Category: The MEN

Interview: Michael Longoria: “The View From Upstairs”

Heather • February 23, 2017 • Comments (0)

From Huffington Post, by Eileen Shapiro

The audaciously talented, and strikingly handsome, star of Broadway, television, and New York City nightlife, will be appearing in what promises to be one of the most sparkling and glittery sensations to hit Manhattan. “The View Upstairs”. will be at The Lynn Redgrave Theatre, (45 Bleecker Street, NYC), on February 28th. This glam rock musical production is based upon, the real life gay bar in New Orleans, in the 1970’s, which unfortunately burnt to the ground. Written by Max Vernon, and directed by Scott Ebersold, it includes an all- star cast including: Jeremy Pope, Taylor Frey, Nathan Lee Graham, Frenchie Davis, Benjamin Howes, Michael Longoria, Ben Mayne, Nancy Ticotin, and Randy Redd.

Michael Longoria himself has an impressive array of credits consisting of, the starring role on Broadway as Frankie Valli in the Tony Award winning “Jersey Boys”, and Hairspray, as well as performing solo in Times Square for thousands for “Broadway on Broadway”. He has also appeared on various television shows including, “Broadway Under the Stars”, “A Tribute to Harold Prince”, and the finale of “America’s Got Talent”, ( Season 9). Having recently released his new album, “Broadway Brick by Brick”, Michael has also performed at “Joe’s Pub”, “The Cutting Room”, and “Caroline’s on Broadway”. He is also in The Midtown Men, and performs nearly every summer at Cherry Grove.

Although I have interviewed hundreds, Michael’s words were one of the most expressive experiences I’ve ever had. His answers painted the most vivid pictures, and feelings, whereas he caused me to feel what he was feeling…..

What role will you be portraying in “The View Upstairs”?

I play Freddie, who is also the bars drag queen. As a drag queen my name is Aurora Whorealis. There is a few generations in the bar when we flash back into time, into 1973. I play a young and rebellious drag queen, and my storyline is really about a mother and the love for her child. You meet my mother in the middle of the play and you find out that although her son being a drag queen wasn’t necessarily her dream for her son, she’s comes to love him, and love the Gay bar, and comes to frequent it. You see this woman from Puerto Rico, who came to America with her husband who wanted this American life, and has all these challenges because she has a gay son. Which is a challenge that many parents have to deal with. Obviously we as gay people go through so many trials before we realize that we have the strength to come out to the people that we love, because we are afraid we’re going to lose them. But, as an adult I looked back and I think about my parents and what they had to go through. The fear of the unknown, and the knowing of your child all of a sudden, but really getting to know them deeply, in a way that they didn’t know them before. Their sexuality all of a sudden, and what that means. For me I was a Mexican American. My parents were Catholic Mexican, my father was machismo, so coming out to my parents was similar to Freddie. My father didn’t accept me right away, and Freddie’s father doesn’t accept him because he’s gay, and he leaves his wife and Freddie. So with all that drama in their life you see the joy that they get from coming to this place, where they meet these characters and these friends from different generations. Nathan plays this wise, fabulous, crazy, queen of the bar. He sits there in judgment, and tells everybody about the way it was. Freddie is the kind that wants to moon everybody outside, and wants to be who he wants to be, no matter what. Even though stonewall happened they were still living in a lot of oppression in the south.

I think there still is to a degree.

Absolutely, Even now I’m sometimes challenged on the street by some asshole who wants to feel manly. That definitely still happens now. The sensation that you get when you first go to a gay bar, I remember that very well. I was a teenager, even though I was underage, being in a place that all of a sudden you know you’re not supposed to be in, but you want to be in, and you know you belong. All of a sudden all that hunger and fuzz, without even having a drink, because I was underage, but the feeling and the high of being yourself, of saying anything you want, being anything you want, and having everybody in the bar not give a shit. Of course those times aren’t that true anymore, with the shadiness that’s around in our days….. But for a young queen who doesn’t know about that shadiness, being able to go to a space that’s like a utopia, you can really be who you are inside. For Freddie in this play, this is his playground. Not only can he prance around in his bellbottoms, but he can get in his dress and be fabulous, and look like Marilyn Monroe, and really live who is inside, which is this woman, this inner being. So that’s who I am, and I get to put on a fun drag show within the show.

