Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jersey Boys

2 hours 30 min., incl. intermission
August Wilson Theatre
245 W. 52nd Street at 8th Avenue

Tony Award winning Jersey Boys is a documentary-style musical based on the lives of one of the most successful 1960s pop groups, the Four Seasons. The show uses many of the group’s hit songs to tell the turbulent story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ rise to fame. The musical’s success has spawned two current national tours, a London production, a Canadian production (Toronto), an Australian production set to open in July, 2009, and a new purpose-built Las Vegas theater at the Palladio Hotel & Casino designed expressly for this show (opened May, 2008).

The August Wilson Theatre, located on West 52nd Street at 8th Ave., opened as the 1,240 seat Guild Theatre in 1925. In 1981, the theater was purchased by Jujamcyn Amusement Corporation owner and board member Virginia McKnight Binger (renamed the Virginia Theatre in her honor). Jujamcyn derives its name from the names of the Bingers’ children: Ju[dith], Jam[es], and Cyn[thia]. Former Yale drama professor and Broadway producer Rocco Landesman (president of Jujamcyn Theaters, the third largest Broadway theatre organization), bought the Virginia Theatre in 2005. On October 16, 2005, only 14 days after Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson's death, the Virginia Theatre was renamed the August Wilson Theatre and thus became the first Broadway theater to bear the name of an African American.

Neighborhood dining:

Bar Americain
152 W. 52nd St. at 7th Ave.; 212.265.9700
Sat/Sun brunch 11:30-2:30; dinner from 5:00 pm. Especially handsome interior; seats 200.

Brasserie Maison
212.757.2233; 54th & 7th Ave. (;
Open 24 hours.
Moderate prices, extensive menu.

The Carnegie Club
Restaurant and cigar bar; Sinatra tribute crooner sings with an 11-piece orchestra Saturdays at 8:30 & 10:30 ($30 cover)
156 W 56th St (east of 7th Ave)

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