Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Jersey Boys" breaks records

The musical "Jersey Boys," soon to end its five-week run at the Forrest Theatre, hits the record books.

"Jersey Boys" breaks records


By Howard Shapiro


Jersey Boys, which will end its five-week run at the Forrest Theatre on Saturday, set records when the national tour was here last winter -- and is setting new ones now. The musical, still playing 90 miles away on Broadway, did very well when it crossed over the home of the Jersey boys and into the Pennsylvania border, with a record gross for the Forrest of $1,617,700 for a week of eight performances.

During the run, the Tony-award winning musical about the singing group The Four Seasons with Frankie Valli also set a new box office record
at the Forrest for a nine-performance week, with a gross of $1,825,246. 

There are two ways of looking at the record. The Forrest -- owned by the Shubert Organization, which is presenting Jersey Boys here along with the Kimmel Center -- is dark most of the year. So there's not much theater, at current ticket pricing, happening there and Jersey Boys has no competition when it coming to setting records. The other perspective is that of press agents and producers  -- a record is a record. 

In any case, a gross of $1.8 million a week is enviable even on Broadway where last week, only The Lion King and Wicked matched it. 

The show began with previews here December 6, and an all-new national tour cast.


Contact Inquirer staff writer Howard Shapiro at hshapiro@phillynews.com or 215-854-5727.   


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About this blog

Toby Zinman's night job since 2006 is theater critic for the Inquirer where she reviews New York and London as well as Philadelphia. Her day job: Prize-winning prof at UArts, author of five books about modern and contemporary drama, and doer of scholarly deeds (winner of five NEH grants, Fulbright lecturer at Tel Aviv University, visiting professor in China). She was recently named by American Theatre magazine "one of the twelve most influential critics in America."

Wendy Rosenfield has written freelance features and theater reviews for The Inquirer since 2006. She was theater critic for the Philadelphia Weekly from 1995 to 2001, after which she enjoyed a five-year baby-raising sabbatical. She serves on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, was a participant in the Bennington Writer's Workshop, a 2008 NEA/USC Fellow in Theater and Musical Theater, and twice was guest critic for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Region II National Critics Institute. She received her B.A. from Bennington College and her M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She also is a fiction writer, was proofreader to a swami, publications editor for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and spends all her free time working out and driving people places. Follow her on Twitter @WendyRosenfield.

Jim Rutter has reviewed theater for The Inquirer since September, 2011. Since 2006, he covered dance, theater and opera for the Broad Street Review, and has also written for many suburban newspapers, including The Main Line Times. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a Fellowship in Arts Journalism. Thames & Hudson released his updated and revised version of Ballet and Modern Dance in June, 2012. From 1998 to 2005, he taught philosophy and logic at Drexel, and then Widener University. He also coaches Olympic Weightlifting for Liberty Barbell, and has competed at the national level in that sport since 2001.

Merilyn Jackson regularly writes on dance for The Inquirer and other publications. She specializes in the arts, literature, food, travel, and Eastern European culture and politics. In 2001, she was dance critic in residence at the Festival of Contemporary Dance in Bytom, Poland; in 2005, she received an NEA Critics’ Fellowship to Duke University’s Institute for Dance Criticism. She likes to say that dance was her first love but that when she discovered writing she began to cheat on dance. Now that she writes about dance, she’s made an honest woman of herself, although she also writes poetry.

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