- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The cast of “Jersey Boys,” the Tony Award-winning musical at the National Theatre through Dec. 12, only gets one night off a week, so why would some of them trek to suburban Virginia on a Monday evening for a small dinner party?

Because the hostess is the grandbaby of a real Jersey Boy, that’s why.

Brianna D’Amico, a 2008 graduate of Marymount University and a marketing assistant for the local Windows Catering, is the first granddaughter of Bob Gaudio, a member of the famed 1960s pop group the Four Seasons and one of the writers and producers of the musical. The musical dramatizes his friendship with lead singer Frankie Valli and band mates Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi and their ascent from humble Jersey beginnings to the top of the charts.

Mr. Gaudio, who asked a young Brianna to call him “Bobby” when she was growing up, is credited with penning - alone or with Bob Crewe - some of the Seasons’ biggest hits, including “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry” and “Rag Doll.”

When Miss D’Amico, who now refers to Mr. Gaudio as “Grandpa,” discovered that the musical was coming to Washington, she cajoled her boss, Windows’ Executive Vice President Andrew Gerstel, into hosting a special soiree with the cast to benefit a local charity.

She tells us she turned to her grandfather for help, but he gave her some of the straight talk for which the Garden State is known.

“He doubted that any of the cast would come on their day off,” she says.

But surprise! At Monday night’s dinner, we saw Joseph Leo Bwarie, who plays Frankie Valli; Steve Gouveia, who portrays the band’s only deceased member, Nick Massi; and Courter Simmons, whose character is actor Joe Pesci. “Jersey girls” Denise Payne and Kara Tremel also were in attendance.

Although Mr. Gaudio, who turns 67 next week, was unable to make it, Miss D’Amico said the soiree raised more than $2,000 for the Young Playwrights’ Theater and that her next project is getting gramps to come to Washington to lobby for fellow recording artists and visit young music students.

Perhaps she should leave her catering gig and consider a job as an agent?

Vamp voter leanings

G2 sat down Tuesday with Edi Gathegi and Jamie Campbell Bower - Laurent and Caius, respectively, in “Twilight” - at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. The duo were in town to promote the teen vampire blockbuster’s sequel, “New Moon.”

Mr. Bower, who is from the United Kingdom, said he is often asked if he’s going to move to America. “Absolutely not,” he told us. “America for me is completely overpowering.”

Curious about the Brits’ take on the differences in health care between the two countries, we asked if he comes to the U.S. for health services.

“No, absolutely not!” Mr. Bower exclaimed.

“I went snowboarding with a friend of mine at the beginning of the year in Tahoe, and he broke his arm, and it cost him $3,000,” he explained. “It cost him $2,000 just … to get it looked at without putting a cast on it. It cost him an extra $1,000 to get it put it in a cast.”

Keep in mind that those costs - “craziness,” Mr. Bower calls it - are for an uninsured patient. Then, too, he acknowledged, back home in the U.K. “of course I have to wait in line if I get sick.”

After much chatter about things supernatural, we asked Mr. Gathegi if vampires generally are Democrats or Republicans. “Republicans!” he shouted.

He didn’t explain whether vamps vote Republican because they’re bloodsuckers or because, if you’re around forever, well, you learn a few things and, moreover, you’re obliged to adopt a sensible, long-term perspective.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@ washingtontimes.com.

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