Tag: Beach Boys
Kyforward.com, a website for all things Kentucky, is giving away a pair of “prime” tickets for this weekend’s Midtown Men show at the Lexington Opera House. Here’s the post from their “smart money” section:
Opera House Midtown Men production
A reminder that two prime seats, valued at $150, could be yours if you answer the contest question and email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8 a.m. Thursday, April 26. Winner announced that day.
The Midtown Men production features top hits from a Who’s Who of the ‘60s, including the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Temptations, Jackson 5 and the Four Seasons. It’s the last show in the historic Lexington Opera House’s Broadway series.
Lucky winner will answer this question:
The four Midtown Men performers were also featured performers in what other popular Broadway production?
While The Midtown Men are enjoying a short, much deserved break, I thought it might be a good time for a music quiz! Test your knowledge of 60′s music, the Four Seasons, AND The Midtown Men.
Please e-mail your answers to email@example.com. (Do not answer here, or you’ll spoil the fun for everyone.)
This Four Seasons song was #3 for the year 1962, and spent 16 weeks on the charts – five of them at #1.
“This kid could be the next (Michael) Bublé.” Who said this, and about which Midtown “Man”?
In 1966, the Beach Boys released what iconic album?
Four Seasons #1 hit ‘Sherry’ was originally titled ________________, in honor of __________________________.
What does M.G. stand for in “Booker T & The M.G.’s”?
In 2007, this Midtown “Man” did a hilarious rendition of a Biz Markie rap song. Name the “Man” and the song.
‘Marlena’ was the B-side to what Four Seasons hit?
Which girl band did Patti LaBelle sing with in the 1960’s?
This Midtown “Man” was up against Jim Dale for two honors. Name the “Man” and the two honors.
Who had hits in the 1960’s with ‘Jealousy’, ‘Halfway to Paradise’, and ‘Like I’ve Never Been Gone’?
Which Midtown “Man” can list Improv Olympic – Stand Up on his resumé?
Name the first Four Seasons single NOT composed by either Bob Gaudio or Bob Crewe.
Congratulations to Coleen Deems, who has won a pair of tickets to see The Midtown Men in Springfield, MA on March 2nd! We asked fans to share (in three different places) their favorite Midtown Men or 60s song. Coleen was the only one to CORRECTLY respond by sharing on all three sites listed – here on the CLUB site, The Midtown Men’s Facebook page AND Springfield CityStage & Symphony Hall’s Facebook page. Coleen shared that her favorite Midtown Men song is “Don’t Worry Baby”, adding that The Midtown Men “rock the Beach Boys songs.”
Fear not, Midtown Men and 60s music fans! We have another pair of tickets to give away. Just be sure and respond on all three sites. And if you’ve already responded, but missed a site, you’re still in the running. Just be sure and complete your assignment!
Here are the instructions:
1) Share as a comment to this post;
2) Click here to Like and share as a post to The Midtown Men’s Facebook page ;
3) Click here to Like and share as a post to the City Stage and Symphony Hall’s Facebook page.
Check out the concert calendar to see where they’ll visit next. And check out this fabulous write-up in today’s Leader-Post:
Midtown Men freshen up classics
Show adds new twists on old hits
By Barbara Woolsey, The Leader Post
For four Broadway actors, Jersey Boys was just the beginning.
And some beginning it was – the production is one of the biggest musicals of all time, winning multiple Tony awards and spawning over a thousand performances.
Now, a few former cast members are embarking on a new adventure. This time, not as Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, but as The Midtown Men.
“We started singing together outside of the show, just for fun in our dressing rooms, for private parties,” explained group member Christian Hoff. “After we left (Jersey Boys), we really missed singing with each other and the unique bond that we had in the music . and what it’s brought us is more than a concert act, but completely beyond anything that we did portraying the Four Seasons.”
Hoff along with Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Michael Longoria, sing music from the likes of the Beatles, Beach Boys, and of course, Franki Valli. The biggest challenge, said Hoff, is trying to fully capture the era in a 90-minute show.
