'Jersey Boys' breaks records

By Howard Shapiro

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

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.

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

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