Tag: 60’s music

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About THE MIDTOWN MEN

• December 28, 2012 • Comments (3)

This AWESOME, all-encompasing interview appeared on the CALL ME ADAM blog.  Everything you ever wanted to know about The Midtown Men…and then some!

1. Who or what inspired you to become performers?

J. Robert Spencer: Steve Martin and Johnny Carson were actually a big influence on me as far as comedians and as entertainers. I wanted to do what they were doing. Making people laugh and have a good time. Now I get to do that along with my other love, which is 60’s Rock And Roll.

Christian Hoff: I remember being kinda shy but having a great imagination and loved to pretend and loved music. I also loved being physical. I loved sports and riding my bike and running around and singing and dancing. When I got onstage for the first time and found that I could have all those things and be a storyteller too…I was hooked. I started pursuing every opportunity I could find to just do it. A reluctant but unwavering ham.

Michael Longoria: My mom sang in a band when I was growing up, so it started there watching those late night rehearsals. After that, Ritchie Valenz. The first song I ever sang for a public audience was “Oh Donna.”

Daniel Reichard: My first (and truest) idol that inspired me to do what I do (the way that I like to do it) was Steve Martin. I loved movies like The Jerk and Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Most especially, I would watch his appearances on Saturday Night Live, and his television specials. His work as a comic actor, especially in the 70s and 80s, was exceptional…He was dashing but the joke was always on him.

2. Who haven’t you worked with that you would like to?

J. Robert Spencer: I would love to do a play one day with Jeff Daniels.

Christian Hoff: Christopher Nolan as a director would be a great opportunity to couple a real life perspective with larger than life circumstances. Something I have always been drawn to as a person and an actor.

Michael Longoria: Stephen Sondheim…I’ve always been a huge fan of his work. Stephen, write me a song will ya???

Daniel Reichard: I love great directors…I’ve worked with a few–George C. Wolfe, Des McAnuff, among others. I would love to work with Susan Stroman and Graziella Danielle, among others.

3. You all starred in “Jersey Boys” together on Broadway, which I was fortunate enough to see. Looking back, what was the best part about starring together in this show?

J. Robert Spencer: Being able to say that we are a part of history by being one of the Original Stars, forevermore, in one of the biggest hits of all time!

Christian Hoff: The experience of having a character tailored to you was incomparable. Your essence and timing and inflection stamped forever in a script as brilliant as it is raw, like Marshall Brickman and Rick Elices. Having your performance shape a legendary production and then be recognized for your contribution, unforgettable and glorious. We all like to be liked and seek to be somehow indispensable in our lives and work. Now the molds they made with us are allowing other actors to explore themselves in our shoes, much like I did filling the shoes of the one and only Tommy DeVito.

Michael Longoria: Knowing that the four of us had each other at every moment. I never felt lost on the journey of the play cause the connection was so raw and real.

Daniel Reichard: Oh wow, there is so much to think about here. We were very lucky to grow together and discover both good and bad realities of show business in the center of this huge Broadway success. I did JERSEY BOYS for two years and three months, and it felt like we were the toast of the town the entire time. With that success came sacrifices and rewards, and we got to experience all of those things together.

3a. What made you want to continue on as The Midtown Men?

J. Robert Spencer: Being our own bosses, and running things our way!

Christian Hoff: A sublime addiction to the power of mixing dynamic personalities, sound and storytelling like we learned to do together led me back to the guys and our ability to do what we love most, entertain and share something great with each other and our audiences. The entertainers’ life, lived out to the fullest.

Michael Longoria: We continued getting requests to sing together and it felt good to keep the magic we created together in Jersey Boys going, especially with our debut album as The Midtown Men. We wanted to show what our sound could do on songs recorded by the other pop groups that sang in the same era as the group we portrayed on stage.

Daniel Reichard: Now it’s very similar with The Midtown Men; we are going on the rocket ride together all over again. We spend time away from our friends and family, we meet incredible fans, we do exciting shows, and we are STILL learning so much.

