‘Jersey Boys’ star at career peak faces Valli
Park Ridge native Nick Cosgrove, who portrays Frankie Valli in a touring production of "Jersey Boys," poses with the real-life Valli after a concert June 2 at the Chicago Theatre. | Contributed photo
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:53AM
Park Ridge native Nick Cosgrove spends each week embodying Frankie Valli in a touring production of “Jersey Boys.”
Earlier this month the Maine South High School grad finally got an opportunity to meet the music legend in person.
Cosgrove, who appeared in “Jersey Boys” during a two-month run at the Bank of America Theatre in downtown Chicago, was introduced to Valli following a June 2 concert at the Chicago Theater.
“I was a little nervous to meet him because to be portraying someone who is still alive and still out there performing, there’s a huge weight lying on you,” Cosgrove said. “You want to do this music justice, you want to tell his story and give his story justice.”
Cosgrove, 24, brought his parents, Richard and Francine Cosgrove, of Park Ridge, backstage to meet Valli, as well.
Cosgrove said Valli gave him “a couple pointers on how to take care of my voice,” and advised the actor’s mother never to let her son get married. It’s a remark that makes Cosgrove laugh as he recounts it, but he also chuckles as he retells his mother’s own appeal to Valli.
“She whispered in his ear, ‘I have meatballs in my freezer. You can come over for dinner whenever you like,’ ” Cosgrove recounted. “He was laughing.”
Cosgrove was most impressed with Valli’s voice, which he says hasn’t changed since he started recording with The Four Seasons in the early-1960s.
“He still sounds like he’s in his mid-20s,” Cosgrove noted.
The actor also learned from one of Valli’s music partners that he works in a recording studio every day.
“It’s amazing to see someone who loves their craft and still has that kind of commitment to what they love to do at (age 78),” Cosgrove noted. “It’s inspiring, really inspiring.”
This week Cosgrove arrived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he will star as Frankie Valli in six performances of “Jersey Boys” June 28 through July 15 as part of a year-long tour of the United States and Canada.