The Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach, SC is giving away six CDs in honor of The Midtown Men’s concert on Saturday, February 25th! Click here to visit their Facebook page – just leave a comment for your chance to win.
Considering the amazing night with The Midtown Men at BB King’s last May and the upcoming closing of Jersey Boys after 11+ years on Broadway, the January 8th concert at BB King’s had all the makings of a very special evening. I think those in attendance would agree – it did not disappoint!
The audience arrived early to dine and chat with friends before the show. All over the room, there were greetings and hugs as friends were reunited in their mutual love for this group.
Some very special friends of TMM were in the room as well, including long-time friends and supporters Stevie and Maureen VanZandt, Jay Siegel (the Tokens), and Gene Cornish (the Rascals).
Also introduced from the stage were members of the Jersey Boys family, both past and present. Original Cast members Peter Gregus (Bob Crewe), Sara Schmidt (“My Boyfriend’s Back), alumni Russell Fischer and Travis Cloer (Broadway, Vegas Frankie), as well as current and final cast member Chris Messina cheered and danced their way through the show.
Christian, Michael, Daniel, and Bobby fed off the energy from the audience, and appeared to be having as much fun as all of us. It was a truly special night in midtown, and the best way to start the new year. Were you there? Send us your pictures (Tmmclub@comcast.net) and we’ll post them!
Still looking for that perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift? Look no further, Midtown Men fans!
TICKETS ARE ON SALE FOR THE MIDTOWN MEN’S RETURN TO B.B. KING BLUES CLUB IN NEW YORK CITY!
If you were fortunate enough to be in the house for the May 2016 show, then you know what I mean when I say that this venue is the perfect showcase for TMM’s talents! The room was alive with energy from start to well past the finish of what was a totally exhilarating show – and I have no doubt that it will be so again on January 8th!
Get your tickets while they last, because you do not want to miss this awesome opportunity.
Click here for tickets and information.
AS REPORTED BY THEATERMANIA:
(Andy Lefkowitz • New York City • Dec 8, 2016)
Disaster! Star Lacretta will Join Daniel Reichard in His Guide to Christmas, a special holiday concert that will play at Birdland December 17-19.
Lacretta, recent star of the Broadway musical Disaster!, will join Daniel Reichard, original star of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, for his annual New York City holiday show Daniel Reichard’s Guide to Christmas at Birdland December 17-19. The event is directed by Patrick McCollum.
The evening of stories and songs features an eclectic musical program, featuring lively arrangements of Christmas classics, Hanukkah favorites, and romantic tunes from the Great American Songbook. Reichard will be backed by a full band, with Jesse Vargas music-directing and writing musical arrangements. Guide to Christmas is written by Reichard, Patrick McCollum, and Mark Noonan.
Click here for tickets.
*****In 2016, Daniel has a record-high 6 holiday shows! His first Christmas show was on the west coast, San Francisco, Sunday, December 11, 2016. Daniel will have 3 holiday shows in NYC, followed by two more in his hometown of Cleveland. Click here for ticket info on the Cleveland show. *****
It’s October, and fall is in full swing! The guys have entered their seventh year touring with the Midtown Men, much to the delight of their audiences. The season is off to a great start, with concerts across the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland and Virginia) and the Midwest (South Dakota) before landing in the NY/NJ area for a pair of concerts last weekend.
In Maryland, they played Frostburg and Frederick for the first time before headlining one of Northern Virginia’s bright jewel arts events, ARTS by George! at George Mason University. From the review in DC Metro Theater Arts: “The Midtown Men concert was a sunny upbeat delight. This was no mere, “call-it-in” oldies-but-goodies event with four guys who could mimic across many a musical genre beyond The Four Seasons. There was a smooth ease about the evening. It was a concert with legendary ‘60’s music well-delivered by very highly skilled, authentic, entertainers, who danced up a storm on stage while truly seeming to not only enjoy what they were doing, but lit up the crowd with their winning personalities. And they were accompanied by a smokin’ 7-member rock band…Their concert was wall-to-wall of appealing, tight musical and spot-on choreographed harmony propelled by a seven-piece band, bursting-forth with horn-and sometimes flute dominated arrangements – and all filled with charming personal chemistry and the non-stop energy of the performers…It was an out-of-sight, full-tilt winning evening with The Midtown Men that benefited emerging arts stars of the future.”
This past weekend was an exciting one as TMM played for “hometown” crowds in New Jersey and New York. Both audiences were filled with fans and friends who have been supporting the guys since they were onstage together in Jersey Boys. Perhaps most exciting, they debuted some fabulous new songs, including an awesome Jersey Boys medley, and a new solo for Bobby (Steppin’ Stone by the Monkees). As always, the harmonies are tight, the choreography is smooth, and the songs just lift you up. Can’t wait to see if any other new songs are revealed through the season!