3b. How has your relationship strengthened over the years?

J. Robert Spencer: On Broadway you have separate dressing rooms to hide in IF you’re annoyed at one of your cast mates. When you’re side by side on the road as much as we are, you can’t hide and if you are having an issue with anyone on the team, you have to Man up, speak your mind, and try to do it as respectfully as sensitively as you can. Honesty is the only key to success and a stress free environment and we’ve all been really good at balancing that…and it’s made us stronger.

Christian Hoff: Our relationship has strengthened in love and commitment. It’s sort of like a family business whose success and sacrifice refines the bond and raises the stakes.

Michael Longoria: I think we know each other very well. We share hundreds of stages across America and every audience that come to see us sing leave knowing our friendship. That comes from being stuck on a 5 hr road trip to the next city!

Daniel Reichard: Our relationship strengthens every week…We thought we knew each other THEN, but boy do we know each other now. We have a brotherhood, and with all we have been through together, it is a sacred connection between us.

4. You’ve recently released your debut album as “The Midtown Men” called “Sixties Hits.” What excites you about this release?

J. Robert Spencer: That we did it our way all the way!

Christian Hoff: The music from our live show that made the album was distilled down through politics and passion. We wanted to capture the love and respect we have for one another and this incredible decade of music and give people a way to take the excitement and energy home with them.

Michael Longoria: That people get to hear us sing outside the box of being a character. In Jersey Boys I let Frankie Valli’s recordings and his video taped performances influence how I used my voice to portray his life and music…with the album I get to sing these songs how I would approach them. We get to reinvent them a little and spread it to groups like the Mamas and Papas.

Daniel Reichard: Well, this album really reflects our first year and a half on the road.  It is a time capsule for this period of our lives. We had just enough time to record some of the highlights of our show in the midst of a busy touring schedule. Most importantly, we funded, produced, distributed, and conceived this album ourselves. We love how we show what “The Midtown Men Sound” is…I always say, it’s great driving, treadmill, and making dinner music.

4b. What is it about this time in music that made you want to keep on singing it?

J. Robert Spencer: Because this era of music is universal and timeless.

Christian Hoff: No other decade of music has captured machismo and vulnerability like the Sixties did. It is dream to bring it to live every time we step up to the mic.

Michael Longoria: The men at that time really knew how to bare their souls on a song. I learn a lot from listening to those recordings, many of them done on a few takes.

Daniel Reichard: These songs truly speak to the romantic spirit of people, and we intend to energize and uplift people when we sing for them. The album is meant to reflect that intention.

5. What do you enjoy most about traveling the country on tour?

J. Robert Spencer: I love seeing America. I love meeting the people. I love playing these historic venues.

Christian Hoff: I enjoy the people.

Michael Longoria: Dominos Pizza!

Daniel Reichard: We have played big cities, small towns, and everything in between. It’s been fascinating to get a comprehensive tour of our country. We have played cities I would never have imagined visiting –Galveston, TX, Lafayette, LA, Cedar Rapids, IA and dozens and dozens of other cities and towns. I have loved gaining a broader perspective of the country. We are a little sheltered, a little “inside a bubble” in NYC, and it’s been refreshing. The fact that we get unanimous ovations at the end of our shows no matter where we are tells me are still in the game. We sign every autograph and take every picture after every show–It sometimes takes over an hour, but it is worth it. It is our way of thanking our audiences.

5a. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending your concerts?

J. Robert Spencer: A big smile.

Christian Hoff: A shared experience that is unforgettable and unique.

Michael Longoria: Joy, memories, and a soar throat!

Daniel Reichard: We are giving it our all, and our audiences give us their energy back.

6. This past summer you made your symphonic debut with the Houston Symphony. What did this occasion mean to you?

J. Robert Spencer: To originally start as 4 guys around a piano…to 4 guys with an 85 piece orchestra backing them?!? We were SO thrilled! Top of the world!

