Archive for May, 2014
Never before has The Midtown Club Street Crew responded so enthusiastically as for the The Men’s recent show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Crew members Audrey Rockman, Dina Chirico, Donna Galante, Cathy Cole and Doreen and Frank Capasso for their outstanding service in and around Newark, New Jersey.
The Midtown Men love their Street Crew!
Who: Anyone interested in getting together before Wednesday night’s taped-for-television Midtown Men concert at NJPAC.
What: Pre-show gathering at the Tier 3 Cafe – offering a $22 buffet dinner and cash bar (buffet purchase is not required for attendance.)
When: Wednesday, May 28th, 6:00 to showtime – but it’s a “relaxed atmosphere,” so feel free to show up when you show up.
Where: Tier 3 Cafe is located inside New Jersey Performing Arts Center – concert ticket is not required for entrance to the Cafe.
How: Email me (Catherine) at email@example.com if you’d like to join us or if you have any questions. Our numbers are at 40 and growing!
Come celebrate The Midtown Men, and prepare yourself for a roller-coaster ride of a show. “Oh What A Night” this will be!
Jersey Boys’ Christian Hoff reveals the musical magic of The Midtown Men
By: Allen Foster, AXS Contributor, AXS.com
May 8, 2014
In their 4th year touring the country as The Midtown Men, Broadway’s original quartet from “Jersey Boys” (Tony® Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer) continues to revitalize the music of the 60s with their engaging live concerts. Besides performing with their own seven-piece band in select cities, these artists will be offering a symphonic interpretation of their show with such renown ensembles as The Philly POPS®. Christian Hoff recently spoke with AXS.com about the magic that is The Midtown Men.
AXS.com: It looks like “Jersey Boys” was just the beginning, you’re now enjoying an incredible career as The Midtown Men.
Christian: Yes, we are! We’re on our 4th season of traveling with our seven-piece band and performing a concert celebration of the 60s, similar to what we did with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Broadway. We’re bringing this music to life in the same fashion, but the important difference is, we’re no longer playing characters, this is us, we’re bringing this great decade of music to life with our own chemistry, our own stories and our own perspectives.
AXS.com: How did The Midtown Men come into existence?
Christian: After we left “Jersey Boys,” people started asking us, “Are you guys going to make a record with all the songs that we’ve heard you sing on other programs outside of ‘Jersey Boys?’” We also wanted to continue to put our stamp on all of that great music from the 60s, not just the music of The Four Seasons, so we decided to put a group together. It just started as a side gig, something fun to do. We all met in midtown Manhattan, home of Broadway, because that’s our roots. We didn’t forget where we came from. We had well over a million people from all over the country who came to see us in “Jersey Boys,” so we decided: let’s go to them this time, let’s take them something special that isn’t a Broadway show, but still has that Broadway pedigree as well as the roots and the legs of the 60s music! It turned out to be a great marriage. The Midtown Men has become a brand in and of itself.
AXS.com: What is the difference between The Midtown Men and an average 60s music cover band?
Christian: The hook is we’re singing the great songs of the 60s, and that is what gets people in the seats, but we’re bringing something more to it. We’re bringing a fresh take on this classic music. We’re bringing a life to it in a way that isn’t just nostalgia or a tribute. We understand the music and the roots in a way that I don’t think a cover band really can because we are also all actors and we love the dramaturgy of this, too! You need the live band, you need the orchestra, and you need these lyrics to come to life in a new way, right in front of your very eyes. That’s the beauty of live theater, live performance and, in this case, live music. I think that aspect is what brings people to their feet as much as hearing their favorite songs.
AXS.com: But how did you get such a firm grasp of the 60s? There seems to be more to your shows than just the music, there is an understanding.
Christian: When we went to Broadway, we spent probably about two weeks in what you might consider a condensed master’s program of the 60s. We studied not only the politics and socioeconomics, but also the music business, dance styles, instrumentation and just so many other things about that decade. When we created “Jersey Boys,” we needed to know not only what was going on in the music business and in politics around the country at that time, but we needed to understand the competition that The Four Seasons faced because that really shaped who they were, it helped define their sound.
AXS.com: All four of you guys are multitalented. How do you perceive yourselves? Would you consider yourselves actors or singers?
Christian: Some of us put ourselves as actors first and singers second while others of us put ourselves as singers first and actors second. However, when we come together on that stage, we are using every aspect of what we believe are our given talents. We our continually stretching our own perception of who we are as entertainers. If we have any expectations of ourselves, it is to be the best at all we can at every show. This live experience is about the camaraderie of four guys getting together against the odds to make some music.
Some of The Midtown Men’s fans and supporters include Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles, Steven Van Zandt (who produced The Midtown Men’s radio single last year), Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Tommy James, Gene Cornish of The Rascals, Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers and Paul Anka. You just never know who might be sitting next to you in the crowd at The Midtown Men’s live show.
By now you’ve probably heard that The Midtown Men’s May 28th performance at Prudential Hall will be taped as a concert special for public television, and that it will air in the NY metropolitan area starting in December!
Here’s a peek behind the camera at the creative team set to bring this fabulous show to living rooms across the nation.
The creative team will be led by Pierre & François Lamoureux, whose productions have earned stellar recognition: a Grammy, two Emmy, two Juno and two Gemini Awards.
