March 7, 2006

Jersey Boys in Vegas? A Distinct Possibility…

March 7th, 2006

Although Casino mogul Steve Wynn once predicted that the Tony-award winning musical Avenue Q would run for ten years in Vegas, it looks like it didn’t last a full ten months. As of May 28, Avenue Q will go dark.

In yesterday’s Las Vegas Business Press, David McKee talks to theatre critics, including Ben Brantley and Anthony Del Valle, about Avenue Q being a tough sell in Vegas, the success of shows on the Strip such as Mama Mia, and the upcoming debut of Spamalot at Wynn Resort.

Any mention of Jersey Boys coming to Sin City? Brantley feels that the Baby Boomer nostalgia like the current Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons jukebox musical Jersey Boys, would find a congenial home in Vegas. Brantley states,

“When I saw (Jersey Boys), it was a lot of people with gray heads and twitching shoulders (in the audience) very happy to be there, reliving their youth.”

Brantley may be right–Jersey Boys could be a big hit in Vegas due to its strong nostalgic appeal, but this terrific production also has a compelling story that goes along with the timeless music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. If Jersey Boys comes to the Strip, let’s hope the production remains unabridged, and the audiences are treated to the complete Broadway experience!

What do you think? Would Jersey Boys find a good home in Vegas?


  1. Absolutely, this show is a must for Vegas, it would be a nightly sell out…but must remain unabridged like the original Broadway version.. The performers make this show outstanding, the cast is phenomenal! I have the cd and constantly listen to it, until I can return to the city for another live performance…I hope they grab the Tony this year because it would be well deserved..they have earned it…

    Comment by Sharon Reilley — March 8, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  2. Sorry, I have to disagree with Sharon. Jersey Boys does NOT belong in Las Vegas. It’s a book musical and Las Vegas audiences do not have the patience or desire to sit through a 2 1/2 hour show which requires them to shut up, stop gambling, and pay attention.

    Yes, the musical numbers are big crowd pleasers, but there’s a lot more to this show than the music. IMHO, the big reason the show is a hit with critics and audiences (as opposed to Ring of Fire, Good Vibrations, Lennon, All Shook Up, etc) is that it has a good, solid story that pulls in the audience and keeps them captivated for the length of the show.

    Look at Avenue Q. It’s a terrific little show with a subtle, meaningful life-lesson plot. For almost three years now, New York audiences are filling the theatre every night, standing on their feet cheering, and the crowds in Las Vegas are staying away in droves. Spamalot and Hairspray have sold their souls to the Las Vegas devil and cut their shows down (at about 110 minutes on Broadway, I was amazed that Spamalot was still considered too long for Las Vegas). Despite Steve Wynn’s blustering, Las Vegas and Broadway shows just don’t mix.

    Let Las Vegas do what it does best: T&A, stand-up comics, over-the-hills pop stars (Barry Mannilow), marginally-talented, over-produced bleaters (Celine Dion) and let Jersey Boys play to real audiences, in real theatres, in real cities.

    Comment by Paul Engel — March 28, 2006 @ 11:07 am

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