Christian Hoff: It was like wearing a new suit, with a vintage tie.

Michael Longoria: Huge accomplishment as performers, singers, entrepreneurs, and best friends.

Daniel Reichard: The Houston Symphony was PHENOMENAL. What a milestone for us. We were blown away by Jones Hall, and the 85 talented musicians that backed us onstage. It was surreal but it felt right. The response was exciting and sincere. We have symphony performances ahead of us in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Omaha.

7. You also made an appearance on Good Morning America this summer. What did you enjoy most about that?

J. Robert Spencer: Showing off The Midtown Men to millions of viewers! Also, the energy, excitement, and love for what we do and what we have accomplished as artists!

Christian Hoff: We reached 4.5 million new fans in an hour and had a blast just doing our thing.

Michael Longoria: Getting introduced to the nation as the Midtown Men.

Daniel Reichard: Again, Good Morning America was a milestone. It was great being on the Today Show when we were in JERSEY BOYS, but this felt so much more gratifying because the four of us, with our incredible team, got us to this occasion. We were on a ton that morning, and it was a great adventure.

8. What have you learned about yourselves from being performers?

J. Robert Spencer: That being a performer is where I am most comfortable.

Christian Hoff: Humility and pride are both necessary. You must be strong willed and teachable at the same time.

Michael Longoria: How to maintain the gift in the hardest of circumstances and the coldest and driest of climates. The show must always go on.

Daniel Reichard: You learn that our friendships are like our performances. You have to give effort and you have to learn to receive thanks. You have to be quiet and still sometimes, and other times you have to take the lead. You have to respect your audience and you have to respect your colleagues.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

J. Robert Spencer: Whiskey and beer never fear…beer and whiskey now that’s risky!

Christian Hoff: Be yourself.

Michael Longoria: Don’t push. And don’t tank up on air…thanks Joan Lader 😉

Daniel Reichard: See this opportunity through!

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be?

J. Robert Spencer: It would be wonderful to dream and visit with my great, great, great, great, grandfather and grandmother.

Christian Hoff: God.

Michael Longoria: My honey boo boo child.

Daniel Reichard: It would probably be Call Me, Adam 🙂

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off?

J. Robert Spencer: With my family.

Christian Hoff: Watching the kids play outside, my wife and I watching and sharing a drink and something good to eat.

Michael Longoria: Rosa Mexicano.

Daniel Reichard: I love walking my French Bulldog, Boscoe, through my neighborhood in downtown Manhattan, stopping into shops, and drinking iced lattes.

12. Favorite way to stay in shape?

J. Robert Spencer: Stretching on yoga ball.

Christian Hoff: Crossfit.

Michael Longoria: Not going to Rosa Mexicano 🙂

Daniel Reichard: You gotta mix it up. I love lifting weights, doing sprints on the treadmill or bike, and when I’m really strong, I swim laps.

13. Boxers or Briefs?

J. Robert Spencer: Hugo Boss Briefs!

Christian Hoff: Calvin Klein Boxer-Briefs.

Michael Longoria: It depends on how hot the party after the show is 😉

Daniel Reichard: Briefs. There’s no choice. That’s the way it needs to be.

14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

J. Robert Spencer: To FLY!

Christian Hoff: Healing Factor like Wolverine or Jesus.

Michael Longoria: Flying.

Daniel Reichard: To fly, because I’m getting so sick of sitting on planes.

Click here to visit the Call Me Adam website to read complete bios of The Men.

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

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“All Alone On Christmas” – So Much Joy and Goodness

• December 20, 2012 • Comments (0)

This fantastic review of “All Alone On Christmas” on the myfizzypop blog is so much fun – a MUST READ!  Thank you Paul!

