Worldwide smash-hit musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is returning to Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from January 2013. Melburnian Glaston Toft tells Time Out about reprising his role, what he does to keep fit, and the best part about coming home.
Glaston, Jersey Boys has been one of the most successful musicals of all time. Are you looking forward to reprising your role as Nick Massi?
Definitely. I’ve been doing this role for three years, so I’m always looking forward to coming back to Melbourne, my hometown, to perform. Melbourne’s been home to me for five years now. I’m just looking forward to performing in the city I love again.
How does Jersey Boys compare with other work you’ve done?
A lot of shows rely on a catalogue of music, but there’s something about Jersey Boys that isn’t reliant just on the music, so I guess that is what has been remarkable about doing this show. It’s a phenomenal true story and I think that’s been the reason for its success. It has been incredible to ride the success of the show, to see the show develop into this huge hit.
What does a typical day look like for you when you’re performing?
By and large, when we’re performing, I’m just doing the shows. During the day, I’m resting. Weekends are particularly tiring because we’ve got two shows (a matinee and an evening performance) on both Saturday and Sunday. If there’s something that needs rehearsing during the season, we’re more than happy to come in and fix that up – it keeps us all fresh.
After a long tour away from home, what’s first on your Melbourne agenda?
Coming home to St Kilda East is always so great. Being back in Carlisle Street, surrounded by familiar places and locals. It’s so nice to feel at home again, where things are easy. Being on tour can be hard because we don’t know where anything is at first – it’s all so foreign. I’m always excited to come home to what I know.
How do you keep each performance natural after performing the same role for so long? Is it hard to maintain your stamina?
It really is a tough thing, and I‘ve done shows before that have been long running, so really it’s a part of my job. But with Jersey Boys, I feel like I don’t have to try too hard. There’s something about the show that makes it easy for me to keep it organic every night.
Is it hard to switch off after a show? You must get those tunes stuck in your head…
It becomes work in a way that I can switch it off now. For a long time the songs were stuck in my head, but you have to learn how to distinguish work from life, which I’ve been able to do now after these years.
What do you do to stay physically fit?
I go to the gym a bit, but really I use my down time as down time. The show is enough fitness as it is. There’s an expression – ‘show fit’ – when you’ve been doing the show for a while and you feel 100 percent fit and capable. When we were performing in Melbourne, I was riding my bike into work. But there’s this scene in the show where we do a lot of running up and down stairs across a bridge, and my legs were just giving up on me, so I had to give up the bike!