Category: Michael Longoria

Oh, What A Weekend! Part 1

• October 25, 2011 • Comments (3)
What a fantastic weekend I just spent with family, friends, and The Midtown Men!  The weather was gorgeous, and I couldn’t have picked a better backdrop than the beautiful Birmingham hills to catch up with my niece and my Atlanta girlfriends.  And I can’t think of a better reason to get together than a Midtown Men concert…or two! Two nights, two cities, two shows…so much to tell that I’m going to break it into three stories.  And I’ll begin at the beginning…

SOUND CHECK, BIRMINGHAM

It was wonderful to see Christian, Michael, Daniel and Bobby again.  My usual four month interval between shows had stretched to six, and I really needed a ‘fix’.  The Men were gracious enough to allow us to attend the sound check…blogging does have its privileges…and it didn’t take long to realize that we were in for a serious treat.

(Hover your mouse above to control speed of slide show.)

The sound check lasted about an hour, and through it all, it was quite apparent that the camaraderie we see between these guys during the show is the real thing.  And it is such fun to watch!  It is also apparent that The Midtown Men love what they are doing, and it definitely translates to their performance!

By the end of the hour, each one had, in his own time, come down and greeted us.  All had kind words, and they all thanked us for coming.  Sweet as ever, and true gentlemen for sure.
Stay tuned for the next installment…THE CONCERT, WRIGHT FINE ARTS CENTER.

Category: Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria, The MEN, The MUSIC

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Michael Longoria Interviewed By The Gloucester County Times

• October 14, 2011 • Comments (0)

Kristie Rearick of the Gloucester County Times recently spoke on the telephone with Michael Longoria of The Midtown Men.  Here are some excerpts from her article, “‘The Midtown Men’ to sing oldies in Vineland”, which was published October 14, 2011.

(this picture is not from the article)

“After Michael Longoria took over the role of Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys,” it occurred to him and his fellow castmates that they had a good thing going.

“We started getting asked to do private events and parties,” Longoria said.

The foursome knew the songs of The Four Seasons inside and out, but for their appearances, they wanted to sing other songs from that time period, too.

“We would learn a Temptations’ song or a Jackson 5 song,” he said in a phone interview. “And before we knew it, we had a show.”

…After leaving the musical, the guys went their separate ways. Longoria worked for Cirque du Soliel, and the other guys were in shows such as “Next to Normal” and “Candide.” But anytime they had a chance, they would perform as “The Midtown Men” singing hits from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The Papas and, of course, The Four Seasons…

…Longoria is not really a Jersey boy at all. Born and raised in Hollywood, Calif., the entertainer grew up singing alongside his mother, who was a singer in a band. He loved hanging out with his mom’s musician friends, learning the ropes, he said.

“My mom always says before I formed a sentence I was singing. There’s not a day I can remember that I didn’t sing,” Longoria said…

…For his show with “The Midtown Men” in Vineland, Longoria promised that audiences of any age will have a good time.

“Just the other day I saw a 9-year-old singing every lyric, dancing alongside his mom, and right next to her was his grandmom,” Longoria said. “This is definitely a show that speaks to every generation. It’s a really fun night.”

  

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“The Midtown Men” will perform at Cumberland County College’s Guaracini Performing Arts Center in Vineland, Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $50 and can be purchased at the theater’s box office (open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays.) Call the box office at 856-692-8499 for tickets or more information. To look at a seating chart visit, cccnj.edu/fpac. For more information about the group visit The Midtown Men’s website.

To read the article in it’s entirety, click here.

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

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The Midtown Men Enjoy Some Great Media Exposure

• September 30, 2011 • Comments (0)

Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard of THE MIDTOWN MEN were in KETK studio for a chat about the new CD and the show at the Cowan Performing Arts Center in Tyler, TX.

In anticipation of The Midtown Men’s Thursday night concert at The Heymann Center in Lafayette, LA, Christian Hoff chatted with KPEL’s “Mornings With Ken & Bernie”, and Steve Wiley of 99.9 KTDY radio spoke with Daniel Reichard and Michael Longoria.

Click here to visit KPEL’s website to listen to Christian’s interview.
Click here to visit KTDY’s website to listen to Daniel and Michael’s interview.

Category: Daniel Reichard, Media, Michael Longoria, The MEN, The MUSIC

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News From Northwest Arkansas….

• August 19, 2011 • Comments (0)

‘Jersey Boys’ Grow Up
Midtown Men hit the road with ’60s music and style

 by Becca Bacon Martin
What’s Up Editor, Assistant Features Editor
Northwest Arkansas Newspapers

from L to R: J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard (picture not part of original article)

 

We’re living the dream,” Christian Hoff says simply.  “We look at each other on stage and say, ‘Wow, this is real.’  We have to pinch ourselves.”

It’s not that Hoff wasn’t successful before he became one of the Midtown Men.  He was named “The Master of Mimicry” by Entertainment Weekly and has voiced more than 200 characters for audio books, surpassing the record of any other actor.  With musical colleagues — J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard — he spent three years on Broadway in “Jersey Boys,” winning a Tony Award and Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle award nominations.

