Archive for September, 2014
“When I’m singing up there, I like to describe it as ‘singing on a cloud of air.’ It’s a whole new way to experience classic hits.” Michael Longoria
From ‘Jersey Boys’ to Midtown Men
Stars from the Broadway hit will join the Philly Pops for a benefit concert in Trenton
By Keith Loria
DATE POSTED: Friday, September 26, 2014 (excerpts – click here to visit the CentralJersey.com website and read article in its entirety)
FOUR original stars from Broadway’s smash hit musical Jersey Boys, who call themselves The Midtown Men, will put their harmonies to work in support of the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall, when they take to the stage at the Trenton War Memorial on Sept. 27.
Comprised of Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer, The Midtown Men will join the Philly Pops to celebrate the hits from the ’60s era including tunes by the Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown, The Four Seasons, and more.
“It’s pretty cool, because now you can hear these great songs played with a symphony and the audience really gets levitated with all those instruments,” Mr. Longoria says. “When I’m singing up there, I like to describe it as ‘singing on a cloud of air.’ It’s a whole new way to experience classic hits.”
While The Midtown Men do sing many of the songs from Jersey Boys, they also incorporate a great deal of other hits from the decade.
“They are pretty much songs that everyone knows the music to,” Mr. Longoria says. “With that era, even 8-year-old kids are singing along. All of them tell such a great story of human nature and those ’60s licks were so catchy, it’s really easy to catch on to those songs and sing along.”
Mr. Longoria admits that anytime they sing in New Jersey, it’s a special treat.
“There’s no audience like a Jersey audience. It’s like coming home and singing for your family,” he says. “When we opened on Broadway, NewJersey was such a full force of making ‘Jersey Boys’ the blockbuster that it was. The people there have always been so connected to Broadway but when ‘Jersey Boys’ opened, it became the crown jewel of the community and gave them some serious Jersey pride.”
The concert will be followed by a reception with Conductor Krajewski and The Midtown Men in the ballroom of the War Memorial for patrons and sponsors.
The concert is being held to benefit the patients and residents of St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Morris Hall. These facilities consist of St. Mary’s Assisted Living, Grace Garden Memory Care and St. Joseph’s Skilled Nursing Center.
“Now, I can approach all these great Frankie Valli songs and sing them in a whole new way, and that’s been a great adventure and challenge for me,” he says. “The night’s going to be a great deal of fun and we look forward to seeing everyone come out and join us for a great cause.”
The Philly Pops featuring the Midtown Men will perform at Patriots Theatre at the War Memorial, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. Click here for tickets, or call 215-893-1999
“To everything there is a season, and this is a season not to be missed.”
Posted: Friday, September 26, 2014 By MICHAEL ELKIN Correspondent/The Intelligencer/Doylestown, PA
(excerpts – click here to read article in its entirety)
The Midtown Men make their audiences of Uptown Girls and Downtown Dudes nuts for nostalgia.
Who can blame them?
This suave rock quartet is just so cool while collecting plaudits and applause from audiences around the country for their singing/entertaining style evocative of the 1960s.
Not that they haven’t had practice.
The Men — Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer — are four seasoned original cast members of the Broadway smash hit “Jersey Boys.”And while they left “Jersey Boys” years ago, “Jersey Boys” hasn’t left them. They still carry the tune, not just of the Four Seasons, but of the sweet-yet-swinging times that were the sultry ’60s. And in toting the past to the present, they are delivering a huge stage present to fans of music that soars and singes the heart.
Is it all just a matter of hanging on to what they got — or had — on Broadway? No, these Midtown Men — named after the epicenter of global theater, midtown Manhattan — pull from the past while pushing contemporary corners and borders. Their mix of Motown, core rock and rolling emotional ballads is a post-modern mash-up as distinctive as the entertainers’ individual talents.
And if there’s anyone who knows from unique voices, it’s “Jersey Boys” Tony Award winner Hoff: Even as he was involved with the original cast recording in his role as Tommy DeVito, he was setting records: Hoff recorded 241 separate voices — from Eddie Murphy to Joan Crawford — for the audio version of “Tell Me How You Love the Picture,” a memoir of movie producer Edward Feldman’s Hollywood life. In the process, Hoff earned a niche in the “Guinness World Records” for most character voices in an audiobook.Speaking to him now is to hear the voice of a 46-year-old family man happy on and off the stage, content on the sojourn that has taken him from “Boys” to Men.And he, just like the group’s fans, is wrapped up in the roar of the ’60s, when music “was a slice of life of America,” he notes.
