It’s a journalist’s dream come true. To interview a hunky gorgeous star from a show you loved, and to have sparks fly and he asks you out on a date.
And those dreams turned into reality when Jersey Boys and Dirty Dancing star Lewis Griffiths met television and radio presenter Melissa Crawford.
The couple fell in love and are now engaged to be married.
Currently on tour for the second time with Jersey Boys and just before returning to the Waterside in Aylesbury for a fortnight, Lewis chatted to me about being the perfect leading man on and off stage.
“I hope I am a romantic in real life,” he said as he explained how he and Melissa first met.
“I was on tour with Dirty Dancing and we had arrived in Newcastle, to be at the Theatre Royal for a week.
“We opened the show on a Monday and we had a lot of press in on Monday night, one of whom was Melissa. She was interviewing me the following day and needed to see the show to know what she was interviewing me for.
“Little did I know that when I walked into the room and she was addressing the camera doing a link sparks would fly. We decided to go for a drink afterwards. And one thing led to another and a few months later I’m going down on my knee.”
As Melissa is a Geordie and lives and works in the north, Lewis says he now spends a lot of time on the A1, and his romantic proposal was carried out at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. And - yet more romance - he’s teaching Melissa the iconic final dance from Dirty Dancing so that they can perform it at their wedding!
But for now, Lewis is touring for the second time with Jersey Boys, which tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own sound and sold 100 million records worldwide.
The Four Seasons, with lead singer Frankie Valli, may have hit stardom long before Lewis was even a twinkle in his own father’s eye, but he knew of their music because his late grandfather was a musician and Lewis grew up with the classics. And he was delighted to be asked to return to the role of Nick Massi, bass singer and bass guitarist with The Four Seasons.
He said: “I’m a singer, I love to sing, I have played roles like Johnny in Dirty Dancing that require me to dance to a high standard, but I don’t enjoy those half as much as I enjoy acting. That was the draw for me when the producers of Jersey Boys came knocking and said, would you like to do Nick Massi again? It was a no brainer for me, because it’s certainly not paint by numbers acting to play a role like Nick Massi. A lot of people misinterpret this show as a musical, but The Seasons require actors to play the roles because this is a play set to a back catalogue of music.”
The famous red jackets are used in all the publicity material for the show, but surprisingly, they don’t appear a lot in the actual production.
Lewis said: “We’ve got the red jackets on for Sherry and Big Girls Don’t Cry.
“Then once we segway from Big Girls Don’t Cry into Walk Like A Man we take the jackets off during the studio performance. At the end of the show we are all in black suits for the finale of Who Loves You.”
Well, whatever they are wearing I can’t wait to see the show again.
Jersey Boys is at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury at 7.30pm from Tuesday, July 3, through to Saturday, July 14, with additional 2.30pm matinees on the Thursdays and Saturdays. Tickets from £20. Box office 0844 871 7607 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury