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The Midtown Men and Michael Krajewski, Happy Together…Again

• May 13, 2014 • Comments (1)

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!

Category: Christian Hoff, Concerts, Media

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The Midtown Men ‘Put Their Harmonies To Work’

• September 27, 2014 • Comments (0)

“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.

The Midtown Men will sing classic tunes from the ’60s at Patriots Theatre at the War Memorial.

“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

Category: Concerts, Media, Michael Longoria, The MEN, The MUSIC

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The Midtown Men and The Philly Pops Together Again

• September 26, 2014 • Comments (0)

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 Midtown Men, four stars from the original cast of "Jersey Boys," stand with Philly Pops Maestro Michael Krajewski and COO Louis Scaglione. From left to right, Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria, Michael Krajewski, Louis Scaglione, Christian Hoff and Daniel Reichard.

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.

 

Category: Concerts, Media, The MEN, The MUSIC

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Oh What A Weekend In Jacksonville

• October 24, 2013 • Comments (4)

Kudos to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for choosing The Midtown Men to open their 2013-2014 Pops Series this past weekend at the beautiful Jacoby Symphony Hall.  The Men were greeted with enthusiasm from a packed house both Friday and Saturday nights, and they did not disappoint!  From the opening notes of “Let’s Hang On” to the closing of  “Bye Bye Baby,” Michael, Christian, Daniel and Bobby entertained with their wit,  cool dance moves, infectious charm and most definitely their beautiful harmonies.  Combine this with the  smooth sound of Michael Krajewski’s orchestra, and sixties music never sounded so good!

Fans of all ages, from young…

Meg, Carley, Sam and Jenna loved the view from the front row!

 

to young at heart;

My mom LOVES the Men and was thrilled to see them for her fourth time, and this time they came to her!

from new fans…

Dana M. thought The Midtown Men was a great way to introduce her daughter Katie to the arts.

to Midtown Men die hards;

Debby and Dan made the trip from LaGrange, GA to see the Men for the fourth time this year!

 

people came from near

Sam and Jenna would have traveled much farther than the 5 miles they drove to see this show again!

 

and far

Elizabeth and her mom Judy came up from Melbourne (no Bobby, not Australia) to see The Men for the first time.

to see their beloved Midtown Men!

Caroline drove up from Orlando and was thrilled to be front and center for this amazing show.

If you have pictures from the Jacksonville shows that you would like to share, please email them to tmmclub@comcast.net.

Category: Concerts, The MEN, The MUSIC

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Jacksonville Has A Winner

• October 18, 2013 • Comments (1)

Osiris Verge is the winner of a pair of tickets to see The Midtown Men as they perform with the Jacksonville Symphony.  Congratulations, and enjoy the show!!

 

Thanks to all who participated.  The correct answers are:

 

Symphony pops conductor Michael Krajewski is Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston, Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphony orchestras, and is much in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the United States and Canada.

Category: Concerts

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Win Tickets To See The Midtown Men!

• October 14, 2013 • Comments (6)

The Midtown Club is giving away a pair of tickets to see The Midtown Men in Jacksonville, Florida!

 

Simply  fill in the blanks below (2) for your chance to see The Men October 18 or 19 as they open the Pops Series with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.  (You must answer on the Club site to be eligible to win!)

 

Symphony pops conductor Michael Krajewski is Principal Pops Conductor of the __________, __________ and Jacksonville Symphony orchestras, and is much in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout the United States and Canada.

Category: Concerts

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The Midtown Men Share Some Thoughts on Their Upcoming Houston Shows

• August 30, 2012 • Comments (0)

On Friday,  August 31, THE MIDTOWN MEN premiere the symphonic version of their 2012/2013 “Sixties Hits” tour.   

 

This highly anticipated three night run with the Houston Symphony has me curious about the logistics of such an undertaking, and The MEN were kind enough to answer a few questions regarding this “uncharted territory”:

The Midtown Club:  The Houston shows will  feature an 85-piece symphony for the first time.  How do you prepare for that? 

The Midtown Men:  It’s a new frontier with a symphony behind us.  We’ve had a blast working with our arrangers (Grammy and Emmy award-winner) John McDaniel and(composer/pianist) George Maurer, and the great Conductor of America’s premier symphony,  Michael Krajewski.

