July 14, 2010

Hoff, Longoria, Reichard & Spencer File Counter-Suit

July 14th, 2010

BroadwayWorld.com reports that Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer – all stars from the original cast of Broadway’s JERSEY BOYS – are fighting back against Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and the producers of JERSEY BOYS – Dodger Theatricals, Ltd. and Jersey Boys Broadway L.P. – in what a new statement says is “an effort to defend their right to continue to thrill audiences with concerts that are, and always have been, purely an evening of music from multiple iconic groups of the 1960s, and of reminiscences of their Broadway experiences.”

The statement goes on to read that:”The JERSEY BOYS stars are also vigorously defending their right to fairly reference their former association with the show and have retained the highly respected firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, LLP to represent them. “These four incredibly talented men have earned the legal right, through years of toil and artistic effort (including a Tony award for Mr. Hoff) to tell audiences of the historically accurate fact that they were stars in JERSEY BOYS,” says entertainment attorney Howard Weller, handling the case in the firm’s New York office. “It is also completely false and, frankly, ridiculous to suggest – as Valli, Gaudio and the producers of JERSEY BOYS have – that our clients are performing a copycat show of JERSEY BOYS. They sing songs from the 1960s that include some Four Seasons hits, and that doesn’t duplicate JERSEY BOYS any more than John Coltrane’s rendition of ‘My Favorite Things’ copied The Sound of Music.”

Visit BroadwayWorld.com for the full story.


  1. No comments yet…yes it definitely is an uncomfortable subject for Jersey Boys fans! However, one can only take so much and be accommodating for so long. Most of you have met Christian, Bobby, Daniel, and Michael and many have gotten to know them very well through the years…enough to see their grace and character. It was very apparent they had a great respect for The Four Seasons and everyone involved with the show. They served them well! I remember once seeing an interview with Bob Gaudio warmly describing the Original Broadway Cast as looking and sounding better than The Four Seasons. This cast took on this role and they are what the fans grew to love and adore. That portrayal and the wonderful creative team made Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio into heroes. Contracts run out and people move on with their lives. But everything of Jersey Boys today…the cast recording, advertisements, the silhouette logo etc…are of this original cast (even Michael has a role on a smaller scale). Should they be faulted for this? I have been to see Christian, Bobby, Daniel, and Michael and if you have not seen these amazing guys, you must! They have risen above and beyond the broadway production and “look and sound” better than ever. Now there are four stars…instead of just one! It is a wonderful tribute to the 60′s and the song list was carefully chosen to appeal to everyone. The guys take turns singing and the show flows, until before you know it…it is over and that is all I can say is…everyone wants more! This show only enhances Jersey Boys and any other artist they honor in this show about the 60′s. I loved the name “The Boys in Concert” and I don’t think they should have changed it…but they did. It is a name used frequently for boy bands…such as The Beach Boys, The Backstreet Boys, etc… The logo with the four individual pictures reminded me more of the Let It Be album cover for The Beatles. They changed that also. I can only imagine what has been going on behind the scenes, for it to come to this point. I was hoping when the air cleared, the plaintiffs would reevaluate the situation. Unfortunately, it appears too much damage has been done and the livelihood of many have been compromised. Very sad!

    Comment by Carolyn — July 15, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  2. Unfortunate, yes. But the principals are trying to protect their brand.

    I don’t think that these actors are owed anything. I believe that they should consider themselves fortunate to be part of the show where Frankie, Bob and countless others invested time, money and risk that afforded them their opportunity.

    It’s ironic that the play itself touches on just some
    industry people who took advantage of the Four Season’s career and profited at their expense.


    Comment by Ray — July 15, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  3. I don’t know what I could possibly add to this Carolyn. You said it all. The “Boys” are lucky to have you in their corner!

    Comment by Catherine — July 15, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  4. It’s all very, very sad. I think the guys bring recognition to Jersey Boys by being out there performing. There’s enough to go around for everyone. The show’s doing well, still running and will continue to do so I am sure. So, why not let the boys sing,I don’t think it’s hurting anyone, just my opinion. Yes, people have to protect what is rightfully their’s, what they’ve worked hard for, but the guys weren’t doing a rip off of Jersey Boys by any means. Just sad, sad, sad. Oh well, such is life, no one ever said it would be fair!!!

    Comment by WANDA — July 16, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  5. Oh, for heaven’s sake, it’s not the end of the world. If it was your intellectual property, you’d do the same thing to protect it. You have to earn your way through life, not borrow, or copy, or hide behind someone else’s “stuff or talent”, to make your way. I’m sure neither party is happy about this. Perhaps some front end homework would have kept it from happening. But it did happen. Let it be (oops, that’s another group, isn’t it…). I suspect it’s much less about money or nice personalities than it is about what’s legal and what’s not.