The hits are classic, but done with a fresh take. It’s that approach that’s being applauded by not only those who grew up with the music, but the new generation.
“What we do on stage, it’s very Rat Pack meets Mad Men, ” explained Hoff, who portrayed Tommy DeVito in the musical. “Old school, off the cuff. You know, we even rip each other. We bring our hearts to the music.”
Now, The Midtown Men are touring North America …
“We have to pinch ourselves constantly,” said Hoff. “Here we are in front of thousands of people and they’re standing and cheering for us as individuals and as artists and singers, not as the characters we played in Jersey Boys. That’s a great surprise.”
Such an accomplishment hasn’t come easily.
“We’ve turned down Broadway, TV and film to try and do this,” explained Hoff. “There have been great sacrifices . but what we’ve said no to has been eclipsed by the success we’ve had.”
The Midtown Men recently recorded an album called Sixties Hits and plan to hit the studio again soon. The band is also collaborating with orchestras in Canada and the U.S., to add another dimension to its live performance.
“The tension that keeps us together is like that of brothers or teammates,” said Hoff. “But when it comes to the music of the 1960s, we know that we are stronger together. It’s being together that’s blowing us up.”
By Punch Shaw
Special to DFW.com
Posted 11:24pm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011
FORT WORTH – Broadway has been proudly wearing its rock ‘n’ roll shoes for several years now, with efforts ranging from a slew of jukebox musicals to Green Day’s ambitious American Idiot.
The Midtown Men, a quartet that emerged from one of those greatest-hits shows, Jersey Boys, came to Bass Hall on Wednesday night to deliver an extremely slick evening of early ’60s rock nostalgia.
With their dark suits, skinny red ties, tight harmonies and highly choreographed dance steps, the group looked a bit like a Kennedy-era version of N’Sync as they smoothly glided through a 90-minute set of early rock immortals from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (the band celebrated in Jersey Boys) and a long list of other greats from roughly 1960 through 1966.
The group — Michael Longoria, J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard and Christian Hoff — was at its best with midtempo pop numbers that feature strong harmonies, such as California Dreamin’ and all the tunes in a long Beach Boys medley that started with I Get Around and ended with Sloop John B. And of course the Four Seasons songs that the group sang on Broadway for years also went over well. But surprisingly, the best of that bunch was Candy Girl, which they did not perform in Jersey Boys.
Longoria, who had played Valli in the musical, was impressive while imitating a voice that cannot really be imitated. And in addition to doing more than justice to his Four Seasons numbers and those that do not require falsetto, he also did a brief (but hilarious) impersonation of the actor Joe Pesci. But Longoria was not the whole show. All four singers, who were backed by a seven-piece band, took leads at various times and passed their auditions…
…Overall, the show, played before a crowd of about 1,300, had plenty of energy and glowed with a love of its material. It was a well-crafted evening of nostalgia…
Midtown Men bring 1960s back
By Stacy Nick StacyNick@coloradoan.com
Christian Hoff may be California born and bred but to the rest of the world, he’ll always be a Jersey Boy.
“We knew right away that we were part of something very special and that these roles were larger than life,” said Hoff, who was one of the original four from the Broadway hit musical tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, “Jersey Boys.” “People just identify with each of us as these characters.”
Now Hoff is getting a bit of déjà vu from his new role with his “Jersey Boys” co-horts Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer as The Midtown Men.
“Now it’s like we’re doing what we pretended to do as Jersey Boys,” Hoff said. Rather than portraying a vocal foursome entertaining thousands of fans, the Midtown Men are a vocal foursome performing hits from the 1950s and ’60s. The group will bring its show to Lincoln Center Saturday as part of the venue’s grand re-opening celebration.
“Sometimes we really have to pinch ourselves,” said Hoff, who put his voice to work in cartoons and audio books (he holds the Guinness World Record for most voice characters in a single audio book with a whopping 241 for “Tell Me How You Love the Picture”), before hitting it big with “Jersey Boys.” “We knew we were on to something really special but we had no idea the rocket ride that it was going to be.”
