Tag: 60′s music
“The spectrum of the Midtown Men’s audience is vast. It is one of the many reasons Flint welcomed them warmly last time they were in town, and then kept asking for an encore visit.”
Oh, What A Night!
Midtown Men Arrive at Whiting
By Carrie RaCosta, Grand Blanc View
The Midtown Men are four successful male Broadway vocalists who have created, independent of any record label a phenomenal musical sensation with their fusion of pure band components paired with the elegance of theater stage productions.
They sing the songs of the sixties with plenty of numbers from The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Mamas and the Papas, and The Beatles with purity, and sans the suggestion of mimicry.
They tour endlessly, and they sell out theaters nationwide. They are becoming a household name over the past several years appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, and a hot seller on iTunes with their self-titled album.
Their style, song selection, improvisational banter between songs, audience interaction, and pure respect for the musical style that never becomes anything less than timeless, has the public running to the ticket lines from coast to coast.
It has men grabbing their wives and begging them to attend the theater.
“The music of the 60s was so authentic. It, unlike music now which is imagebased, for the most part, was experience based and incredibly sincere. These guys that were singing these songs were basically opening a vein to the girls they were singing to. It still intoxicates people, and we have such a passion for this music,” said Daniel Reichard, one of the four Midtown Men.
(The preceding is an excerpt from the article. To read article in its entirety, please click here.)
“Hot Fun In The Summertime” – Sly and the Family Stone – 1969
(#6 from the Summer Fun Quiz)
Category: Music Quiz
“The concert at Harrah’s Resort was so incredibly phenomenal…”
The Midtown Men rock it out 1960s style at Harrah’s Resort
BY: CARLA IVES, examiner.com
If you’ve seen the original cast of “Jersey Boys” on Broadway, you’ve already seen Michael Longoria, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer, now known as The Midtown Men. Recently, I had the pleasure of being in the fourth row, center stage as a guest of Harrah’s Resort. The Midtown Men had that crowd of baby boomers out of their seats and dancing in the aisles with their expert renditions of some of the greatest songs of the 1960s.
“Jersey Boys” told the story of the rise of the group The Four Seasons. There were quite a few numbers from The Four Seasons in the show, but that was far from all of it. The guys told the audience that during the run of “Jersey Boys,” they found they enjoyed the music of the 60s so much that they started getting together and working out harmonies and arrangements for other 60s’ songs. Those impromptu sessions led to one of the highest energy and greatest performances you’ll ever see on a stage.
The music flowed with great stories in between and lots of fun up on that stage. Except for one very quick break, they never stopped. The hits just kept on comin’ with everything from The Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On,” “Dawn” and “Candy Girl” to “My Girl,” originally sung by The Temptations and “Time of the Season,” originally sung by The Zombies.
I had spoken to J. Robert Spencer about a week before the performance and just happened to meet all the guys in Bill’s Bar & Burger before the show. You couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of young men if you tried. They were fun, chatty and you could tell they truly love their fans.After the show, their CD, “Sixties Hits,” was available for sale in the lobby. Sometimes at a concert, the CDs are pre-signed and hawked by someone from the entertainer’s organization, but not this time. When you got to the table, you met Michael, Christian, Daniel and Bobby, pen in hand, ready to personally sign your CD and/or have their picture taken with you.
So if you grew up with the music of the 1960s, as I did, or you just love it, you have to see The Midtown Men when they come to your town. I can’t recommend them highly enough. The concert at Harrah’s Resort was so incredibly phenomenal that I sincerely wish there were more than five stars available for this review. . . many more.
A new season for Midtown Men
Group that once portrayed Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito et al brings a more eclectic show to Costa Mesa.
By Rhea Mahbubani, dailypilot.com
The Midtown Men bicker all the way to the stage — as brothers might.
The singers could be arguing about which socks look best or which attorney to bring on board, and the next instant, they’re straightening ties or tossing towels to one another.
“No matter what, we huddle before every show and give thanks,” Christian Hoff said. “We encourage each other to go out there and have fun.”
The unlikely foursome came together almost by accident nearly 10 years ago — a number that they find hard to believe — as original members of the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys.”