11 days til Christmas: The Midtown Men ~ All Alone on Christmas
 

Posted by Paul on December 14, 2012

There is so much joy and goodness wrapped in today’s festive song choice that I’m positively percolating at the seasonal charm of it all!  There are 2 lots of background you need to be aware of – most importantly of course are The Midtown Men themselves. The four fellas who make up this sixties music loving group are original stars from the massive stage smash “Jersey Boys” – Christian, Michael, Daniel and J.Robert were busy earning accolades when the show first hit Broadway when they decided they loved what they were doing so much that they wanted it to continue. Lucky for us that meant keeping the whole gang together to continue their loving tribute to the sounds that shaped pop music today in the form of the Midtown Men. They have a sparkling album of music out already (see iTunes) delving into the catalogues of The Beach Boys, Mamas & Papas, The Turtles, the Four Seasons (of course) & many more. Their voices are utterly irresistable, the harmonies delicious and the delivery passionate, enthusiastic and vibrant. Plus! As their website proudly proclaims, they are all dressed rather nattily in suits from Hugo Boss so you know they are devastatingly debonair!

 

But what does this all have to do with Christmas I hear you ask (yes even you at the back. I have very good hearing, though crap eyesight!) Well, the blokes have only gone and recorded the amazing Stevie van Zandt penned All Alone On Christmas (which you may well remember featuring prominently – and sung by Darlene Love – in Home Alone 2 and Love, Actually). The original is a rousing, horn infused romp that pays tribute to both the Spector sound of the sixties as well as Darlene’s own Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). The joyous, uplifting instrumental takes the sting out of the lyrics which detail a couple no longer together & the sounds of the season making the split oh so much harder. Weep. The Midtown Men put their own definitive spin on the track with a jingle-bell soundtracked intro that puts out their emotive please that, of course, no one ought to be alone on Christmas. It then launches into a percussive, chime laden, horn saturated backing that acts as the perfect picture frame for their story telling – and oh boy, those voices bring the lyrics into vibrant, vivid focus. Their layered harmonies give the track a heavenly, sumptuous textured feel while individually they ably inject a real pathos, wistfulness yet sense of optimism into the proceedings. It’s these nuanced performances that are both powerful individually & together that make the track such a magnificent success. Their marriage of downbeat lyrics and upbeat instrumental ultimately inspire hope that wherever you are, whoever you are with, people will find a way to share the joy at Christmas. Gorgeous.

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J. Robert Spencer Talks About Becoming A ‘Midtown Man’

• November 24, 2012 • Comments (2)

While The Midtown Men are thrilling audiences in Brampton, Ontario, this weekend (2pm and 8pm today), the good people of Baton Rouge are anxiously awaiting their turn.  The Men will visit the River Center Theatre for one show only at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 26th.  Tickets are still available – click here for more information.

In anticipation of the show, John Wirt of the Baton Rouge Advocate, wrote a great article on The Midtown Men from J. Robert Spencer’s perspective.  The following are excerpts from that article. 

Broadway bond spawns vocal group

By John Wirt

Music writer

November 23, 2012

The Midtown Men l to r: J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard

The Jersey Boys became the Midtown Men.

Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer, original cast members in the Tony-winning Broadway hit, Jersey Boys, performed more than a thousand shows in the musical based upon the 1960s pop vocal group, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons…

…Following their three-and-a half-year run as the Jersey Boys, Hoff, Longoria and Reichard formed the Midtown Men. Spencer moved on to another Broadway hit, Next To Normal, a Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner.

Once Next To Normal had run its course for Spencer, he got a call from his fellow former Jersey Boys.

“They’d been on the road with this group, the Midtown Men,” Spencer recalled. “They said, ‘We need the fourth original guy. We need you.’

“The timing was right,” Spencer said. “I had done Next To Normal for two years. I thought, ‘There’s not much more I can get out of this show. Midtown Men is something I can do with my best friends, singing songs of the ’60s, songs I love.’ Before I knew it, we were on stage together…”

…“The Midtown Men do the Four Seasons, but we do all these other great songs, too, like the Mamas and the Papas and the Turtles,” Spencer said. “We listen to those classic albums over and over again. You really do start living them. You start understanding the meaning of the songs more, and what was going on in the world when the songs were written.”

