Suit Alleges Unpublished Tommy DeVito Biography Helped Inspire Jersey Boys
By Kenneth Jones
A suit filed in a Texas court alleges that an unpublished biography of The Four Seasons singer-guitarist Tommy DeVito aided in the creation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys, and that its co-author's estate is entitled to money.
Variety and other papers reported that Donna Corbello, the widow of writer Rex Conrad Woodard, is suing DeVito for a piece of the royalty he makes off the smash musical — although he is not an author of the musical, merely a subject in it.
According to the suit, Woodard and DeVito co-wrote an authorized biography of DeVito before Woodard's death in 1991.
According to the report in Back Stage, Corbello filed a "breach of contract suit" against DeVito. She claims the unpublished book "inspired the form, structure, and content of the musical."
The producers and creative team of the smash Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys were not named in the suit.
Jersey Boys began previews at the August Wilson Theatre Oct. 4, 2005, and officially opened Nov. 6, 2005. To date, the Tony-winning musical has played nearly 900 performances.
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