The Lamoureux brothers have directed and/or produced PBS specials for Harry Connick, Jr., Judy Collins, Clay Aiken and Nikki Yanofsky, as well as the Front and Center series on PBS (Train, James Blunt, The Goo Goo Dolls, Christina Perri and The Avett Brothers to name a few.) Beyond PBS, Pierre and François have worked with The Who, Rush, Deep Purple, Ben Harper and many others.
Their gifted team has captured and lit the greats, from Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd to The Rolling Stones, U2 and even The Beatles (on their Anthology release) as well as many International MTV Awards Shows.
The gala concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Wednesday, May 28 will feature The Midtown Men, 4 stars from the Original Broadway Cast of the smash hit Jersey Boys. The celebration, hosted by NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, will be its first major benefit event.
Today, May 23, is the last day to take advantage of ticket discounts through Goldstar - click here to visit that page.
Click here for Ticketmaster ticket information.
The Midtown Men are so excited to celebrate their return to Jersey, and to share this homecoming of sorts with their fans – so many of whom have been with them from the very beginning! What better way to get the party started than with a Midtown Club fan gathering before the show? Anyone interested in joining us should email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Crew is going to be hard at work around Newark, NJ this week, papering the surrounding areas with these fabulous flyers and posters! The Midtown Men and I send out a huge thank you to Audrey, Donna, Cathy, Frank and Doreen! Your hard work and dedication to the cause is greatly appreciated.
Debby and Dan Baker made their sixth out-of-town trip to see their Midtown Men – this time in Augusta, Georgia. They hadn’t realized before the show that it was the Men’s first time in Augusta. They were so thrilled afterwards to hear how much people loved the show and want the guys to come back!
Debby says that other than their magnificent talent, it is (The Men’s) appreciation for their fans that makes them so special. ”They make each and every one of us feel special. And that is a gift.” And that is just one of the gifts that keeps us ALL coming back, time after time.
Broadway’s Jersey Boys, The Midtown Men, to perform with The Philly POPS
by Allen Foster, Philadelphia Celebrity Examiner
May 12, 2014
Before The Midtown Men, Tony® Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer were the original stars of the Broadway phenomenon “Jersey Boys.” With over 1,000 performances on stage together, this dynamic foursome has since expanded their repertoire to cover not only Frankie Valli, but all the greats from the 60s, as well. In a rare, special engagement, The Midtown Men will be shedding their regular seven piece band in favor of the 60 piece orchestral backing of the renowned Philly POPS! Under the sublime direction of conductor Michael Krajewski, the two entertainment powerhouses will unite to bring you a one of a kind, truly unforgettable show called “Sixties Hits” on May 16, 17, and 18 at Verizon Hall in The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Examiner recently talked with Christian Hoff about The Midtown Men’s upcoming performances with The Philly POPS.
Examiner: When you come to The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, instead of your regular seven piece band, you are going to be playing with The Philly POPS! That’s pretty exciting!
Christian: It is! We are looking forward to it! This has been on the calendar for a long, long time. Philadelphia was just a real solid anchor early on when The Midtown Men were just beginning our venture into the symphonic world.
Examiner: Does this show contain The Midtown Men’s full repertoire? What can patrons expect?
Christian: What we decided to do with the symphonic shows was take our favorite songs from our set lists over the years and orchestrate them in symphonic fashion. The current show consists of about 60-70 minutes of our favorites.
Examiner: What kind of musical treats will be included in this show?
Christian: Well, when we were considering music for this show, we were really thinking about songs that we could orchestrate that would stretch some limits. For instance, from Ike and Tina Turner, we orchestrated “River Deep, Mountain High,” which was a Phil Spector song. It wasn’t necessarily a huge success for Tina Turner, but we loved the way that Phil orchestrated it with his Wall of Sound, so we said, “Why don’t we pay homage to that and do an actual wall of sound with an 85 piece orchestra?!” Another way we stretched the limits was when we did The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” — which is one of our favorite songs that we perform — we added horns. Rarely does a band do a Beatles’ arrangement with horns. We’ll also be doing songs from The Mamas & The Papas, The Turtles, The Association, and, of course, The Four Seasons. We do a Motown medley which is just really, really fun to hear, it’s a big, big orchestrated funky groove that is unique and wonderful!
Examiner: What is the difference between The Midtown Men and an average 60′s music cover band?
Christian: The hook is we’re singing the great songs of the 60s, and that is what gets people in the seats, but we’re bringing something more to it. We’re bringing a fresh take on this classic music. We’re bringing a life to it in a way that isn’t just nostalgia or a tribute. We understand the music and the roots in a way that I don’t think a cover band really can because we are also all actors and we love the dramaturgy of this, too! You need the live band, you need the orchestra, and you need these lyrics to come to life in a new way, right in front of your very eyes. The beauty of live theater, live performance, and, in this case, live music. I think that aspect is what brings people to their feet as much as hearing their favorite songs.
Examiner: Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Christian: When we first set out to do this orchestrated version of our show, we knew The Philly POPS would be a milestone in our career. Philadelphia is just such a great music town! Also, as artists, one of the guys, Michael Longoria, worked quite a bit in Philadelphia, and our horn section is comprised of all Philly horns! So, we’ve come full circle. To be able to perform with The Philly POPS is a great mark of success. We look forward to celebrating that success with The Philly POPS this weekend. It’s going to be a celebration of Philly and music of the 60s all wrapped up in one!