of us to Frankie Camp," he said. "It was like being in an episode of the 'Twilight Zone.' It was a camp full of short, dark-skinned (guys) -- either Jewish, Italian or Mediterranean descents -- singing really high."

The group sang for a day, then danced another until the group was whittled down -- and Weinstock took the lead for the national tour.

The show is about the original four members of the group, and the songs, sets and costumes were created specifically for the '60s era. The cast is dressed with many vintage pieces of clothing in suits, ties and dresses, plus the real-life Valli and Gaudio frequently sat in during dress rehearsals to make sure the music was performed to their standards.

"They are major supporters of the show," Weinstock said. "And I love the time period. I think the '60s are incredible, especially when you slick your hair back and sing. It's the closest thing to feeling like a rock star."

While on the road, Weinstock encounters numerous Valli fans who rave about the show, but there are also other reactions to his performance.

"And the No. 1 questions I get is, 'How do you sing so high?'" he said with a laugh. "We get people that love Frankie Valli -- I think those are my favorite people. They always tell me, 'This song was at my wedding or my prom.' Or they just remember growing up to a certain song. It's very nostalgic for them."

Out of all the songs Weinstock sings during the show, his favorite is "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

"I think that is the one that most people are eager to hear, so I get excited to sing it," he said.

But there are other popular songs that the audience will recognize, including "Sherry," "My Boyfriend's Back," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Working My Way Back to You."

Even though the songs were written, recorded and produced more than 40 years ago, younger generations will also know the tunes because the songs have been used in many formats since the '60s.

"What will surprise people is that they've heard the most of the songs in pop culture -- everything from movies to cover songs to commercials," Weinstock said. "This music was my parents' generation, but I can remember when Lauren Hill gave a second breath of life to 'Can't Take My Eyes Off of You' when I was in school."

No matter if you're a Four Seasons fan or not, Weinstock believes that everyone can appreciate the show because there is so much depth to the story.

"I think the story is what makes this musical a success," he said. "The music is a huge element, but the story is so intriguing. There have been other rock groups who have had (musicals made) about them, but none of the shows have the same power as 'Jersey Boys' does. All topics are covered, like the mob, Jersey, gambling debts ... it is so well-written. I think that's what keeps it at a high, exciting level at all times."