In Business, Entertainment, Music

Assistant Conductor Angela Chan-Stopa leads the band in “Jersey Boys” in Orleans Showroom at The Orleans, and she answers questions from Vegas Prime Magazine:

How is it going as the Assistant Conductor for “Jersey Boys” Las Vegas at The Orleans? What is it like conducting the show?

It’s going great! I really love the show and making music with our band of talented musicians and cast. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. It’s so fun to be in the driver’s seat of a show, but it’s also a lot of pressure. When you’re conducting a show, you’re in charge of every musical entrance and cutoff, making sure the music times out with the scenes onstage and keeping the band and the cast synced during the musical numbers.

Being in a remote situation instead of an orchestra pit in front of the stage can be a little tricky when it comes to catching visual cues on the stage. While we have video monitors in the band box, it’s not quite the same as being in the middle of the action. But when everything times out just right and we hit all our cues perfectly, it just enhances the show experience that much more.

What have you enjoyed most about being part of the “Jersey Boys” band?

I love that the band is a mix of some “Jersey Boys” veterans from the previous production here, as well as a few new faces. The music is so iconic and timeless, it’s really fun to play, especially with so many friends. It was great to dive back into this music again after all these years.

“Jersey Boys” is such a beloved show. Why do you think there is such an enduring appeal?

The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is really a universal tale for any aspiring singer or musician, isn’t it? You have a group of singers creating their own music and sound, trying to make it in the world. They face struggles along the way, get caught up with the mafia, they sacrifice everything for their art and overcome adversity to make it to the top after a lifetime of trying to beat the odds.

Everyone always dreams of being a huge star, but few ever truly make it in the business. And it doesn’t hurt that the songs are so catchy! Music is one medium that is truly universal. People all over the world sing these songs, whether they speak English or even know what the songs are about.

The story has so much heart. It’s about regular people making music and sacrifices and surviving and becoming a success, and it’s set to the background of some of the greatest hits of the last century at a pace that just doesn’t let you get bored.

What do you like about living and working in Las Vegas?

One of the things I love most about Las Vegas is that it is ever evolving. It’s so hard to be bored here because it’s always rapidly changing, and you have to learn to change with it. When I first moved here,

I was subbing on most of the Broadway shows on the Strip. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of so many different things: Super Summer Theater, local music and theater, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, convention work, various productions at the Smith Center and working and coaching students.

Two of my favorite nonprofits to work with are Positively Arts and Broadway in the Hood because I believe access to the arts is so important. These organizations have programs that welcome students of all economic backgrounds and provide them with an outlet to make music and create art and opportunities for themselves. It’s been a privilege to have been a part of both organizations for over a decade now.

Anything else you’d like to add?

One of the most profound things I like to keep in mind when I’m performing is something a conductor used to tell us in rehearsal. “Performing is a privilege, and each show we do is someone’s first and someone’s last show, so we should always give it everything we’ve got.”

If You Go

The Orleans Showroom, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas. (702) 365-7111; Orleanscasino.com. For tickets: JerseyBoysLV.com

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