What an amazing week it’s been for Mark Ballas and his Broadway debut in “Jersey Boys”. Below you can watch a review, interviews, a “Sherry” warm up (thanks to @Idolxfactor1 for recording), and more.
A reader to PureDWTS and Pure Derek Hough named Lily has written a guest blog for us on her experience of meeting Mark Ballas and seeing him in Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”. Let’s just say, Mark blew her away. You can read her fun and sweet story below including how she met BC Jean as well. She also sent us some fun photos. Thanks Lily! You rock!
I was very excited to hear that Mark Ballas was going to make his Broadway debut in Jersey Boys! His opening night was scheduled for October 18th. And I already had a conflict because Josh Groban was also making his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. I bought these tickets in May 2016!
So I planned to go to Mark’s 2nd show, on October 19th matinee! I was excited to secure front row tickets to the show. I had already seen Jersey Boys before, and I really enjoyed the show.
But Mark blew me away with his performance!!! I was very surprised with his falsetto, and he nailed all of the songs!!! I had chills when he sang “My Eyes Adored You” !!! “Sherry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “oh, what a Night”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Working My Way Back to You”, so many hits! Oh course, there were the dance moves!!!!
After the show, I waited by stage door. Everyone came out and signed, and took pictures and selfies. Mark is on vocal rest, so he wasn’t able to talk alot, But he signed and took pictures with everyone! How awesome. I was wearing my Alexander Jean t-shirt. I met a mother and daughter who knew Mark, so they were able to ask to see BC Jean, so I was able to talk to BC Jean as well. She said she remembered me from the tour! Aww how sweet!
For tickets, see this link. If any of you see the show and would like to blog about it, share pics, or videos, write to our contact link.
Last night, Mark Ballas began his part on Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”. The photos below say it all. If you’d like to see more, see Getty Images. Shirley Ballas posted photos at her Facebook page as well. She described Mark as “amazing” and “brilliant”. She “cried” and “jumped for joy”. I am crying just writing this post up. Go Mark!! We are so proud of you! For tickets, see this link. If any of you see the show and would like to blog about it, share pics, or videos, write to our contact link.
Mark Ballas has posted his first video blog at Broadway.com which you can watch below. He takes us behind the scenes of his first dress rehearsal for “Jersey Boys”. He also shows us his apartment and lots more. Too fun. Go kill it, Mark!!
Mark Ballas is super excited about his new Broadway role in “Jersey Boys”. He talked to Broadway World all about it and what you’ll see if you go to the show. Bring it on, Mark!
Frankie Valli’s falsetto is of course so iconic. Was singing in falsetto something you have always been comfortable with?
BWW Interview – Debut of the Month – Mark Ballas on Being JERSEY BOYS’ Final Frankie ValliI actually have a really sharp falsetto, that’s something that I’ve had since I was a kid. I was a high tenor in the choir, so luckily it’s been one of the easier aspects of taking on this role. The stuff we’ve been working on vocally is getting those high chest notes while doing the choreography at the same time. Because let me tell you, you sweat man! These moves may look sharp and simple, but it’s a lot, and you’ve got to get used to it. But when it comes to the falsetto, luckily I’ve been blessed in that area.
Do you have a favorite number from the show or is it just too hard to chose?
It’s really hard to chose, but I’d say ‘Sheri’ and ‘Big Girl’ never get old for me. I love doing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ as well, that song has always been special to me and my family. They’re all fun. I love doo-wop and ’50’s rock n roll too and 60’s music, so for me, all the songs are awesome. ‘Rag Doll’, ‘Who Loves You’, it’s just hard to chose. And every day is different!
Do you think that wonderful music is the reason the show resonates with audiences all over the world?
I do. What’s great about the show is that you have the generation who grew up on the music of The Four Seasons, and they just lose themselves in the show. It’s kind of like The Beatles to some people, or Michael Jackson to some people, they grew up on it. They know these songs, they remember where they were when they first heard them, they remember jumping up and down on their bed singing ‘Sheri’ and throwing teddy bears at each other. And back then, The Four Seasons were considered the bad boys of music, their music was cool, it was different, so all the women still go nuts when they hear it today.
More at Broadway World including his thoughts on Dancing With The Stars.
