Tag: Jersey Boys
“It’s a full 1960s music experience.”
The Midtown Men set bring ‘Jersey Boys’ sound to SFSC
Marc Valero | Highlands Today Published: December 3, 2015
AVON PARK — The Midtown Men — the four original stars from Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” — will perform songs of the Four Seasons, the holiday season and the 1960s at South Florida State College this month.
Tickets are still available for the concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts.
After their three-season run on Broadway, The Midtown Men are together again wearing their Rat Pack-style suits and singing the sixties hits with a modern twist.
Daniel Reichard, who portrayed Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons, spoke to Highlands Today by phone on Tuesday about the “Jersey Boys” and The Midtown Men.
As Gaudio sang the tenor parts under Frankie Valli in the Four Seasons, Reichard sings the tenor part in The Midtown Men.
The original cast members of the “Jersey Boys” came from different backgrounds and didn’t know each other before the show’s initial run in La Jolla, Calif., Reichard said.
“We were just put together by chance,” he said. “We formed life-long bonds by doing the show together.”
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There were so many fantastic memories from the Nov 6th -8th JB Anniversary weekend! Here are some great photo shares from some who were there.
A huge Thank You goes out to Audrey Rockman, who organized a group of 60+ tickets for Friday night’s show. Audrey, you rock!
Lulu Thompson took a little bit of the party back to the room with her! (And no, she did not steal them, my hand to God!)
Thank you Peter and Jean Albini for sharing these great pictures!
Category: Fan Stories
November 8th was a banner day in Midtown Manhattan when Jersey Boys celebrated 10 years on Broadway – the 12th longest running show in Broadway history! And our Midtown Men were there – for the celebration, yes, but they were also there 10 years ago, when it was all still ahead of them…
Fans were thrilled to see them get the recognition and love they so deserve!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
What a thrill it was to run into these gentlemen in the lobby of the August Wilson before the show!
The energy and excitement from the stage permeated the theater and continued down the street to a star-studded party at the beautiful Novotel Hotel.
If you have any pictures or stories you would like to share about the JB weekend, please leave a comment here or email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huge Congratulations to all current and former cast members of this incredible show – most especially our Midtown Men, Christian, Daniel, J. Robert and Michael!!
Oh What A Night Indeed!
Congratulations to Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Michael Longoria as they prepare to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Jersey Boys on Broadway! JB joins an elite group of shows that made it 10 years on the Great White Way, including Phantom of the Opera, Chorus Line and Wicked! And we all know that if you can make it 10 years there, you can make it 10 years anywhere, right Midtown Men?
Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers and Fans will gather this weekend to pay tribute to this amazing show that gave birth to our beloved Midtown Men. Many of us “Midtown Clubbers” have a story from the early days, when it was all still ahead of them, and us. If you have a story, please share it here in comments, and if you have a picture to go with that story, email it to me at email@example.com and I will share it here on the Club site.
“If you can imagine the intensity and the passion in bringing to life one group’s story, and basically send it off on a trajectory of great success — as a matter of fact, of phenomenal success that continues — we’re doing the same thing for all of our favorite groups of the 1960s: the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Motown.”
Midtown Men share love of ’60s music
BY JOHN BERGER, Star Advertiser
Why would someone leave a Tony Award-winning featured role in a Tony Award-winning Broadway show? For Christian Hoff, who developed the role of Tommy DeVito in “Jersey Boys” and then received a Tony for his performance, the answer is simple. He found a new challenge that was even bigger: performing as one of the Midtown Men, who appear for two shows at the Hawaii Theatre this weekend.
Hoff opened as DeVito in 2005, playing the man he describes as “the wild card” in the Four Seasons. The Four Seasons — Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi — was one of the biggest American vocal groups of the 20th century. “Jersey Boys,” the jukebox musical treatment of their career, has played on Broadway for more than 3,500 performances and is still running.
The bigger challenge? Hoff and three other members of the original cast — Daniel Reichard (Gaudio), J. Robert Spencer (Massi) and Michael Longoria (who played Joe Pesci — yes, that Joe Pesci, later famed as the actor in “Home Alone,” who played a key role in bringing songwriter Gaudio and singer Valli together) — discovered they enjoyed singing together even when they weren’t working. They enjoyed it so much that after three years of job security with “Jersey Boys,” they took a flying leap of faith and left to become a vocal group specializing in the hits of the 1960s.
