The Midtown Men…A Well Crafted Evening of Nostalgia

• October 27, 2011 • Comments (0)

By Punch Shaw
Special to DFW.com
Posted 11:24pm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011

(excerpt)

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…

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

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