Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

December 23, 2008

Nathan Klau - "Jersey Boys" he started in Hartford & he's back

One of the performers in the "Jersey Boys" (2/4-2/20), the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is Nathan Klau. Born at Hartford Hospital, brought up in West Simsbury, educated at Yale, he will be featured at one of Connecticut's prestigious performance venues - The Bushnell. The following is a paraphrased interview with Klau.

Your playbill credit is "swing". What does that mean?

Swing is anyone and everyone onstage. I'm a standby for several roles, and never know which part I will perform from night to night. That's what makes this job exciting. Someone calls in sick; I'm there. There are 3 male swings. We are back-up, which means we have to know every aspect of the play. On any given performance, I could easily be doing something different. I am a section of a puzzle. If that piece is gone for some reason, I fill the place.

You've been in several musicals. What's special about "Jersey Boys" (JB)?

Several shows on Broadway closed this month, but not JB. It just keeps going and going on Broadway and on tour. It's a fantastic true story paired with wonderful music that touches the older generation and young people. It's vital, exciting music. Even though it's decades old, it feels new and amaging. JB tells the rags to riches story of the group, which is what most people didn't know. My introduction to JB was seeing an excerpt on the Tony Awards. I became obsessed. I had to see it. It was almost like I discovered the play, just for myself, and I had to be part of it. Frankie Valli was at my rehearsal, which was a little unnerving, and he was very supportive. Since July, 2006, I've been in the cast.

You've been on tour for the past 15 months; what is that like?

I've been in musicals since 1994. In regional theatre or national tours, it's still magical, an adrenelin rush. Being employed is a very nice thing, especially in a job that you like very much. Touring is great because the audience is different for each show. They are like a character in the the musical, especially when they sing along, which is all the time. One common thing is that the music, script, and every exciting moment onstage becomes infectious. Every audience is literally on their feet at the end, clapping and dancing.

How did you make the life journey from Hartford, to NYC, to tour the US, and back to Hartford?

My mother was an actress for many years in Hartford productions. I followed in her footsteps, literally, dancing and singing. I was in just about every musical that teenagers do. I became active in theatre at Yale, sang in the chorus, and New York was next. I majored in history, but this was my dream. My first real role was in "Anything Goes"From then on, musicals have been my bread and butter. When I visit my parents in West Simsbury, my mother and I still sing "Les Miz" as she plays the piano. Of course, I had been to the Bushnell, but February 4th will be my first time on its stage. "Oh, What a Night."