The quartet would eventually become known as the Midtown Men.
“None of us had really produced a show before like we’ve done with this and taken full responsibility for it. That was an opportunity that got our attention,” Hoff said recently, calling from “a hotel room with a view of the New York City skyline.”
“To be a part of something that we’ve created that has a life and longevity in and of its own is more entrepreneurial than anything we have experienced before.
“It’s a collective, it’s a group effort, and what I think is exciting about that is no matter how great we are as individuals, the whole is greater than its parts. It’s beautiful together.”
TO BE perfectly clear, this is not “Jersey Boys.” These are the Midtown Men — informed by the performers’ Broadway skills and love for ’60s music.
“We don’t do ‘Jersey Boys,’” Hoff said emphatically. “We haven’t been in ‘Jersey Boys’ since the end of 2008, so here we are, five years down the line, and we’re continuing to grow in our own right.”
He added, “Everything that we brought to life in ‘Jersey Boys’ on Broadway — the story, the music, the era of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — we now do the same thing for the entire decade of the ’60s. If you can imagine the intensity and the passion in bringing to life one group’s story, and basically send it off on a trajectory of great success — as a matter of fact, of phenomenal success that continues — we’re doing the same thing for all of our favorite groups of the 1960s: the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Motown.”
The quartet’s first album includes songs by Marvin Gaye, the Mamas & the Papas, the Turtles and the Zombies. A second album, soon to be released, includes a Rascals hit, “Groovin’,” with Gene Cornish, one of the original Rascals, sitting in on harmonica.
Hoff adds that while Frankie Valli’s high falsetto was the lead vocal on all almost all the Four Seasons’ hits, all four of the Midtown Men sing lead; their vocal parts are not locked in.
Longoria, who opened the production playing Joe Pesci but inherited the role of Valli, sometimes sings in a lower register. DeVito was the group’s bass vocalist, but Hoff sometimes takes the falsetto part.
Hoff and his partners initially performed as “The Boys in Concert,” but the relation between that title and “Jersey Boys” provoked a brief flurry of legal action from the creators of “Jersey Boys.”
“They were concerned that we were going to go do a production of ‘Jersey Boys’ lite,” Hoff said. “We weren’t doing that. The only connection was our wanting to let people know that we were from the original cast of ‘Jersey Boys.’”
Hoff and his guys were awarded the fair-use tag line and changed their group’s name to the Midtown Men.
HOFF SAID the experience of portraying his complicated “Jersey Boys” character helps inform his current performance.
In the Broadway show, DeVito gets in over his head, running up gambling debt and facing possible unpleasantness from a loan shark until someone higher up the organized-crime food chain intervenes. By this time, Valli’s marriage is over, and DeVito tries to seduce Valli’s girlfriend.
When DeVito left the group in 1970, Valli and Gaudio bought his rights to the Four Seasons’ material and use of the name.
Hoff says he contacted DeVito before rehearsals for “Jersey Boys” began.
“This was not what the producers of ‘Jersey Boys’ wanted me to do,” Hoff said. “They didn’t set this up; I did it on my own.
“I wrote him a note, and he called me on my honeymoon in 2004 and we had a conversation. My friendship (with DeVito) began then and continued not only through the inception of ‘Jersey Boys,’ but to this day.”
The conversation helped Hoff refine his acting.
“The character and the way I did it became stronger and stronger, bigger and bigger, to where it informed Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio’s relationship in a way that was undeniable.
“What started out a little bit of a wild-card character in the story became a hinge, if you will, for the dramatic part of the story. It was not only a great role, but a great opportunity for an actor to bring a role to life, and that’s what the Tony Award was about.”
When the time came to create the Midtown Men, Hoff’s experience came into play.
“The three of us — Bobby, Daniel and myself — we came with the show to Broadway,” he said. “We sat around the table with the writers and our director before there was even a script, and we began to identify and create a show based on not only the history of the Four Seasons, but our personalities. That’s something that’s very unique that I think has carried over now in the success of the Midtown Men.
“We’ve now found our own sound, and that’s the cool thing about this.”
THE MIDTOWN MEN»
Where: Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel St.»