“What you heard on radio was so diverse, so organic — the Beatles, the Association, Hendrix, and yes, the Four Seasons — there was something real about it,” he says.Getting real is to savor the retro ’60s, he claims, “which is still hip; everything you hear today feels like a throwback to then.”
Midtown Men and Philly Pops to share Trenton stage to benefit Foundation of Morris Hall/St. Lawrence
By Kelly Johnson | Times of Trenton on September 25, 2014
(excerpts - click here to read article in it’s entirety)
Hit songs from the 1960s will feature a twist Saturday as The Midtown Men and the Philly Pops orchestra share the stage of the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton for a benefit concert.
The two groups will not be strangers to being on stage together, as they performed this same concert last year in Philadelphia.
“It was our most exciting concert,” said Frank Giordano, president and CEO of the Pops. “We were turning people away. It was our most well attended, enthusiastic show.”He expects the turnout in Trenton to be no different.
“It’s a phenomenal, electrifying show. You’ve not heard the music sounding like this before,” he said. “It’s the songbook of your life. It’s the music you know and love and this is the music that gets you on your feet.”
“Originally, a lot of the songs did have instruments in the background, but when you add an entire symphony orchestra it just ramps up the entire presentation and makes it all that more exciting,” said Michael Krajewski, who took over as music director and conductor of the Pops in 2013. “It’s just going to be a great evening of nostalgia and songs and people are just going to want to sing along to the songs all night long.”
“I personally always enjoy doing this program because the guys in the Midtown Men are so skilled and so good at what they do and so much fun to be on stage with,” Krajewski said. “It’s very high energy and they really put on a very energetic, entertaining show.”
The annual concert, now in its 13th year, raises money for the Foundation of Morris Hall/St. Lawrence Inc., which includes St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and St. Mary’s Assisted Living, Grace Garden Memory Care and St. Joseph’s Skilled Nursing Center at Morris Hall in Lawrence. Proceeds will benefit charity care of the patients and residents.
This evening, Saturday September 20, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and Fairview Hospital will present The Midtown Men – Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer – who will bring their sensational sound to help celebrate Fairview’s largest annual benefit!
The 2014 Fairview Hospital Gala will raise funds for new anesthesiology technology at Fairview, to be used in both outpatient and inpatient surgery as well as medical care.
The evening will be full of favorite “Sixties Hits” from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown, The Four Seasons and more.
Daniel Reichard reveals his top five songs for The Midtown Men’s upcoming Springfield, MA show
Heading out on their fifth national tour, The Midtown Men will return to Springfield’s Symphony Hall on Sept. 19 after thrilling audiences two years ago with their unique styling of some of the biggest hits of the 1960′s.
When Keith O’Conner (of The Republic, for MassLive.com) recently asked Daniel Reichard to reveal his five top songs that will be sung at The Midtown Men’s Springfield show, Reichard offered up these choices:
- ‘Groovin’ by The Rascals
- ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’ by Marvin Gaye, with Tammi Tarrell
- ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’ by Diana Ross
- ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes
- ‘December 1963′ by The Four Seasons
These answers beg the obvious question, what about ‘Cry For Me’ which is a hands down crowd favorite? Well, Daniel, what about it?
Follow this link to read more about the show, and more about WHY these songs are Daniel’s top five.
IF YOU GO
Event: The Midtown Men
When: Friday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Symphony Hall, 34 Court St., Springfield
Cost: $59, $49, $45 and $28
For more info: Visit citystage.symphonyhall.com or call (413) 788-7033
The Midtown Club has a fabulous Street Crew filled with fans who volunteer again and again to help spread the word of Midtown Men shows in their area. But why should we just limit crew to a certain “area”? Let’s take it global with a “Cyber” Crew!!
It’s really simple. All you have to do to join the crew is spread the word via email and/or social media. For example: The Midtown Men will be appearing in Springfield, MA on September 19th. Here is a flyer for the show. Simply copy and paste it from the Club website and send it out to all your email contacts, or SHARE the post on Facebook. That’s it! You have helped tremendously simply by hitting a few buttons.
Category: STREET CREW