Spencer, having portrayed Four Seasons bass singer Nick Massi in Jersey Boys, can exploit his broader vocal range as a Midtown Man.

“Nick sang the iconic riffs from those hits,” Spencer said. “In ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry,’ he sang, ‘Silly boy, silly girl.’ So no one who saw Jersey Boys knew how much I can sing because they only heard the Four Seasons songs.”

The Midtown Men released their album debut, Sixties Hits, in 2011. The original Jersey Boys cast album, released in 2005, sold more than a million copies.

“That’s pretty crazy, for a Broadway actor to have gold and platinum records on his wall,” Spencer said…

The Midtown Men began their 77-city 2012-13 tour in August in Asbury Park, N.J. The group also is excited about its Christmas single, “All Alone On Christmas.” Steven Van Zandt, a member of Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band, produced this new version of the song, which he originally wrote for the Home Alone 2 soundtrack.

Van Zandt’s wife, Maureen, who’d seen the opening night of Jersey Boys and later attended Midtown Men concerts, encouraged her husband to work with the Midtown Men.

“We’re proud of the song and we’re proud of our relationship with Stevie,” Spencer said. “And my wife, she’s the biggest critic in the world, she’s been like, ‘Bobby, I cannot stop listening to this Christmas song!’ And our kids have it memorized. In my opinion, it could rank up there as one of those Christmas songs that people listen to every year.”

 (Download your copy of “All Alone On Christmas” here.  100% of proceeds from all downloads in 2012 will go to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.)

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“Once Upon A Dream” for 60s Music Fans

• October 2, 2012 • Comments (0)

The Midtown Men with Gene Cornish, original Rascals guitarist and longtime friend and fan of the band.

Rascals to Reunite for Three Shows

By JAMES C. MCKINLEY JR., The New York Times

Steven Van Zandt has been trying to persuade his musical heroes the Rascals – the influential white soul group known for hits like “Good Lovin’ ” and “Groovin’ ” — to reunite since the early 1980s. But the four original members, who started the band as the Young Rascals in New Jersey in 1965, agreed to perform together only once since – at a private benefit concert in 2010.

Now Mr. Van Zandt, the actor, producer and longtime guitarist with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, has persuaded the Rascals to do a set of shows that will not only be the first concerts the quartet has performed together since the early ’70s, but will also tell the group’s history through archival footage, narration and dramatic film segments.

“It’s a hybrid of a live concert and a Broadway show, through a mixed-media presentation of a theatrical event,” said Mr. Van Zandt, who is producing the shows. “The four original guys will be performing, as they would in a regular concert, with a couple other elements mixed in – their own narration of their story, the history of the Rascals, done on these big screens, and then segments of actors playing them at critical points in their career.”

The show will run for three nights, from Dec. 13 through 15, at the newly reopened Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y. Mr. Van Zandt has started a fund-raising campaign on the Kickstarter Web site to help underwrite the production, although he intends to finance it himself even if no donations are raised.

Gene Cornish, the Rascals’ guitarist, said the foursome had resisted reuniting for decades, despite several lucrative offers. (Three members did a brief tour in 1988.) But Mr. Cornish said they changed their minds after jamming at the 2010 Kristen Ann Carr Fund performance in New York City to raise money to fight cancer. “It was a really an ‘aha moment,’ ” Mr. Cornish, who is 68, said. “We realized how much we missed playing together.”

Mr. Cornish said the band agreed at that point to play another group of concerts if Mr. Van Zandt, who arranged the benefit, could come up with a show concept that would be more meaningful that a simple reunion to make money. He said he and the other band members — the keyboardist and singer Felix Cavaliere, the vocalist Eddie Brigati and the drummer Dino Danelli – were bowled over by the script Mr. Van Zandt wrote for them. “I was just overwhelmed to read our legacy on printed paper,” Mr. Cornish said.

