Interview: Bobby Fox

Bobby Fox, with his incredible singing voice and smooth Irish accent, is heading to Adelaide for an intimate night of music on Saturday July 9. Bobby Fox Sings, at the Regal Theatre, promises to be a night to remember.

Bobby Fox originated the role of Frankie Valli in the Australian production of Jersey Boys, but he is also a former World Irish Dance Champion and has toured Australia with numerous theatrical and concert productions. I was fortunate to catch up with Bobby to chat about the show, his career, and where it all started for him.

“Growing up in Ireland, I did Irish dance and Irish music. I played football, and did dance and music. It was all part of my childhood. Irish dancing was the thing that I really excelled at. It was cultivated a lot through my mother as she saw my potential and ability in it and we did a lot of practice daily. I did really well in competitions and was also playing a lot of music at the same time. Then the whole Riverdance boom happened and all of those Irish dancing shows took off around the world. I started working on those shows and the rest is really history.”

Landing the role of Frankie Valli was certainly a career highlight for Bobby, but it has only been recently that he realised how pivotal playing the role was to his career and for fans of the original Four Seasons.

“For me, it was my first leading role. I was at times a bit of a deer in the headlights, but mostly, I was just very, very focused on doing the job to the best of my ability. Jersey Boys is such an iconic show and it has done something significant to the landscape of music theatre. The weight of it – to be able to play Frankie Valli – has only now really sat on my shoulders. At the time of doing the show, I was just excited to be in the show and showcase my vocal abilities. Recently I performed a song from the show at a private seventieth birthday party. I was a surprise gift from the daughter of the person whose birthday it was. I sang ‘My Eyes Adore You’ and it meant so much to them. It made them cry. It’s just amazing that the show Jersey Boys and the music of the Four Seasons is still such a part of people’s lives.”

Bobby Fox Sings is really just that. It is meant to be a very intimate, stripped-back performance.

“This show is really just me at my most intimate. I’m delving into the songs that got me to where I am today and why I think they are so amazing. There will be songs from shows I’ve done, as well as some songs from my personal life that have just been there for me along the way. It’s going to be a celebration of the journey so far, but with eyes towards the future. Sometimes coming into shows, it’s very easy to over-complicate it, but there is something so powerful about hearing a piano and a voice and I really want to tune into the power of that simplicity, as well as tune into the power of the song writing as well.

“I will be joined by Ben Grayson on piano. He’s coming down from Melbourne with me. He is just an amazing jazz pianist whom I have had the joy of working with several times. We did a show together last year with the original four Jersey Boys from the Australian production and it was so much fun to work with him. I am excited to be able to explore music with him next week in Adelaide in my show.”

See Bobby in Bobby Fox Sings July 9, 8pm at The Regal Theatre, presented by Adelaide promoter Markus Hamence. Tickets through https://markushamence.com/shows-and-events/ or https://www.trybooking.com/BXZOD .

Interview by Ben Stefanoff

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