Daniel Reichard Lives To Make Audiences Laugh

• March 1, 2012 • Comments (0)

WEEKEND BEST BETS ‘Midtown Men’ travels well
By Bonnie J. Toomey, Correspondent
Posted: 03/01/2012 06:29:41 AM EST
sentinelandenterprise.com

WORCESTER — The Midtown Menis at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts tonight, reuniting the cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” — Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer.

The retro quartet brings the music of the ’60s to the stage with signature style and electrifying elegance.

When he’s not performing, Daniel Reichard chills out by dining at the best New York City restaurants, walking his French bulldog and listening to his vinyl records collection. He shares some thoughts on his early years, advice for the aspiring and on his smash hit, “The Midtown Men.”

Reichard grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, the second youngest of nine children.

“My house was a whirling dervish, with people rushing in and out all morning, day, and night,” he says.

The heightened action in his house had him working a little harder for attention than most kids and, in a brood of many siblings, who he says are all very funny, he had already begun to hone his craft at a young age.

“I truly feel comfortable in front of large groups because it’s what I grew up with. I used to get up and sing ‘King Tut’ and do TV commercials at family reunions,” says Reichard, who when asked his age, says with a smile that he was born at “nighttime.”

He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of fine arts degree and made his debut in New York City in “Forbidden Broadway: 20th Anniversary Celebration,” which catapulted him to roles like Keith Haring in “Radiant Baby,” Man in “The Thing About Men,” and Emmet in Jim Henson’s “Emmet Ott(er)’s Jugband Christmas.” Along with his many classic concert appearances nationwide, he is well known for his portrayal of Frankie in the 2009 film “Forever Plaid.”

“Audiences can expect my colleagues and I to be up onstage singing our hearts out and sweating our suits out,” he says. “We give every show all of our energy and enthusiasm. We are ourselves onstage, so our audiences get to see our true relationship with each other.”

Reichard points out that “The Midtown Men” is a business he built along with colleagues and friends Hoff, Longoria and Spencer.

“We have an incredible team. Together we have taken this idea from a group that occasionally sings together to a full-time, cross-continental lifestyle,” says Reichard, who has enjoyed sold-out engagements in places like New York City’s Joe’s Pub, Metropolitan Room, and Ars Nova.

“We have been all over. Some of my favorite cities on the road have included Austin, San Diego, Key West, Biloxi and, of course, our hometown, New York City,” he says. “You can read more tour information on our website, www.themidtownmen.com.”

What’s more impressive is that Reichard, Hoff, Spencer and Longoria have directed and choreographed the show themselves.

“It’s a lot of fun to put these numbers together. Everyone always has a good idea right when we need one,” he says.

Together since April 2010, the cast of “The Midtown Men,” has stuck to successful strategies for preparing for each performance, which include getting enough sleep, doing vocal exercises and drinking “tons of water,” Reichard says.

From the time he was a boy, he always wanted to be a performer.

“I said to my dad when I was a kid, ‘I don’t want to be a performer for the money and fortune. I want the fame.’ My dad always thought that was funny. I wanted to be a comic actor and many times over the past 12 years in New York City I’ve been able to be,” he says. “Otherwise, with ‘The Midtown Men,’ we all live to make our audiences laugh. I can’t complain.”

According to him, the cast just loves performing the Motown sequence in the show, which brings the house down.

“It always kills! I love singing my old ‘Jersey Boys’ tune ‘Cry for Me.” It doesn’t get old,” he says.

Reichard believes the takeaway for the audience comes as the group shares the best of the best from the 1960s songbook. The four young men put their blend on all of the great groups of the era as they tell their stories from their adventures together, revealing backstage dish and personal highlights.

Reichard shares some sage advice for aspiring performers.

“Get to know all of the decades of the American theater,” he says. “Learn the classics. Learn about contemporary writers. Arm yourself with knowledge and passion for the arts. Enjoy your life and develop your entire being and the work can follow.”

Commerce Bank sponsors “The Midtown Men,” tonight, 7:30; tickets $29 to $49, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 554 Main St., Worcester; go to www.thehanovertheatre.org or call 877-571-7469.

Category: Daniel Reichard, Media, The MEN

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