*********************************

Gene Cornish, on The Midtown Men (not from the original article):

“Their show brings back memories of the great soundtrack of my youth.

Singing along with them made me feel like a teenager again.”

 *********************************

The Rascals, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, were one of the most popular blue-eyed soul groups of the mid-1960s, emerging from the post-Twist bar scene in New York and New Jersey.

After they topped the Billboard singles chrt with a cover of the R&B song “Good Lovin’ ” in 1966, they had a string of Top 20 hits in the late 1960s, among them “Groovin’ ” in 1967 and “A Beautiful Morning” in 1968. They also wrote the civil rights anthem “People Got to Be Free” after the 1968 assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

By the time the group broke up in the early 1970s, the Rascals had earned a reputation as a principled band on civil rights issues. The band always demanded that a black act appear on the bill with them at their concerts, a stance that cost them some dates in the South.

The show, titled “Once Upon a Dream,” will feature lighting and visual elements designed by Marc Brickman, a veteran who most recently did Roger Waters’s “Wall” tour. Tickets go on sale on Sept. 28.

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The Midtown Men … Eclectic, Retro and Dapper

• September 20, 2012 • Comments (0)

‘The Midtown Men’ bring retro sound, style to Rudder Auditorium

By ROB CLARK
theeagle.com / Bryan-College Station, Texas

The core of the original Jersey Boys musical has branched out from the Broadway smash. The Midtown Men puts the performers in a concert setting and adds to their ’60s-era repertoire.

The Midtown Men brings the music and dapper style of the 1960s to the stage, performing hits from The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons while decked out in dark suits and skinny ties.

 

The four performers — J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard — shared the Jersey Boys stage on Broadway for more than 1,000 shows, telling the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The musical won the 2006 Tony Award for best musical, and the cast recording album won a Grammy.

Along the way, the quartet found interest from corporate and private events, separate from the Broadway stage.

“When we were done doing our three-and-a-half years on Broadway, we continued getting asked to do events,” Spencer says by phone from the group’s van, on the way to a recent Pennsylvania gig. “We just thought there’s a market for this. People know who we are, they know the relevance of who we are and what we originated on Broadway. … It was supposed to be a side gig, and it’s just blossomed organically into this very successful business.

That comes in the form of The Midtown Men, which MSC OPAS presents Thursday and Friday at Rudder Auditorium. It’s not a musical with a storyline, but a concert that features the quartet along with a seven-piece band. The show includes classic songs from the ’60s from such artists as Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys and The Mamas & the Papas. Spencer describes their take on The Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love as a “really cool, very horns-y, Vegas kind of arrangement.”

The singers will be decked out in dapper suits provided by sponsor Hugo Boss, which Spencer says adds to the nostalgic appeal.

“You add that flair to what we grew up being inspired by, not just the music but the presence of the 1960s, the entertainers of that era: Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin. Add that with dressing up in great-looking suits, singing the songs of the ’60s, it really combines an eclectic grouping of what and how we perceive the evening to be for these baby boomers. And for their children that they’re bringing to the shows, and their children’s children.”

For a taste, go to themidtownmen.com to see the group’s video for its cover of The Turtles’ Happy Together. It lands between the Rat Pack sensibility and The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night silliness, with retro flavor of the era: dark suits, skinny ties, cocktails in hand, even a stickball street scene. Spencer says that vibe continues through The Midtown Men show.

“It’s the feel-good mentality,” Spencer says. “For that bit of time, you’re taken away and having a little bit of freedom from your day, whatever your day consisted of. … [The audience] is taking away really nice imagery of us onstage, and that combined with our love for each other and our love for what we do is very much resonant to how it was back in the ’60s with those iconic stars. They were having a great time as well.”

Details: MSC OPAS presents The Midtown Men, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Rudder Auditorium. $29-$78. 845-1234. opas.tamu.edu.

