The cast of “Jersey Boys” celebrated the show’s opening at the Palazzo with a big party on Saturday, then woke up Sunday to learn of the death of a former castmate: John Altieri, originally slated to play flamboyant record producer Bob Crewe.
"The opening weekend for ‘Jersey Boys’ in Las Vegas was wondrous for us all. That said, it was also bittersweet. On the day after our opening performance a beloved cast member passed away,” producer Michael David said in a statement.
Altieri played Crewe for 15 months on a national tour that included some of the Las Vegas cast members.
“Jersey Boys” is an Actors Equity union show. Union rules require not only a printed program, but one that carefully includes inserts to update cast changes. Opening weekend audiences probably didn’t think much about one such insert to note that Bob Crewe was now being played by John Salvatore.
What they didn’t know was, as David explained, Altieri “fell ill some weeks ago while the show was in rehearsal. After a series of complications from pneumonia, he passed away May 4. It has left us stunned. Beloved within the ‘Jersey Boys’ family, he will be sorely missed by all."