As the Midtown Men, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Hoff, will take the spotlight at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. They will be accompanied by about 88 members of the Pacific Symphony.
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“Jersey Boys” turn into “Midtown Men”
By Josh Rhoten
“(The) Midtown Men” is the happy accident after “Jersey Boys.”
At least that is the simple way to explain things, Daniel Reichard says.
Reichard, along with Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and J. Robert Spencer were the four stars of the original cast of “Jersey Boys.” That is the hit Broadway musical which followed the formation of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The show was popular and with it the guys were asked to sing off stage at venues that included the White House and morning and late-night TV shows.
With that experience, and a growing bond of friendship, Reichard said the foursome decided to put together their own show with their own spin.
“We had all done other work by this point, but we decided to get back together and make our own show around other songs from the ’60s that we had been practicing and working with between shows and performances,” he said.
That turned into “The Midtown Men.” It’s a one-of-a-kind musical revue that finds the group singing hits from Motown, Beatles and other ’60s groups with a band and brass section backing it.
With the singers dressed in Rat Pack suits, along with the cufflinks and other details that made gentlemen of the era stand out, every performance is a nostalgic, high-energy event.
Reichard said a large part of that is due to the music they sing.
“These songs are like comfort food,” he said. “People know them and have great memories for them. There is honesty to the words and a beauty in the hooks that now three generations of people have connected with.”
Reichard said the group does take some liberties with the music, but it is still close to the originals.
“We make them our own to some degree,” he said. “But our style is also very distinct. I like to think we put an old-fashioned vaudeville show on for people with these sets.”
In addition to the songs, the group spends time on stage talking about their experiences on Broadway and the road. Reichard calls it a “dish session” about backstage life.
The “Midtown Men” have done about 200 shows together on top of the thousands of performances of “Jersey Boys.” That means they are familiar with each other. Almost too familiar.
“We get on each others’ nerves sometimes, but it’s like we are brothers,” Reichard said. “I would actually say this has made our friendships stronger.”
Their performance on Feb. 8 in Cheyenne will be the first-ever stop in Wyoming. Reichard said they are looking forward to it.
“We have played a lot of places over these years, so it’s kind of exciting to get into uncharted territory again,” he said.
Click here to visit the Cheyenne Civic Center website for ticket information.
Midtown Men please audience at Scranton Cultural Center Friday
BY CAITLIN HEANEY (STAFF WRITER, THE TIMES-TRIBUNE.COM)Published: January 19, 2013
The temperatures outside the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple might have dipped below freezing on Friday night, but inside the stage was hotter than ever.
The Midtown Men – Michael Longoria, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer – had the crowd laughing and clapping throughout a concert that boasted such 1960s hits as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “My Girl” and “Daydream Believer.” And the quartet will stick around Scranton this weekend for four more shows, presented by Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania at the cultural center.
The four stars previously found success on the Broadway stage while originating roles in the hit musical “Jersey Boys,” based on the story and music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Their time together in that cast led to the Midtown Men’s formation, and they now tour the country singing some of the most beloved music of the 1960s.
And they’re a funny bunch, too, playing well off each other when chatting between songs. Joking with the audience and poking fun at one another, they had the crowd laughing with stories about their upbringing and experiences on Broadway. With their impeccable attire, bright smiles and wit, the group oozed a charm the audience ate up.
But the night was, of course, about the music, and the audience clapped along as the group ran through a set list that included music by the Temptations, the Beatles, the Jackson 5 and – of course – the Four Seasons. They didn’t seem to try for exact imitations of the originals, which served them well by allowing them to infuse their own style while still keeping alive the songs’ integrity.
They encouraged the audience to dance and sing along at times, too, and many people seemed more than happy to oblige. It made for an entertaining night all around, as the audience couldn’t help but absorb some of the fun the Midtown Men clearly seemed to have while performing.
With four Broadway vets – including a Tony award winner and a Tony nominee – on stage, the audience might have expected a show full of strong voices, slick dancing and a style only the best of the best can provide.
And the Midtown Men did not disappoint on any of those counts.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org, @cheaneyTT on Twitter If you go
What: The Midtown Men
When: today, 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, 1 and 6 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $39, $49 and $59 and are available at the box office, over the phone at 800-745-3000 or 342-7784 or online at www.ticket master.com.