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NEXT STOP: Houston, TX

• August 30, 2012 • Comments (0)

The Midtown Men are in Houston, Texas for the Labor Day weekend, mixing their awesome sixties sound with The Houston Symphony.  If you are in town to see them, there is no shortage of things to do and places to visit.  After all, Houston is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston also has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theatre District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts. 

Houston Skyline

I wanted to get an “insider’s” take on hot spots in Houston, so I asked my 26 year old niece, Lindsay (who lived and worked downtown for a couple of years) to name a few places to eat and visit.  Off the top of her head, she rattled off many great ideas:

Museum of Fine Arts

For eating and drinking, and I quote:  “An amazing grocery/eatery – Central Market;  Little Bigs for sliders; coffee at Black Hole; nice Mexican brunch at  Tilas; super chill coffee and late night eating/drinking at Brasil; fancy bar with fancy drinks – Anvil; beer garden – Ginger Man; your Greek fix at Niko Nikos  and Barnabys; Crescent City beignets  are great; and a big fat kolache at the Kolache Factory …What was the question again?”

Discovery Green Park

Places to visit:  Memorial Park , The Galleria , The Museum of Fine Arts, Discovery Green  and Saint Arnolds Brewery .

It’s too bad she didn’t get out much while she was there!

Enjoy!

Category: Next Stop

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OH WHAT A WEEKEND for The Midtown Men

• August 21, 2012 • Comments (0)

The Midtown Men officially kicked off their 2012-2013 concert tour at the Paramount Theatre in legendary Asbury Park, NJ on Saturday night, August 18. And from the reaction of first-timer Matt Philbin, who won tickets from The Midtown Club, the show was a huge success: “The Paramount Theatre was packed and people were dancing in the aisles. If there’s a concert coming to your town, don’t miss out!”

Greetings from Asbury Park

Saturday night’s show was the climax of a few very exciting days for The Men, beginning on Thursday morning with a hugely successful appearance on Good Morning America.  Their Facebook page was ablaze with comments from across the country by people who were blown away by their performance. It was such fun to read the reactions of “new” fans experiencing The Men (and their entire band) for the first time.

(The Midtown Men performing California Dreamin’ -which was not their featured song- on GMA)

But the fun didn’t stop there. On Friday morning, Christian, Daniel, Michael and Bobby visited the set of Good Day New York (view clip below), where, although the medley they performed was the same as GMA, the vibe was quite different. As expected, The Men were clad – very sharply – in amazing HUGO BOSS suits, which did not go unnoticed by the anchors!  And without the distraction of a live audience, you were able to focus more on these four handsome men and their amazing harmonies. Another home-run performance.

How could it possibly get any better than two stellar performances? I don’t know how they do it, but their third appearance in two days was, to me, the best of all. On Friday afternoon, NY Live welcomed The Midtown Men into the studio for a terrific interview. It was fun to hear all four men chatting comfortably with the three hosts, and Bobby Spencer was his crazy, funny self and kept the ladies highly entertained. Add to this yet another fabulous suit and an amazing a capella rendition of “Dawn”, and you have an unforgettable Midtown Men experience.

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NEXT STOP: The NY Times … AND … Good Morning America!!

• August 11, 2012 • Comments (8)

The Midtown Men are on a roll! Not only will they “officially” begin their 2012-2013 concert tour in legendary Asbury Park on Saturday, August 18th, but the tour will be kicked off in great style with a full page spread in this Sunday’s edition of the NY Times, followed by an appearance on Good Morning America on Thursday!

Those of us who have been following Christian, Bobby, Daniel and Michael since the beginning knew that it was just a matter of time before they started making national headlines. We’ve had many discussions on the importance of a “morning show” appearance. And I for one am thrilled that so many will now have the opportunity to enjoy what we have been enjoying for years – not only the fabulous sound these four talented gentlemen bring to the best music of the sixties, but the humble, kind and generous men that they are.

Congratulations, MEN…you deserve every bit of the spotlight, and I know you will enjoy every minute of it!