Hoff began acting at the age of 8, performing with the San Diego Junior Theater. Later he got bit parts on television but it was on the stage where he really was making a name for himself. In 2005 he was cast as one of the original “Jersey Boys. ” The show quickly took off, earning numerous Tony Awards; meanwhile, on their off hours the Boys would practice singing other songs from the era. What started as just having some fun in the dressing rooms soon became a new career path.
The four were asked to perform at various events, including Katie Couric’s 50th birthday and the Yankees’ Joe Torre. After wrapping up more than 1,000 performances on Broadway run, they stepped down from their formal “Jersey Boys” roles and did several shows as “The Boys in Concert”; after legal action from the show’s creators, the “Boys” became “Men,” booking tours of their own and even recording a CD. “The Midtown Men: Sixties Hits” was released last month.
Choosing songs from such prolific musical eras wasn’t easy, Hoff said. Each of the Men had a hand in picking songs that fit their vocal stylings and would resonate with audiences.
“We didn’t set out to just be a tribute act or just bank on hits from the ’60s,” Hoff said. “We wanted to do something different; put our own spin on these timeless songs.
“We feel this is our music as much as the original artists because of that investment,” he added.
So how does a guy who wasn’t even born until 1968, find his voice there?
I started getting into ’60s music when I was in high school, said Hoff, who alternated the Beatles with Boston and Frankie Valli with Van Halen.
“My friends thought it was weird but that era really resonated with me,” he said. ”It had everything — from the British invasion to folk to psychedelic. There’s something so deep and diverse about this music, you can really live in it and it’s like a full-course meal.”
As for why audiences are responding so well to the era’s music now, Hoff said it’s a sound that just never really went away.
“These songs are as strong now as ever — they’re even better than any contemporary songs that we could find now,” he said. “Again, it’s that diversity. Whether you’re a clean cut “Mad Men” type or into the social change aspect … there’s something for everybody.”
The Midtown Men aim to celebrate all of that diversity. Their Rat Pack-styled shows include a mix of stories mixed with songs from Motown to the Beach Boys to the Beatles; right now the Men are even working on a segment of girl group songs, and while Hoff doesn’t want to divulge too much about the new set he said it will honor some great songs that the Men felt they could pull off “without putting on dresses.”
But who knows? The Midtown Women might just be the next big thing.
Former ‘Jersey Boys’ go all-American
Midtown Men bring ’60s music to Lincoln Center on cross-country tour
By Joyce Davis Special to the Reporter-Herald
Posted: 09/09/2011 04:03:08 PM MDT
It’s a sunny Saturday outside a local diner in Huntingdon, Tenn. Michael Longoria, J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff and Daniel Reichard have finished breakfast and are posing for photo-snapping fans, who will take in their musical tribute to the ’60s that night. It’s one of the group’s stops on their way to Fort Collins to celebrate the Lincoln Center’s grand opening Sept. 17.
In a phone interview, Longoria says the Midtown Men’s cross-country tour is defining. “We’re like the soundtrack of America; that’s what the journey means to us.”
The four definitely have bragging rights to their jump and jive all-American ’60s sound that includes top hits from The Beatles, Beach Boys and Temptations. Featured in the original Broadway cast of “The Jersey Boys,” the four brought life to the iconic story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for nearly 1,000 performances.
Following “Jersey Boys,” the four played benefits and private parties, honing a harmony of their own and blending their individual personalities. As the Midtown Men, they’re finishing up a 70-city national tour and celebrating the release of their first CD, “The Midtown Men: Sixties Hits.”
“It’s been great to sing outside the show,” says Longoria, who originated* the Frankie Valli role. “Now we’re able to sing our favorites from that rock era the way we want to. In ‘Jersey Boys’ I was playing Frankie, which is very different from the real Michael Longoria. Now, all the facade is taken away and stripped down to who I am as a performer. We’re all very different from the roles we played on Broadway. Now we’re off the cuff and having a lot of fun doing it our way.”
