Donna Corbello, the widow of biographer Rex Conrad Woodard, filed a suit alleging that an unpublished biography of The Four Seasons singer-guitarist Tommy DeVito written by her late husband aided in the creation of Jersey Boys. She claims that Mr. Woodward’s estate is entitled to some cash from the hit Broadway musical. She is suing Mr. 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 She claims the unpublished book "inspired the form, structure, and content of the musical."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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