Jersey Boys Nostalgia

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in the Jersey Boys
I was probably just five years old when I first heard Frankie Valli’s falsetto voice belting out, “Sherry, Sherry baby, Sherry…” from Aunty Polly’s tinny-sounding transistor radio.  The upbeat rhythm, tight harmonies and unique sound of this group of singers, simply stuck in my memory.  My aunts and uncles had their own transistor radios for music, just as grandfather (Ah Kong) kept one close to his ear to listen to the news.  Back in the days when televisions were still an expensive luxury, we listened to portable radios usually tuned into the channel for Top of the Pops.

The Jersey Boys performing "Walk Like A Man"
Around 1962, I also heard “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” a song I could personally relate to in my little girl context as I was still quite oblivious of boy-girl relationships.  Growing up among two older sisters and bully-boy cousins in Ah Kong’s house, I was encouraged by the phrase – big girls don’t cry – especially through rough patches in my childhood.  Even at a young age, songs such as this were like a balm that healed my little wounds!

While I knew these songs, I did not know about the artistes – Frankie Valli or the Four Seasons – until 1978 when I heard the soundtrack from the first Grease movie.  The song, written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees [who gained popularity in 1977 for the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack], was sung by Frankie Valli.  When Grease came out, songs from this movie hit the charts and that was when I first got acquainted with Frankie Valli.

Excellent group harmony in every song performance
Music from the radio – tuned into Singapore channels – is very much part of my life and I always have music on while I study and work. 

As a teenager, while I was falling in and out of love and studying for my A-Level exams, one of my favourite songs playing on the airwaves was Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “My Eyes Adored You.”  I remember how my friends and I would sing along with passion as we know almost all the lyrics by heart and yes – I passed my exams!

My ticket and tag for the Singapore Gala Night
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are names that may not be instantly recognisable but for generations, since the early 1960s till today, their unique sounds remain fondly familiar.  Here, the Four Seasons is not a classical piece of music by Vivaldi but the group name of four blue-collar young Italian-American men who became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. 

Their life story and music was made into a smash hit musical, Jersey Boys that went on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Musical and an international phenomenon that took these golden greats all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

While listening to Singapore radio I heard the advertisements for Jersey Boys and was thinking about the show as I’m a big fan of musical theatre.  I enjoy going for shows in Singapore especially when they are worldwide hits that are brought almost to our doorstep – in our neighbouring country.  I know there’s nothing like watching a “live” performance but with work and family commitments, I did not give it much thought.

Chatting with the cast of the Jersey Boys at the
MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
I was at an event, in the middle of interviewing someone when my phone rang but I ignored it to focus on what I was doing.  I always think that if it was important enough, the caller will ring again – and he did.  It was like a dream come true because the call was to invite me for a MasterCard Priceless experience with the Jersey Boys in Singapore!

“It’s just too good to be true,” I kept telling myself but it is for real!  In a matter of days, I rescheduled my appointments and made myself available to meet the cast of Jersey Boys and be among the guests at the Gala Night when the Jersey Boys made its debut in Singapore on Nov 20.  It is such a privilege that I must be mad to miss this Priceless experience!

One for the album!
When I met the Jersey Boys, Grant Almirall [Frankie Valli], Kenneth Meyer [Bob Gaudio], Daniel Buys [Tommy de Vito] and Emmanuel Castis [Nick Massi], I told them that I’m from Johor Baru – a city in neighbouring Malaysia that is fondly known by its abbreviation “JB” – the same short-form, JB for the Jersey Boys! 

These four young men are part of the company that began rehearsing in Johannesburg and finalized their onstage preparations in Singapore in time to open for a 14-week season before returning to South Africa to premier in April 2013.  Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have myriads of fans from across the Causeway and it is my privilege to show MasterCard holders that they can avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoy special experiences like the Jersey Boys in the MasterCard Priceless Singapore programme. 

The spectacular finale of Jersey Boys
On the Gala Night, I joined a throng of special guests for the premier performance of Jersey Boys as they shared their story in four parts, each representing a season of their career.  The narration by each member of the Four Seasons illustrated their story in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, charting their rise to success, the zenith of their success, the toll of their success and finally to sorrow and solitude.  

As each recognisable song was sung with clever choreography, I learnt about the stories behind their songs.  I thoroughly enjoyed their performance, grooving to familiar songs, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man,” – the band’s third straight No. 1 hit, and there were a few poignant moments when Frankie Valli sang solo, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – and I shamelessly sang along!

The launch of MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
[L to R] Debbie Goldingham, Mark Juliano and Milan Rokic
On Nov 19, Marina Bay Sands, MasterCard and BASE Entertainment Asia announced a 5-year partnership that brought the Marina Bay Sands Theatres within the MasterCard Priceless Cities programme.  Jersey Boys is the first show to premier at the newly renamed MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands.  Starting November 2012, MasterCard cardholders can have access to a range of exciting offers, including opening night shows, seat upgrades and discounted ticket prices for the best shows and productions showcased at Marina Bay Sands. 

“We are proud to join MasterCard and BASE Entertainment Asia in such an important global partnership.  Working together, we will build the Marina Bay Sands legacy of delivering Priceless entertainment experiences to Singapore and South East Asia,” said Mark Juliano, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

Sign pointing to MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
“MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands is yet another exciting collaboration for us, building on our already considerable global portfolio of sponsorship assets,” said Debbie Goldingham, Head of Marketing South East Asia, MasterCard Worldwide.  “Through partnering with BASE Entertainment, we are able to provide our cardholders around the world with even greater access to world-class entertainment acts,” she added. Singapore recently joined the ranks of other iconic Priceless Cities worldwide such as London, New York, Beijing and Sydney. 

A section of the audience in the foyer on the Gala Night
“We are looking forward to collaborating with MasterCard to offer unique and Priceless opportunities for their customers and continuing to establish the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands as the pinnacle of live entertainment in the region,” said Milan Rokic, Managing Director of BASE Entertainment Asia.

Check out more exclusive experiences available to MasterCard cardholders at and register to enjoy special admission, behind-the-scene access and exclusive privileges for dining, entertainment, shopping, travel and spectacular events in the Priceless Singapore programme.

My MasterCard Priceless experience with the Jersey Boys at MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands was hosted by MasterCard Worldwide and Marina Bay Sands Singapore.


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