“The journey to the Tony was one of great patience and fortitude, as my grandmother would say. Work as an actor is so much about the craft and the process, I didn’t see it coming,” he says.

But in Midtown Men, the four performers are “not portraying characters,” Hoff says. “This is us. We get to live out the very story that we played on Broadway — kids from across the tracks, rags to riches. That’s our story now.”

The idea of the Midtown Men was conceived backstage at “Jersey Boys,” where Hoff and his co-stars started singing music beyond the Four Seasons’ songs featured in the play.

“We put everything we had learned in preparing for ‘Jersey Boys’ and the sound we had developed doing eight shows a week into songs by the Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers, the Jackson Five, the Beatles,” Hoff says.

The quartet sang for Katie Couric’s 50th birthday party, Hoff says, but after their run in “Jersey Boys” ended, each went on to something else.   “After about a year, we were asked to perform together again, and it was as if no time had passed,” Hoff remembers.  “Our chemistry, our sound, was more evident to us with a little perspective.  And we decided it was time to start booking a tour.”

Performing as a musical group is something new for all four of the Midtown Men, Hoff says.  His first passion was acting.

“The moment I knew was the moment I stepped on a stage, playing Tom Sawyer,” he says.  He was 9, living in San Diego, Calif.  “I remember going out there and getting lost in the storytelling of it, just me and an empty theater.  Then, when you get a theater full of people and it comes alive, that’s when you get hooked.

“From then on, I stretched myself into new things — dancing, singing, voiceovers: I was the voice of Richie Rich in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons when I was younger.  You just throw yourself into stuff and see what you can’t do.”

Apparently Hoff hasn’t failed at anything yet — he’s also the father of five children ages 16 years to 4 weeks — but he’s still learning new things about touring.

“I didn’t expect the unique and unified response we get in each town we play,” he says.  “Whether it’s a small town in Montana or Chicago, there’s this buzz created by where we come from but also from the interest people have in this music.

“We’ve all heard these songs thousands of times, but how fresh they are and how fresh the response is, it’s amazing.

“Now that we are sort of ambassadors to the ’60s decade, we find it resonates with young people and old people alike,” he says.  “These are songs about something — social change, class issues, unrequited love — brought to life by young guys with new passion and perspective.

“This is everything we played out in ‘Jersey Boys’ come to life.”

FAQ
The Midtown Men
WHEN — 8 p.m. today and 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville
COST — $38-$54

Category: Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Media, Michael Longoria, The MEN, The MUSIC

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Random Q & A: Michael Longoria, Part I

• July 12, 2011 • Comments (0)

Q: Out of the whole set of songs that you do for The Midtown Men, what are your favorites to perform?…..

A:  Michael – I love it when we tell the audience that we’re going to do our version of Motown, and then we bust out with the moves of the Jackson 5. I just like that when we sing it, I feel like we’re kind of bringing Michael Jackson and all that sound back. And even though we don’t sound exactly like them, and we’re doing it our own way, it‘s beautiful because when Michael Jackson was a child, the entire nation identified with this kid and fell in love with this kid. And I grew up seeing his journey, so to kind of bring it back to that pure and innocent time in his life is so special for me, for us to do. As a group, I love that song.

And you know, I don’t’ know why I love this song so much, but I just love “Bye, Bye Baby”. But then you listen to the lyrics and it’s so shady and sad….he’s talking about this girl he can’t be with because he has somebody already … but I love singing it. It’s something about where it fits in all of our voices, and where it is in the show, it’s just a really cool song.

Category: Michael Longoria, Q & A

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Working My Way Back To You…

• May 29, 2011 • Comments (1)

“Let’s hang on to what we got
Don’t let go, girl, we got a lot
Got a lot of love between us
Hang on, hang on, hang on to what we got…” 

If you’ve seen The Midtown Men in concert, you may recognize those lyrics as the start of the show, the MEN singing  even before they appear on stage.  And the audience goes wild.   Then the men enter, and the song changes…

“Working my way back to you babe
With a burning love inside
Yeah I’m working my way back to you babe
With a happiness that died
I let it get away, paying every day…”

And the crowd goes even more wild.  Those in the audience who aren’t familiar with the MEN from their Jersey Boys days may not get the significance of those songs right away.  But those of us who fell in love with Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer from the first time we laid eyes on them… we know.  And the words excite us, because we understand them.  We understand that the time spent at the August Wilson Theatre meant as much to these MEN as it did to us.  They have said in interviews that they missed performing together, missed making that fabulous music, missed that special time.  And we, the fans, have missed it, too.  And we are so  thrilled that The Midtown Men were able to hang on, and are working their way back to us!

A little over the top, you say?  Perhaps.  But those are the feelings these men inspire in their fans … with a burning love inside … a burning love of their amazing talents, their dedication to their profession, their genuineness with their fans, their love of this infectious 60’s sound, and most of all, the obvious joy they get from performing together.  And they spread that joy so completely to their audiences night after night.

As the last notes of “Bye Bye Baby” are dying away, and the crowd is going wild, The Midtown Men newbies get it.  They get it, and they understand it.  They understand that now, they will be working their way back to see these MEN again and again.

Category: Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria, The MEN

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