As reported in April, the creators and subject of the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys had filed a lawsuit against The Boys in Concert, a new touring concert production created by former cast members Hoff, Longoria, Reichard and Spencer.
That lawsuit claims that the concert tour attempts to fool ticket buyers into thinking that Boys in Concert is an "authorized road company" of the Tony-winning Broadway musical.
The suit states, "Beginning with low-profile performances of songs from Jersey Boys, defendants have now increased the scale of their performances as The Boys to the point that they now more boldly flaunt their similarity to the production."
The four actors are now "fighting back," according to a July 13 press statement released on their behalf. The statement says Hoff, Longoria, Reichard and Spencer "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 Jersey Boys stars have retained Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, LLP to represent them. Howard Weller, who is handling the case in the firm's New York office, stated, "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 . . . .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." The countersuit claims that Valli, Gaudio and the producers of Jersey Boys have used "bully tactics" in an "effort to injure the livelihood and the reputations" of their former stars.
The countersuit, according to the July 13 statement, contains "allegations of improper threats toward members of their backup band and wrongful interference with promoters and venues and seeks over a million dollars together with punitive damages." According to the pleading, "Hoff, Longoria, Reichard and Spencer have refused to buckle to bogus charges . . .[They are] holding firm to their legal right to sing the songs that they love . . . [and to] fairly describe who they are."
Weller adds, "It is disappointing that our clients have been forced to litigate because they respect and admire The Four Seasons and the team that brought Jersey Boys to life and have demonstrated the utmost of good faith toward them, but we look forward to the jury vindicating our clients' rights."
Following the initial lawsuit, the four actors have renamed The Boys in Concert tour. The tour website, located at www.sixtieslive.com, now states the actors' names, followed by Live in Concert! with the billing "Reuniting 4 Stars From the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys!"