    Comment by Lucy S — July 16, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  6. PUHLEEZE! Saw their show last night in NJ, and, yes, we were there because of their extraordinary talent and affiliation with the show. While they did sing Four Seasons songs, much of the show was made up of other 60′s music. Hey, anyone can legally sing a Four Seasons song, can they not? What makes this the best tour ever is that these guys are some of the most talented singers I have ever heard. Let’s share the joy and keep the lawyers out of this, for God’s sake! These original cast members put Jersey Boys on the map. Let them do their thing! If anything, it will bring more people to the Broadway production.

    Comment by Linda Tesauro — July 19, 2010 @ 9:17 am

  7. It is shocking to me when I hear people passing judgement, without all the facts. This works both ways and that is why the courts will decide. The facts are, there are “copy cat” bands out there, who are misleading fans and capitalizing on the Four Seasons/Jersey Boys fame. Why aren’t they being prosecuted? I saw “The Boys” in concert and I can honestly say this is not the case. Furthermore, when Christian, Bobby, Daniel, and Michael were with the show, there was no doubt they were both thrilled and grateful to be part of such a wonderful production. You could see it in their interviews, on the stage, and at the stage door…when they never left a fan without a greeting. When their contracts ended, I believe all in 2008…they didn’t set out to take advantage of the Four Seasons, as implied. They went on to other successful projects and they continue to do so. This venture is just part of their career. Check out their resumes! As far as their years with Jersey Boys, they performed each show with passion…from the very beginning in La Jolla to their contracts end. They helped launch one of the greatest shows on Broadway and the Tony, among many other awards is the proof. Let’s give credit where credit is due!

    I am not a legal expert and I do not know all the ins and outs, but I do know that cover songs/remakes are done over and over again. To me, it is one of the highest compliments given to the original artist. How many cover songs has Michael Buble done? It is part of music history here in the United States and part of the freedom of this nation. Oh, and then there’s France…the big intro to Jersey Boys itself. I know another claim by the plaintiff was that the audience was being tricked into thinking “The Boys” show was part of the actual Jersey Boys production. This is simply not so! I saw them in Atlanta, who can be a tough crowd to win over. I once saw Andy Williams and some people went to see strictly his Christmas Show. Andy ended up singing both his Christmas songs and his legendary songs, like Moon River and the theme to the Godfather and he was heckled…they wanted “Christmas”! When “The Boys” performed here and mentioned Jersey Boys, a portion of the audience responded. Not everyone was familiar with the show. When “The Boys” sang Four Seasons songs, the audience went wild…just as they did with EVERY other song. JB logos, props, special effects, etc…none! Just 4 men, a band and the audience. A wonderful evening!

    Comment by Carolyn — July 19, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  8. I saw these men at our annual concert under the stars here in Lyndhurst NJ this past Saturday night .There were approximately 5,000 people crammed into our park , and we were treated to an incredible evening by these guys . I took the time to tell them how impressed i was with them and thanked them for doing “Candy Girl”, my favorite Four Season song . As well they did Beach Boys , Motown, and other songs, so to say this is a copy of the Broadway show is not the fact whatsoever.I would gladly pay for a ticket to see these guys again and urge anyone to do so .

    Comment by Brad Sklover — July 21, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  9. I saw the show on Monday in Woodbridge, and there’s no way to confuse it with “Jersey Boys”; the “Boys in Concert” do so many great songs of the 1960′s, including those by the Turtles, the Drifters, the Jackson Five, the Association, the Beach Boys, the Temptations, and oh, the Four Seasons too. It makes me wonder whether the plaintiffs’ attorneys have seen the show. Bobby Valli (Frankie’s brother) was there on Monday, so hopefully, he’ll pass the word along.

    Wanda, you have a great point; there is enough to go around for everyone. We’re not in high school where we’re all fighting to be valedictorians; the “Boys in Concert” can have their time in the sun too, just as the Four Seasons did forty plus years ago. Whom are they hurting? Certainly not “Jersey Boys”, which is still filling the August Wilson every night.

    Carolyn, you are incredibly eloquent above. In terms of what the Boys did for the show, yes, they are talented, but as you said, no one left the stage door with a greeting, autograph or picture. One of the reasons I kept coming back with different groups of work colleagues and friends, in addition to a great show, was that I knew they’d be warmly received at the stage door and leave with wonderful pictures and memories.

    “The Boys in Concert” are already generously “giving back”, just as they’re beginning their group; these weekend concerts were free!! They aren’t waiting twenty or thirty years!

    Finally, in a weird way, I’m hoping this publicity helps the “Boys” (I believe they’re using TBIC name again) generate a following. As the cliche goes, “as long as they spell my name right….”

    Comment by Howard — July 22, 2010 @ 1:04 am

  10. Howard, you covered it all! You always tell it like it is and we can definitely count on your honesty. Thanks for the latest update!

    Comment by Carolyn — July 22, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  11. I guess we can safely assume who won’t be in the Jersey Boys film now!

    Comment by Leanna — July 22, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  12. Seems like “TBIC” both compliment and complement “The Four Seasons” and “Jersey Boys”! Talent like this should unite not divide!

    Comment by David — July 23, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

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