THERE have been two life-changing moments in the career of Irishman Bobby Fox.
The first was in 2001 when Irish dance production To Dance on the Moon brought him to Australia, where he fell in love with the country and moved here in 2002.
The second came when cast as Frankie Valli in the Australian production of Jersey Boys.
“I really liked it when I was out here (To Dance on the Moon tour) and I’d only done Irish dancing up until that point,” Fox said.
“Initially I thought I’d just come out here for a year to study different types of dance, then I got into music theatre and did a string of shows.
“Irish dancing is where it all started when I was four and it wasn’t until I came to Australia that I became a singer.”
Fox, who now calls Melbourne his second home after Longford, Ireland, had shows including Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You, Dusty – The Original Pop Diva and Spamalot on his resume when he auditioned for Jersey Boys with his Valli-esque falsetto.
“I kind of naturally had it but the work I did after that was to basically cultivate it, to make sure I was doing it safely and wasn’t straining my voice,” he said.
“The first three months were the hardest and then I had a vocal coach in Melbourne when I was having a few issues at one point.
“He had a listen and knew exactly what I was doing, where I was breathing wrong and he changed my warm-up.”
Fox said the three years he spent in Jersey Boys were career-defining and had opened many doors for him.
It was while sharing a few anecdotes from his time on the show with fellow music theatre performer James Millar (currently starring as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda) that he realised he had another show and 4 Seasons in 1 Night was created, coming to Subiaco Arts Centre, April 19 and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, April 20.
“There are stories about the trials and tribulations of getting the part and mastering it,” Fox said.
“It’s kind of like a backstage pass, so not necessarily what it was like to be onstage but things like when I went to see Frankie Valli perform in Canberra and then afterwards had a two-hour chat with him in his changing room about music, life, girls and singing.
“That stuff just doesn’t happen.”
What: 4 Seasons in 1 Night
Where and when: Subiaco Arts Centre (April 19) and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (April 20)
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au and www.manpac.com.au