Longoria and Spencer credit their moms for their love of rock ‘n’ roll. “I’m thankful my mom played the oldies,” Longoria says. ”I think the music from the ’60s had it all. The melody made you jump and move around and the lyrics told a story that spoke to you about life and love.”
For Spencer, it brings memories of a young boy in Texas. ” My mom couldn’t afford a sitter, so she took me everywhere in the car and let me listen to anything I wanted on the radio. I always chose the classic station and to this day, I hear a certain song and I’m back in that yellow station wagon. I think the same thing happens when people hear us. These songs connect people all over the world.”
Longoria tells of performing recently in Arkansas. “We walk out on stage and the first person I see is a 9-year-old boy holding our CD, wearing a Midtown Men hat and singing every word from ‘Working My Way Back to You.’ That tells me the music still crosses all ages.”
The Midtown Men take the audience back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. “We’re exploring a repertoire of music that maintains the same energy that was there when the songs were written,” Longoria says. “We go out on that stage and we feel as timeless as the songs.”
Spencer is thrilled to explore the genre. “I love what Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young did. They were so eclectic and we try to be that way in our show. These were great bands exploring a new kind of music with no boundaries, no rules. They were free to re-invent and write music with their own personality and passion — all with a twist.
“We try to do that in our concerts. We do some Mamas and the Papas and a great Motown medley that brings the house down. That’s what it’s all about. We were blessed to work on Broadway, and now we’re blessed to have the opportunity to rejoin each other and do our own thing, our own way, on our own time.”
Longoria says his story is akin to living a real-life ’60s song. “I’m from California and at 17 I had a scholarship to NYU. I was scared to death, but I thought if I didn’t jump at the chance to make music my life then I never would,” he says. ”I was a young, delusional teen with dreams bigger than myself that eventually came true.”
The Midtown Men are delighted to kick off the Lincoln Center’s grand opening. “It will be an amazing thing to put on the first show there,” Longoria says.
Spencer says the music is upbeat and electrifying. “We have so much fun, I can tell you the Fort Collins audience will have smiles on their faces that go from east to west.”
* Michael Longoria actually originated the role of Joe Pesci, later moving into the role of Frankie Valli.
THE MIDTOWN MEN, Four Stars from the Original Cast of Jersey Boys, Release Long-Awaited Debut Album
New York, NY (PRWEB) August 25, 2011
While THE MIDTOWN MEN–Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer–have been thrilling concert audiences in over 70 cities across the U.S. and Canada, they have also been busy in the recording studio. The group’s eagerly-anticipated debut album, THE MIDTOWN MEN : SIXTIES HITS, featuring classic songs from the 1960s, is now available at THEMIDTOWNMEN.com.
Their musical journey began when they starred together in the Original Cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The four actors shared the stage for over a thousand performances and can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum-selling Original Cast Album. Michael Longoria, of the Midtown Men, recalls his time crooning with his future band mates, “We found our own unique sound and chemistry recreating the music of the Four Seasons for the Broadway stage and we continue to discover the magic of that truly amazing era in rock music.” About their debut album, the group’s J. Robert Spencer explains, “We wanted our listeners to experience the sound and electricity of our live show. So get ready!”
Charles Alexander, long-time senior editor for Time Magazine writes, “This new Fab Four became rock stars in their own right. THE MIDTOWN MEN put their own youthful spin on these ageless songs. They are helping the pop composers of the ’60s take their rightful place in the Great American Songbook. And how much do I love this album? It’s as good as popping Meet the Beatles on my turntable for the ﬁrst time!”
THE MIDTOWN MEN : SIXTIES HITS features iconic classics such as “Happy Together,” “California Dreamin’,” “Up on the Roof,” “Sherry” and more. The album’s release comes at the kickoff of the group’s 2011/2012 performing arts center national tour. Visit THEMIDTOWNMEN.com for tour information and to purchase their new CD.
‘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
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.”
Just doing some “California Dreamin” with The Midtown Men , who will be sharing their fabulous 60′s sound with a private group tomorrow night at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. Have a great time, guys, I know the audiences will!