Next up: Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony, in Pittsburgh, PA, October 28, 29, and 30, and some West Coast shows in November! Check out their full schedule here!
Thanks for reading, and hope to see you at a show soon!
The Midtown Men are playing the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ this weekend.
If you are nearby, don’t miss it! This is a nice article from The Press of Atlantic City including an interview with Michael.
by DAVID SPATZ
Artistic boredom can be an occupational hazard for any show’s cast who performs the same scenes with the same dialogue and the same music one night after another, one year after another.
Unless, of course, you’re one of the four members of the vocal group the Midtown Men. For six years, the quartet — who were the original stars of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” — have toured with a show that usually opens and closes with the solid gold music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, whose lives and early success are depicted in “Jersey Boys.”
In between the Four Seasons hits, though, the Midtown Men — Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Michael Longoria — stretch themselves out and cover the music of a variety of artists — male and female, groups and soloists — but never leave the comfortable music blanket of the 1960s.
Beyond the music of the Four Seasons, it’s difficult to predict what the Midtown Men will cover when they bring their show to the Golden Nugget 9 p.m. Saturday, July 16. During a recent concert, they sang the music of everyone from the Ronettes and the Mamas and the Papas to the Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Association and the Zombies.
And that’s just for starters. The Midtown Men have a dozen other artists within easy reach.
“As soon one of the guys gets bored with their solos, we just pick another song from the ’60s,” says Longoria, 35, who originated the role of Joe Pesci in “Jersey Boys” before taking over the part of Frankie Valli.
“That really goes to show you how awesome that music is. It’s music that’s all written by teenage lovers, right?” he adds. “It’s just a great thing to re-live again when we do the Midtown Men in concert.”
The Midtown Men is an outgrowth of their success on Broadway. But it wasn’t easy when the four actors decided to form a group, create their own show and use their connection to the popular Broadway musical to help sell tickets.
Lawsuits were traded by both sides — the Midtown Men and the creators of “Jersey Boys,” including Valli — until it was eventually agreed that Hoff, Reichard, Spencer and Longoria would be careful about how they used their “Jersey Boys” connection to promote their new venture.
For Longoria, getting plucked from the cast of the 1960s musical “Hairspray” — where he made his Broadway debut — and becoming part of a show that would quickly become a staple of the Great White Way, was the culmination of hard work and dreams.
Longoria attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, he needed to find a “survival job” that would pay the bills while he auditioned for acting gigs. He waited tables at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square, where the singing servers are expected to prepare a repertoire of songs from the 1950s and ’60s.
“It became a great training ground because one of my first auditions for Broadway was for ‘Hairspray,’ which is all about the 1960s,” he says. “So I went in there and sang ‘Runaround Sue,’ and it was a (musical) style I became very comfortable with it.
Then came “Jersey Boys,” and while Longoria wasn’t very familiar with Valli, he certainly knew songs like “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
“So there were another several years of me singing in that (1960s) genre,” he says. By the time the Midtown Men were created in 2010, Longoria felt it was just another “natural career progression” to branch out and learn about the music of other 1960s pop artists.
As excited as Longoria was to land the role of Pesci in “Jersey Boys” — before he got into acting, Pesci was a friend of Valli’s — he says it was “amazing” the night Valli came in to see the show when he was being considered to take over the Valli part.
“(Valli) was very supportive of me,” he says. “Before I got the approval to take the part, he had to see me do it. And I remember he came backstage and pinched my cheeks after the show and said, ‘You were ‘effing’ sensational,’ only he didn’t say ‘effing.’ That was him telling me from the bottom of his heart that he really connected with my performance. And that’s all I needed to hear from him to know that anything I did up there, he was going to be cool with.”
THE MIDTOWN MEN
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, July 16
Where: The Grand, Golden Nugget, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City
How much: $35 and $50, available through Ticketmaster.com
The guys have been wanting to play Sun Valley, Idaho since their first year of touring. They said it was “another special evening for us together” and well worth the wait. We can see why!
The Midtown Men—’Happy Together’ In The ‘60s
BY KAREN BOSSICK (Eye on Sun Valley)
They started off as actors on Broadway. And they parlayed that into a rock and roll band that has taken them to stages across the country.
The Midtown Men—part of the original cast of the smash hit “Jersey Boys”–will perform at Sun Valley Pavilion at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 3. Tickets start at $35 and are available at www.sunvalley.com or by calling 208-622-2135.
The boys in their Rat Pack-inspired suits will deliver a high-octane blast from the past as they sing their way through a hit parade of songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Turtles, Mamas and Papas and Motown.
