Few rise-to-fame stories have captured the imagination as much as that of the Four Seasons. The young, Italian New Jersey natives struggled with love, ambition, and even mobsters as they rose to become one of the most iconic groups of the 1960s. This captivating narrative has been brought to life on Broadway in the long-running jukebox musical “Jersey Boys” and the production again proved its enduring popularity with yet another extension, as New York’s August Wilson Theatre announced plans to host the production through next April.
“Jersey Boys” opened on Nov. 6, 2005 and has spent its entire Broadway run at the August Wilson Theatre. In its first year, the production won five Tony Awards from eight nominations, including Best Musical. Two original cast members - John Lloyd Young (Frankie Valli) and Christian Hoff (Tommy DeVito) - won Tonys for their leading actor and featured actor roles, respectively. The original cast’s soundtrack recording also won a GRAMMY in 2007 for Best Musical Show Album and was certified Platinum in 2009.
While the show has been wildly popular in New York, the national tours have brought a new version of “Jersey Boys” to fans across the country. The first national tour launched on Dec. 10, 2006, just over a year after the original Broadway production premiered. A third company took a show on the road in May 2007, with an extended run in Chicago. Currently, the company for the “Jersey Boys” tour is appearing through Aug. 2014, with stops including Milwaukee, Wis. (Oct. 16-27), Richmond, Va. (Jan. 7-19), Orlando, Fla. (April 15-27), Fort Worth, Texas (June 3-15), and San Jose, Calif. (July 15-20).
Aside from the permanent Broadway run in the Big Apple, Las Vegas has boasted its own production of “Jersey Boys” since May 2009. “Jersey Boys” will call the Paris Las Vegas home through at least the end of 2013 with performances Tuesday-Sunday.
Moving even further west, Hollywood has been steadily preparing to film a “Jersey Boys” movie under the direction of industry veteran, Clint Eastwood. The cast of the film is still being fleshed out, but it has been confirmed that Broadway’s first Frankie Valli, John Lloyd Young, will reprise his role in the film version, as will Erica Piccininni, who played the original Lorraine. Christopher Walken, Joey Russo, and Kathrine Narducci have also signed on.
On Aug. 23, “Jersey Boys” became the 16th longest-running Broadway show with a total of 3,225 performances since opening seven years ago. The jukebox musical just passed the longest-running play on the list, “Life with Father,” and sits roughly 15 performances behind the 15th-place, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Despite the lengthy tenure, “Jersey Boys” still has a long way to go before matching Broadway’s longest-running show of all time, “The Phantom of the Opera,” which has given fans over 10,000 performances since opening in 1988.