I just bet you do…

It’s really fun, and I’ve never done drag. It’s an amazing experience and a learning experience too.

Did they assign you a drag mother?

No, not yet. I’ve had a lot of drag inspirations, from going to Fire Island, and hanging out at the Ice Palace, you see all of those drag queens perform, and throughout the summer I’ve got to know them both in and out of drag. What’s interesting about playing a drag queen now, I’ve had crushes on drag queens for the past five years. Interesting weird, like “why do I like you”…. I really admire them especially the funny ones. The ones that are beautiful and then all of a sudden they are hilarious. You have to admire someone that can make a crowd laugh, especially in times like these, when we’re laughing and crying at the same time. It’s like that nervous laughter that turns into tears. The message of “The View Upstairs”, is that ultimately, you had these places in the 70s that were secretive for a community, and it was everybody, everybody within each other, and they had each other’s back. That’s what we really need to remind each other of now, because the eight years with Obama we’ve made so much progress, and have felt very liberated in a sense. The fact that we could get married to anyone we wanted, and now all of a sudden it’s like psych….”Just kidding”… It’s like the carpet being pulled out from under you, and your heart being ripped out of your chest, from an America that you thought was finally understanding you. We have to remind ourselves that we have each other, not just in gay bars, but we are all around. We have each other on Facebook, we have each other in these magazines that I’m talking to right now, in these relationships that are forming, and the only way to really get through it, is by loving each other, in any way that we possibly can. That’s by supporting each other, going to the drag shows, and telling them they’re fabulous, even when sometimes they might not be.

Rule one, never insult a drag queen, too much work goes into it….

Ever, ever, ever…. It takes a lot of balls… Literally… And it takes a lot of courage and heart. Those people have a lot of heart. Those drag queens that I know have both sides, they are evil in a sense, they have to have that hardshell of protection from bullies while growing up a lot of times, but they also have this enormous sensitivity that is very loving in nature. Maybe that’s why I fall in love with these drag queens, because I see both sides, and both sides are beautiful. They bring out the best in all of us because they make us laugh.

I love drag queens more than life itself, I use to own a gay bar.

So then you know, the community that can form, the drama that can happen, and all of the relationships that happen. These characters are loosely based on some of the victims, that could’ve been there, like me, if I was living at that time I would’ve gone to that bar. In fact, this was the biggest killing of the gay population before Orlando. I’ve been to Pulse, I’ve been to Latin night, I tour and I’ve been to those specific parties. So, it could’ve been me. So to know that it happened, and those souls were not allowed to be grieved for, a lot of those parents couldn’t claim those kids that were in the fire because they were afraid that they would get blacklisted, or lose their jobs because they had gay family. It was so weird and so heartbreaking. One of the characters is based off of someone who might have been one of the three unidentified bodies that was buried in a mass grave. So it’s sort of a story that needs to be told, and it’s very bold of them to be bringing this right now. It’s scary but it’s also liberating.

Read original article here.

 

Category: Michael Longoria

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Your Chance to Win a TMM CD – “Sixties Hits”

Catherine • February 17, 2017 • Comments (0)

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.

Category: Concerts, Prize Posts, The MEN

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New Year, New Opportunities

Heather • February 16, 2017 • Comments (0)

2017 finds The Midtown Men in the middle of their 7th (SEVEN!!) year touring together. It also brought a change, albeit temporary, to the group, as Michael is on a leave of absence for a few months. We have always known that these four guys are first-rate performing artists, and it’s been so fun to see how, over the years, they have each been able to pursue their own creative outlets.

The View Upstairs, opening February 28, 2017

So what is Michael up to? Last night, the NYC theater community was privileged to see Michael begin previews in a new Off-Broadway show, called The View Upstairs. The show opens on February 28, and if you’re in the area, you will NOT want to miss this! Michael shows off his singing, dancing, and acting chops in a fun role that he helped create. The View Upstairs was inspired by one of the most significant yet all-but-ignored attacks against the LGBTQ community. It examines what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide all of us through an uncertain future. Words that have been used to describe the show already include “beautiful,” “powerful,” “vibrant,” and “important.”

