'Jersey Boys' stars launch new tour with PBS show taping at Star Plaza

2011-08-14T23:35:00Z 2011-08-18T08:35:04Z 'Jersey Boys' stars launch new tour with PBS show taping at Star PlazaBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | The Star Plaza Theatre is used to hosting headlining talent during an entertaining history of more than three decades.

But hosting camera crews to tape the famed names on stage doesn't happen nearly as often.

Charlie Blum, CEO and talent buyer for Star Plaza Theatre, helped produce comedian Howie Mandel's HBO special in 1997, filmed before a Star Plaza audience.

But Saturday, Blum will help capture crooning rather than comedy when former stars of the Broadway hit show "Jersey Boys" take center stage at Star Plaza to tape a new PBS special for WTTW Chicago.

"It's exciting for not only the audience and us at Star Plaza, but also for these performers," Blum said.

"This is a chance to be part of an entertainment experience that will be shared with national audiences when it airs in December during PBS pledge drive month."

The stars of Saturday's concert are the members of Under the Streetlamp, one of America's newest vocal groups starring the recent leading cast members of "Jersey Boys."

This group already has been selling out performances throughout the Chicago area, while testing out the act.

And for the past few weeks, the foursome has been living at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville while rehearsing.

The group -- composed of Michael Ingersoll, Michael Cunio, Christopher Kale Jones and Shonn Wiley -- performs a concert of songs described as "Doo-wop ditties, Motown melodies and cool Rat Pack," in addition to paying homage to Frankie Valli, their "Jersey Boys" inspiration.

The set will include the songs of Van Morrison, The Beatles, Sam Cooke and, yes, favorites from the Four Seasons.

"This was something that we talked about for some time, and it's a perfect fit," said Ingersoll, who starred as Nick Massi of the Four Seasons in "Jersey Boys" for three years.

"Each of us played different roles in 'Jersey Boys,' but even more importantly, we all have a different talent area for solo performance. Sharing the stage together gives the audience something unique because of what each of us brings."

While Under the Streetlamp is produced by Star Productions, Blum also is serving as manager of the new group, in addition to worldwide representation by the famed William Morris Endeavor Agency.

Though Cunio, who played tough Tommy DeVito of The Four Seasons in "Jersey Boys," said he doesn't try to compare the onstage banter and antics the guys share in between songs as "like the Rat Pack," he does admit the group shares a distinct "chemistry."

"The fun we have doing this show is real, and that's what we like to share with the audience, along with the song and music everyone loves," Cunio said.

"And with Saturday's 90-minute show, whatever happens, it happens on camera."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Movies & Theater

Movies

Enter your Zip code below to see local movie listings:

TV Listings

Enter your ZIP code below to see local listings.
Get weekly ads via e-mail

Featured Businesses