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
As if Bobby wasn’t busy enough touring with the Midtown Men, he is always keeping busy with other theater projects. Longtime Jersey Boys and TMM friend Pam Singer was in the audience when Bobby took the stage in New York City this past weekend. She was kind enough to share her thoughts about the experience:
“Lest anyone think Bobby Spencer is simply the fantastic singer, dancer and Midtown Man one sees on stage, think again. Bobby is an amazing actor whose voice, expression, demeanor and body language truly make a character come alive. Case in point: ‘Breaking The Shakespeare Code’, a 2 person character study that Bobby and Erikka Walsh brought to life in an intimate reading this week. Those of us fortunate enough to be there witnessed a thrilling 80 minutes of cascading emotions and crackling chemistry. There’s a reason this man is a Tony nominated Broadway actor! He’s got talent to burn. A lovely reception followed the reading, and as always, it was great to chat with Bobby. Look forward to seeing him and the other Men again soon.”
Doreen and Frank Capasso were also in the audience and added these thoughts: “The play itself was brilliantly written; it leaps through time without leaving anything out. Bobby really puts his heart and soul into everything he does; we all see it when he performs with the Midtown Men but the outside projects he chooses really showcase a different side of his talent. His acting was out of this world!”
Congratulations Bobby! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
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!
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
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!
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!”
This past Thursday, Michael Longoria was joined onstage by a few dozen NYC and Broadway talents to present a concert benefitting New Alternatives, an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth in New York. Michael and his very funny co-host, Ashley Austin Morris (The Electric Company) had an easy chemistry and kept the show moving, telling jokes and introducing each singer.
It was an absolutely electric evening, with each performer delivering heartfelt performances. The atmosphere was relaxed and intimate, with a vibe of friendship, love and support.
Michael opened the show with a really beautiful acappella version of “Imagine” by the Beatles. It set the perfect tone for an evening devoted to the homeless youth of New Alternatives. He then introduced Ashley, who got the audience laughing and ready to have a good time.
As advertised, the vocalists were talented beyond belief. With each performer, it seemed, the audience’s collective jaw dropped even lower. Songs were eclectic, from many genres, including pop, jazz, rock, and Broadway. There were even a few singer/songwriters who performed original work. I really enjoyed being introduced to some new artists that I hadn’t heard before.
As the evening went on, instead of waning, the energy actually increased. The final few performers were very well known to the audience, including Diana DeGarmo and Constantine Maroulis of American Idol fame, as well as Felicia Finley (Broadway) and Christina Bianco (Impressionist, Off-Broadway). We were all waiting for the “Broadway Diva” who would be making a special, unadvertised appearance at the concert. When Tony Award winner Alice Ripley (Sideshow, Next to Normal) took the stage, the cheers were deafening. She sang a song from Next to Normal (“I Miss the Mountains”) and then paused to speak a bit about the way the Broadway community has responded to the recent act of violence in Orlando against the LGBT community. As I’m sure many of you know, Broadway for Orlando released an All-Star charity single benefitting the LGBT Center of Central Florida. With special permission from the song’s creators, Alice sang a solo version of that song for us, and brought the house down.
Although many of us may have initially chosen to attend the concert for a variety of reasons, whether to support Michael, or hear some great music, the real reason we were there was always at the forefront. Coming together in solidarity to benefit those that the larger society may cast aside – the LGBT community in general, and the homeless LGBT youth of NYC in particular – was a powerful part of the evening. Thanks to Michael and his whole team for putting on a very fun and memorable event.
Fresh off the debut of his solo album, Michael is hosting a very special concert on June 23 to benefit homeless LGBT youth of New York City. New Alternatives is an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth become self-sufficient and transition out of the shelter system and into stable adult lives. The center — which provides services including case management, education, life-skills training, community-building recreational opportunities for self-expression and support services for HIV-positive youth — will be losing its donated space after August, and Longoria is hoping the benefit will raise money as well as awareness to keep the program afloat.
Michael is also quoted as saying, ““What happened in Orlando is just a reminder that no matter how much love we have, other sources of evil are always going to resist, so let’s find a way to get serious in a positive way that shows our support for each other and our love for each other in public”
In addition to Michael and his co-host, Ashley Austin Morris, featured performers and guests include: Constantine Maroulis, Diana DeGarmo, Daniel Reichard, Marty Thomas, Christina Bianco, Tori Scott, Ryan Raftery, Willito Rivera, Matthew Gagnon, Felicia Finley, Alexa Green, Ashanti J’aria, Danny Longoria, Tim Young, Jennifer Malenke, Michelle Dowdy, Cameron Mitchell Bell, Jennifer Bishop, Matthew Roscoe, Jenna Miller, Kristina Nicole Miller, Marissa Pontecorvo and Andrea Nardello.
Raffle items include:
Tickets to The Color Purple (Broadway)
Broadway Records Album Package
Bottle of Pinot by Tituss autographed by Tituss Burgess
Tickets to Fiddler on the Rood (Broadway)
Tickets to Kinky Boots (Broadway)
Tickets to Finding Neverland (Broadway)
Tickets to Himself and Nora (Off-Broadway)
Tickets to Trip of Love (Off-Broadway)
Tickets to Feinstein’s/54 Below
697 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Thursday June 23rd
$10 suggested donation