Jersey Boys sets Broadway closing

Mark Ballas

Mark Ballas will be the final actor to play Frankie Valli on Broadway

Jersey Boys, currently the 12th longest-running show in Broadway history, will close up shop on 15 January.

The show, which details in high-octane fashion how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons went from being potential New Jersey thugs to pop music superstars, ignites audiences with its jukebox score of hits including ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You’. However, those audience have been diminished of late; thus, the closing notice.

At its closing curtain, Jersey Boys, which played its first preview on 4 October 2005 and officially opened a little more than a month later, will have racked up 4,642 performances. The final actor to portray Valli will be Mark Ballas, who gained prominence for his many seasons as a professional partner on the television show Dancing With the Stars. He has several UK stage credits, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. He’ll be making his Broadway debut when he takes over the Valli role on 18 October.

However, for those whose Valli hunger needs further sating, the real Frankie Valli and whoever now makes up the Four Seasons, will be coming to Broadway this fall for a brief concert engagement. They will be playing the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from 12-29 October.

With its departure notice, Jersey Boys joins a significant group of open-ended Broadway runs which have recently closed or announced plans to do so by January. They include the Les Misérables revival, which said adieu on 4 September; Fun Home, which closes on 10 September; An American in Paris, which says farewell on 9 October, moving up from an earlier announced closing date of 1 January; Fiddler On the Roof, with its final shalom set for 31 December, and finally, Matilda the Musical, toddling off on 1 January.

Ron Cohen

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