“I wasn’t even born when these songs came out but I grew up listening to them,” said Midtown Men member Daniel Reichard. “It’s music that’s so appealing, so intoxicating, so energizing. They’re songs you can relate to, songs that light your heart up, songs that make you happy to be alive.”
Reichard a native of Cleveland, Ohio, played Candide for Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” at the New York City Opera. He was with the original coast of “Forbidden Broadway: 20th Anniversary Celebration.” And he played Emmet in the world premiere of Jim Henson’s “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” at the Goodspeed Opera House.
It was the role he created of Four Seasons songwriter Bob Gaudio for “Jersey Boys” that launched him as a rock and roller.
“Bob will go down as one of the 1960s’ greatest songwriters,” Reichard said. “He wrote musically catchy and heartfelt hits like ‘Sherry,’ ‘Big Girls Don’ Cry,’ ‘Walk Like a Man,’ ‘Big Man in Town,’ ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Dawn Go Away.’ He and Bob Crewe wrote ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.’ Once you get songs like that in your head, they’re always in your head.”
Reichard and his comrades—Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and J. Robert Spencer—went five seasons starring in a thousand-plus performances as they portrayed the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in what became one of Broadway’s biggest hits of all time.
Reichard said it was great to tell a story about a group of musicians that wasn’t well known.
“We enjoyed it so much, and then the invitations to perform began pouring in…all of a sudden we realized we had a show by accident,” he said. “We thought: Why not take it on the road and see what it’s like to become a rock and roll band.”
The quartet began singing at casinos and fairs in 2010—they electrified an audience at the Utah State Fair three Septembers ago in pouring rain.
One night at New York City’s Beacon Theater they were even joined on stage by many of the legends of the ‘60s, including Petula Clark, who sang “Downtown,” The Shirelles, who sang “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” and Gene Cornish of The Young Rascals.
Their album “The Midtown Men: Sixties Hits” garnered five-star album reviews from iTunes. And they recorded their first radio single, “All Alone on Christmas,” with members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
“The idea of concert art appeals to me a lot,” said Reichard. “And who better to base a show around than Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. They have so much soulfulness. They’re macho yet they have so much emotional vulnerability. They provided four decades of recordings and Frankie’s still performing in concert.”
All of the guys would like to return to their theater roots, Reichard said. But they’d like to keep touring as The Midtown Men, as well.
“I love singing for people who love this music so much. I love singing music that lifts people’s spirits and is so satisfying,” he said. “The best case scenario would be to do both!”
What a weekend it was! A reunion, a homecoming, a celebration….call it any or all of those and you would not be far from the truth. Three thrilling days, each one unique and exhilarating in its own way.
On Friday night, the Men played to a sold out crowd at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ. It was their third time at this theater, and they were welcomed back with open arms. From the guys: “This was our most thrilling and invigorating show we have ever done at the Count Basie and we have all of you to thank for it! We are blessed to have such longtime friends who turn up to see us time and time again!”
I think the audience would agree that we are the ones who are blessed – by their talents, their humor, and their sincerity. I think this comment from a fan on their Facebook post says it all: “We loved this show! So much talent on one stage! Your voices are amazing! Your interaction with the audience is wonderful. The autographs after the show were fun, and it was so nice to meet each of you face to face. And let’s not forget the musicians – exceptional talent!”
On Saturday, the party moved to BB Kings Blues Club in Midtown Manhattan. A smaller, more intimate venue, the audience dined at tables and enjoyed seeing the Men reconnecting with many longtime fans and friends that they have known since their Jersey Boys days. Very special guests were in the house, including LaChanze and Maureen VanZandt, as well as Rick Elice, who (with Marshall Brickman) wrote the book for Jersey Boys.
The energy in the house was palpable, and the crowd filled with love overflowing for the guys. It was incredible to see not only the relationships that the Men have built with their fans through the years, but also the friendships that have been cultivated among the fans themselves. It was truly a reunion, filled with reminiscing and creating new memories.
On Sunday, the Men headed north of the city to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. One of the largest casinos in the country, it hosted our Midtown Men in their Mohegan Sun Arena. That night, they played to a crowd of over 8,000! The Midtown Men described the experience as “an indescribable thrill” that they will never forget. Judging from the over 100 joyful comments of their Facebook post, it doesn’t seem the audience is likely to forget their time with the Midtown Men either.
Finally, the Midtown Club celebrates all the friendships, some new and some dating all the way back to 2006, that have been created through the artistry of these four Men, whether in Jersey Boys or TMM. It is a special thing to meet people who share a common interest, and then develop a bond that is so strong that you know you have made lifelong friends. We invite you to share your own stories and send in photos from the weekend, if you were there.