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday»
Info: (808) 528-0506, hawaiitheatre.com
Jersey Boys’ Christian Hoff reveals the musical magic of The Midtown Men
By: Allen Foster, AXS Contributor, AXS.com
May 8, 2014
In their 4th year touring the country as The Midtown Men, Broadway’s original quartet from “Jersey Boys” (Tony® Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer) continues to revitalize the music of the 60s with their engaging live concerts. Besides performing with their own seven-piece band in select cities, these artists will be offering a symphonic interpretation of their show with such renown ensembles as The Philly POPS®. Christian Hoff recently spoke with AXS.com about the magic that is The Midtown Men.
AXS.com: It looks like “Jersey Boys” was just the beginning, you’re now enjoying an incredible career as The Midtown Men.
Christian: Yes, we are! We’re on our 4th season of traveling with our seven-piece band and performing a concert celebration of the 60s, similar to what we did with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Broadway. We’re bringing this music to life in the same fashion, but the important difference is, we’re no longer playing characters, this is us, we’re bringing this great decade of music to life with our own chemistry, our own stories and our own perspectives.
AXS.com: How did The Midtown Men come into existence?
Christian: After we left “Jersey Boys,” people started asking us, “Are you guys going to make a record with all the songs that we’ve heard you sing on other programs outside of ‘Jersey Boys?’” We also wanted to continue to put our stamp on all of that great music from the 60s, not just the music of The Four Seasons, so we decided to put a group together. It just started as a side gig, something fun to do. We all met in midtown Manhattan, home of Broadway, because that’s our roots. We didn’t forget where we came from. We had well over a million people from all over the country who came to see us in “Jersey Boys,” so we decided: let’s go to them this time, let’s take them something special that isn’t a Broadway show, but still has that Broadway pedigree as well as the roots and the legs of the 60s music! It turned out to be a great marriage. The Midtown Men has become a brand in and of itself.
AXS.com: What is the difference between The Midtown Men and an average 60s music cover band?
Christian: The hook is we’re singing the great songs of the 60s, and that is what gets people in the seats, but we’re bringing something more to it. We’re bringing a fresh take on this classic music. We’re bringing a life to it in a way that isn’t just nostalgia or a tribute. We understand the music and the roots in a way that I don’t think a cover band really can because we are also all actors and we love the dramaturgy of this, too! You need the live band, you need the orchestra, and you need these lyrics to come to life in a new way, right in front of your very eyes. That’s the beauty of live theater, live performance and, in this case, live music. I think that aspect is what brings people to their feet as much as hearing their favorite songs.
AXS.com: But how did you get such a firm grasp of the 60s? There seems to be more to your shows than just the music, there is an understanding.
Christian: When we went to Broadway, we spent probably about two weeks in what you might consider a condensed master’s program of the 60s. We studied not only the politics and socioeconomics, but also the music business, dance styles, instrumentation and just so many other things about that decade. When we created “Jersey Boys,” we needed to know not only what was going on in the music business and in politics around the country at that time, but we needed to understand the competition that The Four Seasons faced because that really shaped who they were, it helped define their sound.
AXS.com: All four of you guys are multitalented. How do you perceive yourselves? Would you consider yourselves actors or singers?
Christian: Some of us put ourselves as actors first and singers second while others of us put ourselves as singers first and actors second. However, when we come together on that stage, we are using every aspect of what we believe are our given talents. We our continually stretching our own perception of who we are as entertainers. If we have any expectations of ourselves, it is to be the best at all we can at every show. This live experience is about the camaraderie of four guys getting together against the odds to make some music.
Some of The Midtown Men’s fans and supporters include Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles, Steven Van Zandt (who produced The Midtown Men’s radio single last year), Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Tommy James, Gene Cornish of The Rascals, Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers and Paul Anka. You just never know who might be sitting next to you in the crowd at The Midtown Men’s live show.
