By Jill Fox
Oh, what a night. That is, for the audience to catch a glimpse of the Jersey Boy from Coral Springs.
On Thursday, February 13, when the hit musical Jersey Boys comes to town, a former Coral Springs resident will grace center stage.
At 24-years-old, Bruno Vida is making his national tour debut in the Broadway production featuring everyone’s favorite songs of the ’60s.
From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons was always Vida’s dream show, and his persistence ultimately landed him this role.
Born in Cuiabá, Brazil, Vida and his mother Keila moved to the United States in 2003.
A hairstylist, Keila chose South Florida because of its sizeable Brazilian community and first began working in Boca Raton.
At the recommendation of a friend’s mother, Vida originally joined the local theater to get involved, make friends, and learn English. But after his first audition, the rest was history.
“Literally, the theater bug bit me, and I have continued acting ever since,” said Vida, who performed in shows once or twice a year until high school, when things became more serious.
At Boca Raton’s Olympic Heights Community High School, Vida immersed himself in drama, performing, and competing with other schools at District and State Thespian festivals, where he was “discovered” by a judge who worked with Slow Burn Theater Company.
“They gave me my professional theater debut while I was still in high school,” he said.
After countless lessons and community productions under his belt, Vida decided to forego community college and try to make it in the theater world. He quickly landed the role of Gabe in a South Florida production of “Next to Normal,” which resulted in a Carbonell Award nomination.
“I felt like I belonged somewhere, had a path,” said Vida.
At 19, he packed his bags and moved to Manhattan, where he got a reality check.
“The pool of talented actors in New York was much bigger, and it was a lot harder to get a job.”
Vida chose the route of auditioning for cruise ships, and his journey with Jersey Boys began when he was offered a part in the inaugural cast on Norwegian Cruise Line. After two-and-a-half-years onboard and some persistent New York auditioning, he booked the national tour of Jersey Boys in June 2019. Not only is he performing in the Swing ensemble, but Vida is also the understudy for the man himself, Frankie Valli.
“Jersey Boys had been on my radar for years,” said Vida.
His mother, who now owns her own hair studio on Sample Road, and his younger sister, Victoria, still live in Coral Springs. So, when they released the itinerary, and he saw the stop in his hometown, Vida was thrilled.
“That’s where it all started for me, where I decided to not go to school, to learn on the job, and to take that leap of faith,” he said.
With the ultimate goal of being on Broadway, Vida is well on his way. He said it’s the most surreal feeling, and it’s going to be so emotional performing for all his friends and family in Coral Springs.
“It’s the people in the community who saw me grow up. I am so excited. It’s a dream come true.”
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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