By Caurie Putnam
From April 3 – 29 the hit musical Jersey Boys will be in town as part of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 2011-2012 season. This is the second time the Tony and Grammy award winning “Best Musical” about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has come to Rochester. Jersey Boys sold out during its first visit to Rochester in 2009 with an impressive 52,000 attendees.
“I’m really excited to get to Rochester,” said Natalie Gallo, 26, who plays Frankie Valli’s wife Mary Delgado. “I’ve never been but I’ve heard wonderful things about the people and the city.”
Rochester Woman Magazine caught up with Gallo on a train between Schenectady, New York and Manhattan. She was jetting home to the Big Apple on her day off during the tour’s three week stint in Schenectady.
Gallo is used to being busy – there are just three women in Jersey Boys and they play an impressive fifty-two different characters! But, this busy life on and off stage is what Gallo dreamed of since she was fifteen growing up in a small town 45 minutes outside of Pittsburg.
“I was a cheerleader in elementary school and when I didn’t make the team in high school I was devastated,” recalls Gallo of the moment that started her down a path towards Broadway.
She went home crying and found a flier in the mail about music and dance lessons in Pittsburgh.
“From that day on my life completely changed,” Gallo said.
She got heavily involved in dance, music, theatre and community theatre. Her parents, who own an Italian restaurant, would drive her two hours several times a week to lessons.
“I would not have been able to do what I did without my family,” Gallo said. “They went through a lot for me.”
She told her father, at age fifteen, that someday she would perform on Broadway. The Jersey Boys is her second national Broadway tour – her first was Mama Mia!, which she left in October 2011 for the role of Mary Delgado.
“It is such a joy to be on stage every night with the cast of Jersey Boys,” Gallo said. “I love being at work.”
Gallo’s advice to young women interested in acting is to study hard, get professional training (Gallo attended Park Point University) and get involved in community theatre.
She also said: “There are a lot of ‘rules’ about how to make it in this business, but my best advice is to follow your gut. Everyone has their own craft and their own style, you have to find yours.”
Gallo believes that even when challenges occur good things can come from them – just like happened to her with her rejection from cheerleading.
“I didn’t realize how important that moment was until I was older and could look back,” Gallo said. “If you stay strong and stay positive you’ll get wherever you want to go.”
When you go to Jersey Boys this month, look for Natalie Gallo.
For ticket and other information on Jersey Boys, visit www.rbtl.org