Stay tuned for information on more media coverage of The Midtown Men in the coming week …  (teaser…AP video interview, among others …)

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Answers to Patriotic 60s Quiz

• July 8, 2012 • Comments (0)

In honor of the Birthday of our Country, The Midtown Club offered this “patriotic” take on a 60s music quiz!

Congratulations to our winners – Sally B., Sharon W., Tricia B., Debra S., Kim C. and Carol T.!  They were all able to fill in the correct lyrics (see below) to these patriotic songs from the 1960s.

 

This song was the #1 hit in the U.S. for five weeks in 1966 and sold over nine million records:

100 men will test today,
but only three
 win THE GREEN BERET

 

 

This 1963 single written by Leiber & Stoller peaked at #25:

ONLY IN AMERICA
Can a kid without a cent
Get a break and maybe grow up to be President

 

 

This folk rock song, released in late 1968, was a major American hit :

Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him walk up over the hill,
With ABRAHAM MARTIN AND JOHN

This patriotic song was written about two companions searching for the true meaning of America in the 1960s:

Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come
TO LOOK FOR AMERICA

 

 

This patriotic folk song was penned in 1940, but was brought back to life in the 1960s, when several folk singers recorded their own versions:

As I was walking a ribbon of highway
I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
THIS LAND WAS MADE FOR YOU AND ME

Category: Music Quiz

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The Midtown Men Thrill in Dubuque

• May 19, 2012 • Comments (1)
“It was a testament from these four musical ambassadors — the uplifting power of truly great music performed by truly great talent never fades.”
This is what Midtown Men fans love to hear:  a reporter who GETS IT, just as we do.  Oh What A Night it was in Dubuque!

Midtown Men croon at the Mississippi Moon

The foursome treats 2 sold-out audiences to a nostalgic trip back to the hits of the 1960s.

 BY MEGAN GLOSS, Telegraph Herald staff writer

It was a night of sweet nostalgia and a groove down memory lane as the soaring sounds of four-part harmony, ’60s-styled, filled every crevice of the Mississippi Moon Bar on Friday, sending chills through the crowd.

The Midtown Men Michael Longoria (from left), Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer perform one of their two concerts Friday night at the Diamond Jo Casino's Mississippi Moon Bar

The Midtown Men took the stage for two sold-out performances, featuring high-energy and more crooning hits than one might think possible to pack into an hour-and-a-half show.

The Midtown Men reunites the four original stars from Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” — Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer — who performed alongside one another for more than 1,000 shows on Broadway. The hit juke-box musical opened in 2005 and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

While the show told the story of The Four Seasons and heavily featured the music of the famed quartet, The Midtown Men’s performance — now in its second year of touring the country — served as a musical smorgasbord of ’60s vocal groups, with a sprinkle of casual humor, favorite memories from “Jersey Boys” and stories of their most recent stints on the road.

The audience was made up primarily of those who grew up with the music of the ’60s.

From the show’s opening medley, “Let’s Hang On,” “Working My Way Back to You” and “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” to soul-inspired Motown renditions and the sing-along encore, “Oh, What a Night,” the four singers effortlessly transitioned from tune to tune, letting their voices and tight harmonization bask in the warm glow of the limelight.

“During ‘Jersey Boys,’ we naturally fell in love with the greatest decade of music,” Spencer said, accompanied by bursts of cheers and applause. “Back stage, in the dressing room, we started working out the harmonies to our favorite groups from the ’60s until it gave birth to a show of our own. We’re having the time of our lives.”

The foursome really shined on The Four Seasons selections, “Dawn,” “Candy Girl,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry,” each featuring Longoria’s high soaring vocals, channeling Frankie Valli. His voice also was well-suited for a young Michael Jackson on the Jackson 5 hit, “I Want You Back.”

Patrons treated the group to a standing ovation and were singing in the aisles after the show, grinning from ear to ear.

It was a testament from these four musical ambassadors — the uplifting power of truly great music performed by truly great talent never fades.

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

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