‘Boys’ become men: Stars of Broadway’s ‘Jersey Boys’ make stop at Cultural Center as Midtown Men
BY CAITLIN HEANEY (STAFF WRITER), The Scranton Times-Tribune
Published: January 7, 2013
The magic started on the Broadway stage.
With each note Michael Longoria, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer hit, they enchanted audiences night after night in the musical phenomenon that was “Jersey Boys.”
They mastered the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in that Tony Award-winning show, but the foursome soon discovered that wasn’t the only music upon which they could cast their spell. And now, shedding their “Jersey” alter-egos and performing together as the group The Midtown Men, they sing some of the 1960s’ most beloved songs.
“We’re getting to see the nation through the music, and that’s … a gift,” Mr. Longoria said by phone recently from New York City, where he lives.
And now it is Scranton’s turn to experience the Midtown Men, as Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents five performances from Friday, Jan. 18, to Sunday, Jan. 20, at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple. Audiences will hear not only songs by bands like the Beach Boys, the Beatles and Motown groups but also, of course, some Four Seasons favorites.
“‘Jersey Boys’ songs kind of made us who we are,” Mr. Longoria said. “That music in the Four Seasons really bonded us in a way that is unimaginable.”
Like many performers, Mr. Longoria’s interest in music and theater began as a child. Growing up in Hollywood, Calif., with a mother who was a singer and a father and brother who were especially comedic, he said, “music was always around.”
“My mom tells me that I was singing before I could form sentences,” Mr. Longoria said. “There’s pictures of me literally in diapers on a piano bench poking away at piano keys. It was just always around.”
After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree in drama – and after his first professional gig, as lead singer in the show “Dance, Dance, Dance at the Jump Joint” at Hersheypark – Mr. Longoria made his Broadway debut in the hit musical “Hairspray” with the legendary Harvey Fierstein.
“It’s never as scary as the first night,” Mr. Longoria recalled. “It was an amazing experience. … I also got to experience that rocking vibe of that success. That was kind of a blessing.”
Mr. Longoria left “Hairspray” after two years, and his next appearance on the Broadway stage came in 2005 when he originated the role of Joey in “Jersey Boys,” that tells the story of the Four Seasons’ success. He eventually took over the role of Frankie Valli.
“It was very beneficial to have all that YouTube footage and movie clips of everything that they had ever done,” Mr. Longoria said, adding how he then could hear how the original Four Seasons spoke and observe their tics. “And then, of course, once you kind of get all of that saturated in your head, you stand up and let it influence you. You don’t necessarily … mimic it.”
The real Mr. Valli even became a mentor to him.
“He gave me some great advice about the business,” Mr. Longoria said. “He was always very open to that kind of communication.”
So the world in which the Four Seasons lived could influence him, Mr. Longoria would warm up for shows by singing along to the music of other 1960s groups backstage. His castmates started coming over and joining him in song, and, after they were asked to perform at journalist Katie Couric’s birthday party, Mr. Longoria said, the Midtown Men were born.
“(The party) gave us an excuse to actually rehearse a number, and before we knew it, we had a whole set list,” he said.
While the singers have had other jobs since their stints in “Jersey Boys” ended, they have spent the last few years touring the country as the Midtown Men and sharing their music with towns that don’t always get to welcome Broadway tours.
“I love hearing the reaction when we sing ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Sherry,’” Mr. Longoria said. “They don’t expect somebody literally being able to sing live in this crazy, high falsetto range.”
The Midtown Men have put out an album, released the single “All Alone on Christmas” this past holiday, appeared on numerous television shows and sang at December’s National Christmas Tree Lighting. Performing as the Midtown Men gives them a chance to show not the tough personalities they portrayed on stage in “Jersey Boys” but rather their true selves, Mr. Longoria pointed out.
“We’re like this new version of the Rat Pack,” he said. “We’re constantly jabbing at each other. We’re making jokes. We’re dancing our little tushes off. You get to know what we’re really like as people.”
What: Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents Midtown Men
When: Friday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 19, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 20, 1 and 6 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $39, $49 and $59 and are available at the box office, over the phone at 342-7784 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.