The boys are back in town!
Well, not quite yet, but soon. In January, the Four Seasons jukebox musical Jersey Boys ended its 11-year run on Broadway, leaving a tough-guy-nostalgia musical hole that has only partly been filled by A Bronx Tale. But in November, the show will return—not to the Great White Way, where it was the 12th-longest-running production of all time (of musicals based on pop catalogs, only Mamma Mia! ran longer), but to Off Broadway's New World Stages.
There's a reason Jersey Boys is so well loved: It's very well crafted. As I wrote when the show opened, back in 2005: "With Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical has finally done right by the jukebox, presenting the Four Seasons' infectiously energetic 1960s tunes as they were intended to be performed. True, the script adheres closely to the dramatic beats of a VH1 biopic: building bridges in the first act, delving into tunnels in the second. But under Des McAnuff's sleek direction, the result feels canny instead of canned. And Bob Gaudio's music, as sung by a dynamic cast and shaped by Steve Canyon Kennedy's exemplary audio design, sounds as good as it ever did (and sometimes—blasphemy!—even better)."
Although it's rare for a show to move from Broadway to Off Broadway, it's not unprecedented. New World Stages, the city's largest commercial Off Broadway complex, is already home to Avenue Q, which relocated there in 2009, and has previously housed post-Broadway incarnations of Million Dollar Quartet and The 39 Steps.
The creative team of the original production, including McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, remains in place for the smaller version. Exact dates and casting have not yet been announced.