ETA: Here is another interview with Access Hollywood. It’s so cool seeing him again….
ETA2: Here is Mark’s interview with NBC in New York….
Broadway World interviewed Maks Chmerkovskiy. They ask him why he came back to Dancing With The Stars. He also answers questions on Amber Rose, his brother Val, expecting a baby with Peta Murgartroyd, wanting to do Broadway again in the future, and more.
What was it that made you decide to return to DANCING WITH THE STARS after taking a break for a few years?
Well I had just come back from doing the tour with my brother over the summer. The process of doing the tour put me in good shape, I felt stronger, I felt good, I felt ready to do stuff, and I was kind of sitting and thinking, what else would keep me in shape and give me the opportunity to flex a creative muscle. And to be honest with you, the next project that I’ll be doing did not conflict with the season, so I decided that I just wanted to have fun.
It’s a different production, a different show, although some elements are still the same, some of the funny things and hearing some strange judge’s comments and having to answer questions and talk about stuff, that all hasn’t changed. But the positivity in the room is different and I feel like Tuesday night’s performance with my brother Val, for example, was exactly the reason that I came back. (check out the show-stopping number below!) I came back for opportunities like that and doing something on the big stage with people you love, and my mom’s watching and grandma’s watching, nieces and nephews. What else can you want out of life, right?
More at Broadway World.
It won’t be long now until fans can see Mark Ballas in his Broadway role in “Jersey Boys”. His Mom Shirley is currently visiting him and BC Jean in New York City. She posted these sweet photos at her Facebook page. Note that Mark begins his performances as Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” on October 18, 2016. If you haven’t purchased tickets for “Jersey Boys”, see Broadway.com.
Mark Ballas tells US Weekly that’s he’s definitely going to miss Dancing With The Stars, but, he’s still watching. He also explains the audition process for how he got the role of Frankie Valli in the last few months of the ‘Jersey Boys’ Broadway run.
“I went and auditioned, old school! I didn’t cut any lines!” Mark told Us. “I sent in my tapes like everyone else. The producers liked my tapes, so then I went to New York and auditioned, did the two-hour dance call, singing call, acting call. I did it all the way you’re meant to do it. And after my New York set of auditions, I was coming home and I was on the plane literally about to take off and I got the call!”
Although Ballas’ fans know him for his dance skills, what they might not know is that his background in musical theater is extensive too.
“A lot of people know me as a dancer, but for me, when I started entertaining, theater and music was where I started,” the pro hoofer said. “And I trained for it, I got a diploma in college for musical theater. I worked for years for that diploma and graduated with honors, so now I’m finally putting it to use!”
“For me it’s not a role that no matter if you have a fan base or not, you can’t fake it,” he added of his Broadway endeavor. “It’s a lot of singing, and it’s going to be great to be out there as an actor and a musician first.”
More at US Weekly. We miss you, Mark. Come back to us soon and have fun!
And this is the week that the hammer drops and suddenly the judges are “over” some of the dance crushes they have had so far this season – particularly Julianne and her crush on Tommy. Hate to say it, but you only have yourselves to blame, guys – when you gush over the same people doing the same rudimentary stuff week after week, you can’t expect them to improve…and then it’s kinda lame to suddenly say “I’m bored, I want more.” But in the same token, you also don’t have to be over-the-top mean – and I think they got that way with a few of the couples tonight. They seemed to lose sight of the fact that these were NOT the regular pairings, which is a tough enough row to hoe, and on top of that, they were all doing these bizarre dance styles that none of them are extensively trained in. Was this REALLY the best week to drop that hammer, stooges?
So I guess the asshattery from Julianne, Carrie Ann, and Bruno made me thankful for Jessie J, who at least seemed to try and find the positive in everyone’s routines while still giving a useful critique – she is a judge on The Voice UK, after all, so I think she felt obligated to be constructive. Also quite impressed with her ability to not only sing live (!!!), but also do some dancing at the same time. As I said on Twitter – it’s so rare to find singers that actually sing live and don’t just lip sync, let along singers that sing live and dance as well. The only other singer I can think of off the the top of my head that also does both is Usher…so she’s in good company.
