Interview: Mark Ballas discusses his role in the final run of Broadway’s hit show 'Jersey Boys'

September 12th, 2016

By James Wood for

After an amazing eleven-year stint on Broadway, the producers of the Tony, Grammy & Olivier Award-Winning Best Musical Jersey Boys recently announced that the production will end its historic, record-breaking run in January of 2017. It was also announced that multi-talented actor, musician and dancer Mark Ballas will be the last actor to take on the iconic role of Frankie Valli for the show's final run. Ballas will make his Broadway debut in the show on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

Although many recognize Ballas from his ten-year tenure on ABC’s hit show, Dancing With The Stars (where he won two coveted “Mirror Ball” trophies), Ballas’ original passion lies in musical theater. An honors graduate from London’s famed Italia Conti Performing Arts School, Ballas has extensive experience telling stories through acting, dancing and song.

In addition to his upcoming Broadway performance, Ballas is also part of Alexander Jean - the musical duo he shares with the beautiful and multi-talented BC Jean. The pair recently completed a successful 23-city tour in support of their infectious EP, Head High, which debuted at #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.

AXS recently spoke with Mark Ballas about his role in Jersey Boys and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: Many people know you from your time on Dancing With The Stars. Where did your passion for musical theater begin?

Mark Ballas: Even before I had decided to come out to Los Angeles to pursue a television career I was doing musical theater. That was the thing that actually got me into doing entertainment and wanting to perform. I went to the Italia Conti Performing Arts School in London where I graduated with a degree with honors and have performed in a Buddy 

Holly show as well as Jesus Christ SuperstarCopacabana and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Being able to be seen as a musician and actor is exciting, especially in Jersey Boys because I’ve been a fan of that show ever since it came out.

AXS: In your opinion, what makes Jersey Boys so special?

MB: First and foremost, it’s the story. The fact that it’s a true story and the music is timeless. The things these guys went through together and the way they ended up making it together is astonishing. I love the complexity of The Four Seasons and the characters. They were all so different, but when they came together they made this one remarkable sound. 

AXS: Was the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons a part of your life growing up?

MB: Absolutely. My dad was a big fan of The Four Seasons and my grandfather was also a big fan of the music and that generation. We used to listen to The Four Freshmen when I was young. That moved into jazz and Frank Sinatra and eventually The Four Seasons. 

AXS: What are your thoughts on leaving Dancing With The Stars?

MB: It’s definitely bittersweet. I’ll miss my friends and the creating and competing. I’ll also miss the crew and people who put the show together. I dedicated ten years to the show and was excited and ready to try something new. Theater has been a dream of mine even before I knew about Dancing With The Stars. To now be able to conquer this and be a part of the final cast is a huge honor. 

AXS: What are some of your best memories of being part of DWTS?

I’ve worked with so many different partners and have amazing memories of all of them. Obviously, winning and taking the trophy home was an incredible feeling. One of the things that sticks out that I’ll always remember is my Mario Brothers number and another was where we did an Alice in Wonderland theme. I loved that one as well.

AXS: Can you give me an update on your musical project with BC Jean, Alexander Jean?

MB: We’ve just finished a 23-city tour and the crowds were just amazing. It was our first time going on tour as Alexander Jean and it was an incredible experience. BC and I are well into writing our second EP . I think we’re going to draw a lot of inspiration from being in a new city and writing some of the best material we can. 

AXS: What are you most looking forward to about being part of Jersey Boys?

MB: This is such a pinnacle time for me. Sure, you do the same show every night but the great thing about it is that it’s never the same. It’s a different crowd every night and there’s a different vibe. Being able to learn from such incredible actors and sing with three incredible talents is going to be amazing. But looking at that audience every night is going to be my favorite part. It’s a dream come true. 

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Mark Ballas Join the Final Cast of Broadway's Jersey Boys

September 6th, 2016

When it was revealed that Mark Ballas would not be performing on Dancing With the Stars, his fans were in a quandry to know why.  Mark kept the fans waiting for a week before he revealed his big news. He has been cast as Frankie Valli in the Jersey Boys and joins the Broadway cast  October 18.  In a joint announcement, Jersey Boys announced Mark as the new Valli, and also announced the 11 year run of the hit show will end January 15.  Mark will be the last Frankie Valli on Broadway.

Jersey Boys opened on Broadway November 6, 2005, at the August Wilson Theatre. It is now the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history. It is one of only five currently running shows to play over 10 years on Broadway. Jersey Boys has set the box-office record 30 times and has gone on to become the longest-running tenant in the August Wilson Theatre’s (formerly the Virginia Theatre) almost 100-year history.

The hit musical described as such: “Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story -- a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.” The show features all their hits, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

Mark announced the news to his fans on Instagram and Twitter September 6, then did an exclusive interview with ET about his exciting new project.

Tickets for the show can be purchases here:

Mark Ballas Heartfelt Note to His Fans

August 31st, 2016

The Dancing With the Stars Season 23 cast was announced on August 30, and the name of Mark Ballas was noticeably absent.  Mark joined the show in the fall of 2007 and has appeared in every season.  Mark posted this note to his fans explaining his absence and thanking them for their support over the last 9 years.

Mark will be informing the fans of his new venture in the near future.

Mark Ballas Choreographs for So You Think You Can Dance

August 24th, 2016

So You Think You Can Dance the Next Generation is down to the final six competitors.  Mark Ballas was brought in to choreograph two routines.  The first was for competitor Ruby and her All Star partner Paul.  The fun jive to Little Richard's Rip It Up even had the judges moving their feet!

The second routine was for two competitors who are not ballroom dancers.  Tate and Kida were teamed together to perform a style outside their genre.  Mark choreographed a gypsy themed paso doble to Diablo Rojo by Rodrigo y Gabriella.  Paula Abdul called this choreography "brilliant"!

Behind the scenes of the Head High tour

July 15th, 2016

Go behind the scenes as Mark Ballas and BC Jean share their journey on the Head High tour!

Mark Ballas and BC Jean talk with

June 23rd, 2016

Mark Ballas and BC Jean sat down with PopZineOnline on the first day of their Head High tour.