Broadway’s Jersey Boys, The Midtown Men, to perform with The Philly POPS
by Allen Foster, Philadelphia Celebrity Examiner
May 12, 2014
Before The Midtown Men, Tony® Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer were the original stars of the Broadway phenomenon “Jersey Boys.” With over 1,000 performances on stage together, this dynamic foursome has since expanded their repertoire to cover not only Frankie Valli, but all the greats from the 60s, as well. In a rare, special engagement, The Midtown Men will be shedding their regular seven piece band in favor of the 60 piece orchestral backing of the renowned Philly POPS! Under the sublime direction of conductor Michael Krajewski, the two entertainment powerhouses will unite to bring you a one of a kind, truly unforgettable show called “Sixties Hits” on May 16, 17, and 18 at Verizon Hall in The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Examiner recently talked with Christian Hoff about The Midtown Men’s upcoming performances with The Philly POPS.
Examiner: When you come to The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, instead of your regular seven piece band, you are going to be playing with The Philly POPS! That’s pretty exciting!
Christian: It is! We are looking forward to it! This has been on the calendar for a long, long time. Philadelphia was just a real solid anchor early on when The Midtown Men were just beginning our venture into the symphonic world.
Examiner: Does this show contain The Midtown Men’s full repertoire? What can patrons expect?
Christian: What we decided to do with the symphonic shows was take our favorite songs from our set lists over the years and orchestrate them in symphonic fashion. The current show consists of about 60-70 minutes of our favorites.
Examiner: What kind of musical treats will be included in this show?
Christian: Well, when we were considering music for this show, we were really thinking about songs that we could orchestrate that would stretch some limits. For instance, from Ike and Tina Turner, we orchestrated “River Deep, Mountain High,” which was a Phil Spector song. It wasn’t necessarily a huge success for Tina Turner, but we loved the way that Phil orchestrated it with his Wall of Sound, so we said, “Why don’t we pay homage to that and do an actual wall of sound with an 85 piece orchestra?!” Another way we stretched the limits was when we did The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” — which is one of our favorite songs that we perform — we added horns. Rarely does a band do a Beatles’ arrangement with horns. We’ll also be doing songs from The Mamas & The Papas, The Turtles, The Association, and, of course, The Four Seasons. We do a Motown medley which is just really, really fun to hear, it’s a big, big orchestrated funky groove that is unique and wonderful!
Examiner: What is the difference between The Midtown Men and an average 60′s music cover band?
Christian: The hook is we’re singing the great songs of the 60s, and that is what gets people in the seats, but we’re bringing something more to it. We’re bringing a fresh take on this classic music. We’re bringing a life to it in a way that isn’t just nostalgia or a tribute. We understand the music and the roots in a way that I don’t think a cover band really can because we are also all actors and we love the dramaturgy of this, too! You need the live band, you need the orchestra, and you need these lyrics to come to life in a new way, right in front of your very eyes. The beauty of live theater, live performance, and, in this case, live music. I think that aspect is what brings people to their feet as much as hearing their favorite songs.
Examiner: Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Christian: When we first set out to do this orchestrated version of our show, we knew The Philly POPS would be a milestone in our career. Philadelphia is just such a great music town! Also, as artists, one of the guys, Michael Longoria, worked quite a bit in Philadelphia, and our horn section is comprised of all Philly horns! So, we’ve come full circle. To be able to perform with The Philly POPS is a great mark of success. We look forward to celebrating that success with The Philly POPS this weekend. It’s going to be a celebration of Philly and music of the 60s all wrapped up in one!
Original ‘Jersey Boys’ stars to light up Mayo Theatre
MORRISTOWN (NJ) – Broadway sensation The Midtown Men, four stars from the Original Cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, will bring their magic to the Mayo Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 7 singing their favorite “Sixties Hits” from The Beatles, The Rascals, Motown, The Four Seasons and more.
Tickets are $49 to $79. This concert is sponsored by Crum & Forster.
The production reunites four stars from the Original Cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys. Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer, star in this one-of-a-kind concert experience celebrating the music that defined the ’60s.
These entertainers shared the Broadway stage for more than 1,000 performances in the mega-hit “Jersey Boys.” Now, as The Midtown Men, they have thrilled crowds on concert stages and symphony halls across the continent, and have delighted television audiences with performances on “Good Morning America,” “Access Hollywood,” “Katie,” and “The Chew.”
Additionally, the Men collaborated with rock and roll icon Stevie Van Zandt on their first radio single, “All Alone on Christmas,” featuring Van Zandt and members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. The group had the distinct honor of opening the National Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House.
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 4:01 pm, New Jersey Hills | Morris NewsBee News