 

Check it out if you’re going to be in the NYC area this spring!!

Tickets at www.theviewupstairs.com.

 

For those of you concerned about what this means for TMM, rest assured! During Michael’s leave of absence, Travis Cloer, of Las Vegas (and Broadway) Jersey Boys fame is joining Christian, Daniel and Bobby on tour coming soon to a city near you!

Category: Michael Longoria

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The Midtown Men Return to B.B. King’s in NYC

Catherine • December 10, 2016 • Comments (0)

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!

The Midtown Men's Christian Hoff, Daniel, Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Michael Longoria pose outside of BB King's in NYC, where they will perform their amazing show on January 8, 2017

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.

Category: Concerts, The MEN, The MUSIC

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“Daniel Reichard’s Guide to Christmas” to include Special Guest

Catherine • December 10, 2016 • Comments (0)

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.

photo credit: David Gordon

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. *****

Category: Concerts, Daniel Reichard, Media

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Happy Birthday, Michael!

Heather • October 15, 2016 • Comments (3)


The Midtown Club would like to wish the happiest of birthdays to that adorable tenor of ours, Michael Longoria!

2016 has been a smashing year for you so far and we can’t wait to see what the future holds! We love you and are behind you all the way. Have a wonderful day celebrating YOU!

 

Love, The Midtown Club

Category: Michael Longoria

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Michael Longoria on Sirius Radio

Heather • September 9, 2016 • Comments (0)

Midtown Men fans, check out this awesome opportunity to hear an interview with Michael on Sirius Radio TOMORROW, Sept. 10! He will talk about his new solo CD, BROADWAY BRICK BY BRICK, and his upcoming encore performance at Joe’s Pub in NYC.

Tune in tomorrow!

 

 

 

SiriusXM On Broadway, channel 72

“Broadway Names with Julie James”

Sat, Sept 10: 8pm ET/5pm PT

with encores Sun 12p ET/9a PT, Wed 7a and Thur 9p ET/6 PT

 

If you’re anywhere near the NYC metro area, come join us at Joe’s Pub on September 18 at 7:00pm to hear Michael’s amazing voice in the beautiful and intimate setting at Joe’s Pub. We’ve all heard Michael bring 60′s music to life but I’m telling you, these Broadway tunes showcase his range and emotions like you can’t believe. Don’t take my word for it! See you there!

Get your tickets HERE

 

 

Category: Michael Longoria

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Michael Longoria: Encore performance at Joe’s Pub

Heather • August 28, 2016 • Comments (0)

When: September 18, 2016, 7:00pm

Where: Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette, New York, NY

What: Michael Longoria’s solo concert, Broadway Brick By Brick

From Joe’s Pub: Back by popular demand! Michael Longoria returns after his Joe’s Pub debut with a concert celebrating his solo Broadway album, “BROADWAY BRICK BY BRICK”. The album features twelve Broadway classics including selections from The Wiz, West Side Story, The Sound Of Music, Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line, Sunset Boulevard, Mamma Mia, Song And Dance, Company, The Wizard of Oz, and Pippin. Michael will perform the album in its entirety and share the stories behind the songs that inspired a child Mariachi singer to dream big and, at the age of seventeen, set out for a new life on the stages of New York City.

Michael’s May 2016 debut at Joe’s Pub was a special experience that included many long-time TMM fans and friends in the audience. If you live in or around NYC, don’t miss this opportunity to get to know Michael better as a performing artist, and as a person. The music will come to life even more after you hear the stories behind the songs he chose, and don’t we all love an opportunity to hear more from one of our Men?

Click to order tickets.

Click to order the CD.

See you there!


Category: Michael Longoria, Uncategorized

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Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Heather • June 20, 2016 • Comments (0)

The Midtown Club would like to wish Daniel a very happy birthday today.

 

Always kind, always generous, always sincere…is there anyone classier than Daniel Reichard?

We hope that today is a wonderful start to your best year yet. We can’t wait to see what you have in store!

The Midtown Club loves you and we are behind you all the way!

Category: Daniel Reichard

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Oh, What A Weekend!

Heather • May 25, 2016 • Comments (0)

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.

 

 

 

 

Category: Concerts, The MEN, The MUSIC, Uncategorized

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