The Doo Wop Project
Two of the founders of the Doo Wop project are named Dominic, which is confusing, especially as they are both such nice guys. Dominic Scaglione played Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys on Broadway and Dominic Nolfi played Tommy DeVito. The two agree that the Doo Wop Project first saw the light of day on the third floor of the August Wilson Theatre during their run in the hit musical.
“It really was Dominic (Scaglione’s) idea,” said Dominic Nolfi. “He felt there was a lack of guys our age singing traditional doo wop. We could fill that void.”
Fill that void they have, and more. The talented group has made it a mission to bring back harmony singing and introduce it to a new generation. Nolfi finished a run as Crazy Mario in the Broadway production of Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale to devote full time to the Doo Wop Project. He is mega-talented, as is Dominic Scaglione, who was asked by Frankie Valli to sing at the latter’s induction ceremony into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Who better than the man who played him on Broadway? Charl Brown originated the role of Smokey Robinson in Motown: The Musical, and received a Tony nomination for it. Russell Fischer, who has the falsetto, won his role in the Broadway company of Jersey Boys on his 22nd birthday. Dwayne Cooper has been compared to a “modern day Sammy Davis Jr. meets Barry White and founding member and arranger Sonny Paladino served as music supervisor for the revival of Smokey Joe’s Café.
The Doo Wop Project starts at the beginning of the unique sound, when five guys sang tight harmonies on street corners, and takes the audience on a musical journey through the Crests and Belmonts to Smokey Robinson and the Temptations to the Four Seasons and modern Doo Wop-ified songs from Maroon 5, Michael Jackson and Jason Mraz. They have the authentic sound and vocal chops and creativity to recreate or reimagine some of the biggest hits in pop and rock history and they are always Lyric favorites.
For Nolfi, bringing back the sound means more to him than Broadway. “It’s my priority,” he said. “We’re just maximizing its potential and we’re on a mission to keep the music alive. We have ideas to bring it to first, second and third graders and get them interested in harmony singing. We did our first show at my daughter’s school and they had a blast. I want to be an old man, listening to kids singing this music and understanding where it came from, with its African-American roots and how every group: Italian, Jews and Irish, had a stake in it.”
They call themselves “old school for a new generation.” You’ll call them sublime.