So I guess all this talk about the judges tonight brings me to pose this question to everyone: do we really need Len? Next week will be the 4th week out of 6 that Len hasn’t been at the judges’ table – and I’m not really noticing his absence. I’m almost wondering, what with his sorta-kinda farewell speech on the finale last season, if he originally was not gonna come back at all this season – and TPTB somehow guilted him into doing a few shows just to maintain some consistency.
But anyway – no elim tonight, but there is one next week, based on last week’s votes, this week’s scores and votes, and next week’s scores. As our longtime readers know, the more total points given out = the smaller the margins = the greater the likelihood of a “shocking” elimination. It really becomes a battle of the fanbases – who’s getting the votes vs. who isn’t. I don’t care if you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard – in a massive-points-dump-to-calculate-elimination scenario like this one, the playing field becomes a lot more level. To give you an idea of what crazy sh*t could happen – Sabrina was voted off the all-star season in a week where she was only 1/2 point away from a perfect score…but the elim was based on multiple weeks of scores and votes. Vote, vote, vote, kids – even if your favorite is in the lead.
1.) Alfonso & Cheryl (Witney) – Aaaaand we’re back to nitpicking Alfonso to death, I see – can’t let him get too confident now, can we PTB? Once again, he dances FLAWLESSLY – and in a style that’s totally different than anything we’ve seen from him so far. He nails the technique (those heel things he was doing at the beginning are insanely difficult – the bf actually got a hairline fracture attempting it during a showcase routine), he nails the drama (loved the dust – just that added drama every time he clapped his hands), and he nails the partnering…and all Carrie Ann and Bruno wanna talk about is the distance between his neck and his shoulder??? Seriously, you stooges – what’s the complaint gonna be next week? He’s moving his ears in a strange way when he’s dancing? His pupils are too dilated? He’s flaring his nostrils too much? Because this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous. I guess I see what they’re trying to do – trying to level the playing field, make it seem like Alfonso isn’t running away with this season (even though he really is), but there’s gonna reach a point when even the most dim viewers are gonna say “Ok, that’s just being petty.” And sorry, but 8’s for a dance that good are just ASSININE…especially when they specifically say Sadie missed a few steps in the beginning of her routine, and give her 9’s across the board. She earned her 9’s – but so did Alfonso. Oh well – at least he still gets THUNDEROUS applause after every dance he does. 😀 Read more..
In a new interview that took place Friday night with Broadway World, Ricki discloses details about her upcoming projects, passions, and being a huge Broadway fan. In fact, Ricki would love to do Broadway someday and hopes her dancing on Dancing With The Stars will help her get a role.
RL: Oh, yeah. I am hoping to do Broadway someday. I mean – really. I am not a dancer – clearly, I am not a dancer – but, I am working really hard to make it look like I am. I am singer, though. So, if this leads to some opportunity onstage, I would love it.
Ricki also discusses the good times and the challenges of doing Dancing With The Stars. She also gives us a hint of what to expect of her and Derek’s dance tonight which includes tap dancing (you would not believe the happy dance twirl I just did after reading this and I about broke my neck! lol 🙂 )….
PC: How have you been enjoying your time on DANCING up until now?
RL: Well, I have to tell you: we just had this halfway point party and at the party people were just maniacs – they were throwing down on the dance floor!
PC: Well, given it’s a DANCING WITH THE STARS party, I’d expect no less.
RL: It was crazy! I mean, it was a bar, but people were cutting loose. It was really the crew that was doing it – there were the dancers, too – but the crew went crazy! I didn’t stay for too long because I had to dance the next day.
PC: How have you been handling all the responsibility and pressure inherent in the experience of doing this show?
RL: Oh, like, right now, I am racing home to get ready for the Chaz Bono event tonight. He is being honored and we are going. I am a lunatic – but, I am having a great time, at the same time, you know? [Laughs.]
PC: You must be stressed out.
RL: Yeah, it’s a lot – and, I have Derek beating me up. This week, in this dance, I am doing the quickstep and I am doing a little tap-dancing in it, too. It’s just exhausting. It takes so much out of me. Just doing it once, I am just sweating buckets.
More of this fun ‘in-depth’ interview HERE!!
In related news, be sure to check out Pure Derek Hough when you get a moment. Heidi has posted a new Cobu3D Trailer!! (I think I have just died here again and gone to heaven? I don’t know? 🙂 )