 TMCCan you tell us how it works?  Does it change your normal set?

TMM:  We are headlining, but we are excited to share the stage and musical landscape with something bigger than the four of us. We picked our favorites from our tour sets and added a new one from the mad genius behind the wall of sound, Phil Spector.

TMCYou usually blow into town, do a sound check, and are good to go.  How much rehearsal is required for this type of show?   

TMM:  We are rehearsing a couple of days…bringing our band and the symphony together for the first time and hearing our charts played full out for the first time. 

TMCHouston is an amazing city with so much to do and see – will you have a chance to enjoy it?   

TMM:  So much is happening for the group right now, so we are resting physically and vocally and focusing on the business.

TMCYou’ll be almost a week in the same place,that has to be a nice change of pace.

TMM:  It’s very strange.  We thought we’d make a trip to the airport and go through security just to keep it moving! 

If you’re in the Houston area this Labor Day weekend, don’t miss the chance to see what is sure to be an amazing show! 

Some tickets are still available – click here for more information.

Category: The MEN, The MUSIC

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On The Road with TMM

• October 1, 2011 • Comments (2)

 

Pictures from the road!

Christian celebrated his birthday at the races!

The Midtown Horns at the Today Show!

The Midtown Men in Sun Valley

Worldwide Horns onstage

BB King’s with Rick Elice

The Midtown Men visited China!

Fun in China

Wisconson Live

Photo credit: ANDREW KRECH / THE CITIZENS’ VOICE

Sandy and Daniel celebrating Daniel’s birthday

The Midtown Men were joined onstage at the Beacon Theatre by many amazing guest artists – like “LaLa” Brooks !

The Midtown Men were joined onstage at the Beacon Theatre by many amazing guest artists – like Petula Clark!

Photo credit: Kat Villacorte/NJTV

Burton White, left, Artistic Director & General Manager of the Hawaii Theatre, celebrated backstage with the Midtown Men — Christian Hoff, J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard and Michael Longoria — after their sold-out opening night performance. PHOTO BY JOHN BERGER

Photo courtesy of Mark Garvin

The Midtown Men stand with Philly Pops Maestro Michael Krajewski and COO Louis Scaglione.

Gene Cornish thrilled the crowd when he joined the Men for “Groovin” – he plays a mean harmonica!

Ann Briggs and Andy Hotaling celebrate with The Midtown Men Friday night after Hotaling surprised Briggs with a wedding proposal on stage.

60’s Hits with the Midtown Men and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Sara Hicks. ( Photo Credit: Rex Larsen | MLive.com)

The Midtown Men made a friend at the NY State Fair

They can’t take it any longer – they have to get out there with the party – JRS and band members “Checkin’ out Bruno Mars”

The Men enjoy a refreshment after a great set.

Daniel enjoys the view from backstage as Bruno Mars takes the stage.

The Midtown Men take the stage at a Private event near San Francisco

Daniel, Bobby, Jeffrey Tambor and Christian

Original late-night band leader Doc Severinsen and The Midtown Men

The Midtown Men and Gene Cornish of The Rascals

On the set of Fox’s ‘Good Day, Maine’

THE MIDTOWN MEN (l to r) J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, Christian Hoff

TMM on stage at Bass Hall

Dickie V loved the show!

In the recording studio with Stevie Van Zant

A White House Christmas

Sound check for their appearance on Good Morning America

The Midtown Men in Hugo Boss

with a full orchestra in Houston

Greetings from Asbury Park

photo by Richard Perry/The New York Times

2011 NY State Fair

NY Times!

Surf Ballroom

Christian Hoff at Fun Factory

TMM Live From The Keys

“Great October concerts! Thanks to all! JRS”

Cafe du Monde

tmm at bloomies

“Tonight – Macon, GA” October 22, 2011

The Midtown Visit Patients at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital

The Men heat it up in Minnesota

Photo courtesy of Scott

TMM-CONAN-HORNS-JULY2011

Soundcheck in New Jersey

7 year kickoff

Category: Photo Galleries

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