On an Alaskan cruise this summer, Neil Port of Altoona was blown away by a production based on Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
Port, one of the owners of P & J Productions, a theater company based in Altoona, loved the show so much, he decided to bring "Oh What A Night! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons" to the Mishler Theatre. While P & J Productions is producing the show locally, "Oh What A Night!" is written, directed and produced by a Los Angeles-based production company.
"This is the first show we are bringing that was staged from out of town. Every other show we have staged ourselves. This is a new venture for us," Port said. "It was an extremely entertaining show. It was the only performance on the ship that got a standing ovation. I was thinking our audiences in Blair County would like this show too."
Cast members of “Oh,What A Night!” are seen in a publicity photo. The production has multiple casts that perform worldwide, including on cruise ships.
On Thursday and Friday, "Oh What A Night!," which was produced by Michael Chapman, a Los Angeles producer, will welcome crowds at the Mishler. The musical will appeal to everyone, but especially to anyone who grew up in the 1960s. Written by Motown producer and creative consultant George Soloman, directed by producer Chapman and choreographed by Paul Holmquist, the show features four actors performing dozens of hits from Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
"It's an ageless show," Chapman said. "It's upbeat and appeals to all ages from young kids to older generations. They had 27 top 20 hits. There are so many great songs." They include "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Can't Take my Eyes off of You" and "My Eyes Adored You," he said.
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
If you go
What: "Oh What A Night! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons"
Where: Mishler Theatre, Altoona
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday
Tickets: $25 each (including fees), available by calling the box office at 944-9434 or online at www.mishlertheatre.org.
"Oh What A Night!" performs worldwide and frequently on cruise ships. Unlike the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys," which is a musical biography of the Four Seasons, "Oh What A Night!" is more of a concert - a musical tribute, Chapman says. It follows the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, but there is more focus on the music, Port said.
There are multiple casts who perform the show, but at the Mishler production one of the cast members has local ties. Sam Port, son of Dr. Marty and Barbara Port of Tampa, Fla., and nephew of Neil and Mickey Port and Stephen and Phyllis Port, will be one of the four cast members in the production at the Mishler.
Neil Port said Sam, 27, also performed in the show he saw while on the cruise.
"My dad and other uncles were born and raised in Altoona. I've been visiting there my whole life. I feel like I have strong roots there," said Sam. "There will be a nice support network in the audience. It will be nice to have that."
Neil Port predicts the shows will be sold out. Gauging by the community response to "Oh What A Night!" so far, he suspects P&J will continue to bring in outside shows.
"We have been putting on shows for seven years and people like our shows. I thought it was time to branch out," he said.