Currently the costume designer for Capital Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of “Jersey Boys,” Kaplan keeps busy for five months of the year working in Florida at the Sarasota Opera, and then spends the rest of his time at various regional theater companies around the country.
“My first job right out of college was working with a high school friend doing the lighting for a show, and then it seemed like I was always making good connections and just being in the right place at the right time,” said Kaplan. “My mother was an artist, and she told me there would be some slow times. She would say, ‘don’t worry. Keep doing what you’re doing.’ Yeah, there were some slow periods, but I’ve done pretty well. You’re only as good as your resources, and at one point I said to myself, ‘yeah, I can do this.’ ”
“Jersey Boys,” which begins with previews Friday night, officially opens Tuesday and runs through Aug. 21. it is Kaplan’s sixth show with Capital Rep. This production is particularly challenging for Kaplan, but he’s up to the task at hand.
“We’re covering a period of time between 1950 and 2000, and the decades really fly by in this production,” said Kaplan. “We have 15 people in the ensemble with 157 different looks throughout the show. I saw it on Broadway, but it’s nice to create our own production because you don’t want to duplicate anyone else’s work. There are very quick visuals, and sometimes the audience has to guess who the character is by the costume. We’re going with a lot of black pants and penny loafers, but there’s also some very bold color choices that we’re using.”
“Jersey Boys” is a jukebox musical that opened on Broadway in November of 2005, telling the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Many of the songs written by Bob Gaudio, a member of the group, and his collaborator, Bob Crewe, are used in the show, while Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice created the script. The show won four 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
In the Capital Rep production, Evan Jay Newnan, a member of the Broadway cast of “Les Miserables,” plays Valli, while Jeffrey Kringer is Gaudio, Justin Scott Brown is Tommy DeVito and Brian Michael Henry is Nick Massi. All are based in New York City. Among the songs used in the show are “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “Sherry,” “Earth Angel” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
There is also a solid nucleus of Capital Region performers in the cast, including Averill Park native Shannon Rafferty, a veteran of the New York State Theatre Institute and Park Playhouse. Rafferty, who plays Valli’s first wife, Mary Delgado, has also performed at Capital Rep in “Man of La Mancha” and “The Crucibles.”
Albany’s Nicole Zelka, fresh from the national tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” is also in the cast as is Albany’s Madalyn Montgomery, who was in “A Christmas Story, The Musical!”
Corinth native Shayne Cameris plays Crewe as well as other roles, while Capital Rep veteran Josh DeMarco plays several parts as does Jake Goodman, who played Ralphie at Capital Rep in “A Christmas Story, The Musical!” in 2015.
Capital Rep artistic director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill is directing the show, while Freddy Ramirez is the choreographer and Todd Olson the music director.
“I love working with this group, and I love the new theater Maggie has here,” said Kaplan. “The shop is wonderful and the whole facility is beautiful.”
Being a costume designer was always Kaplan’s career path. He had no interest in actually being on stage himself.
“You wouldn’t want to hear me sing or see me on stage,” he said. “I do my performing in the sitting room.”
WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 251 North Pearl, Albany
WHEN: Previews begin Friday, opens Tuesday and runs through Aug. 21; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees on 3 p.m. Saturday and 2p.m. Sunday and 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 27
HOW MUCH: $69.50-$27
MORE INFO: Visit www.capitalrep.org or call (518) 346-6204