Perhaps you’ve heard some of the buzz about The Midtown Men. You’ve seen a few photos of them looking as sharp and snazzy as Frankie Valli. You may have even seen one of their fantastic and entertaining YouTube videos. But the question remains: who are these Midtown Men and what makes their show so great?
The group consists of 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, come together to create a one-of-a-kind concert experience celebrating the music that defined the 1960s!
During their time in the mega-hit musical Jersey Boys, these four talented artists shared the stage for more than a thousand performances.
Now these four Broadway stars are bringing their own unique sound and chemistry to Jones Hall in collaboration with the Houston Symphony, singing the hits of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Jackson Five, The Mamas and The Papas, the Four Seasons and more!
The Midtown Men’s weekend with the Houston Symphony is sure to be a momentous occasion: not only will their concerts kick-off our 2012-2013 POPS season with Michael Krajewski, conductor, but they will also serve as the Midtown Men’s symphonic debut! I had the chance to catch up with these four showstoppers to get their thoughts about their upcoming performances with the Houston Symphony. Their answers to my questions made me all the more excited to hear them perform some of my all-time favorite classic hits live!
Georgia McBride: The Midtown Men formed after working together on Broadway in the Jersey Boys – how is your approach different when performing as the Midtown Men than when performing for a theater audience?
The Midtown Men: As entertainers we are being ourselves. While you get to see first hand why our chemistry rocked on Broadway, we are bringing our own story to life with the music in our concerts. On Broadway we brought somebody else’s story to life.
GM: How did the collaboration with the Houston Symphony develop?
TMM: Steven Reineke, Music Director of The New York Pops, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra and newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, saw us blowing up the music of the ’60s at a show in NYC and the light went off. We’ve had great shows in Texas, so it made sense to start our symphonic adventure in the Lone Star State, where we knew we could kick it off right.
GM: How will the show with the Houston Symphony differ from the other shows on this tour?
TMM: It’s our symphonic debut! Our new album, “Sixties Hits” features quite a few dynamic orchestral arrangements that we can’t wait to take to the stage. The music sounds hot with our regular, seven-piece band so It’s gonna be a transcending experience to add a grand orchestra to our show. What a ride it’ll be for us and the fans of our favorite ’60s artists.
GM: In what ways have you modernized the classic elements of your performances?
TMM: We are singing classic 1960s songs but our voices have been influenced by the four following decades of music. We grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, so the influence of soul and pop give a unique flavor to these classics. By infusing our contemporary perspective and unique sound into the stories and melodies, it creates a musical celebration of both the classic and contemporary.
GM: There are so many great hits from the ’60s. How do you choose which songs to record and perform?
TMM: Each song has a meaning to us. We develop our favorites in rehearsal, and by the time they make it to the live show, we know if they are resonating right away. It’s really all about connecting with the audience.
GM: Do you hope to introduce a new generation to these classic songs?
TMM: Not only do we hope, but we witness it at every concert- a boy under ten mouthing the words to Big Girls Don’t Cry sitting on the lap of his Grandma who is singing louder than he is; a girl in her 30s who dragged her husband, only to have the husband rushing to the stage door to take photos with all of us commemorating the event. The Midtown Men are reviving the music of the ’60s like no other group has, bringing memories back to those who witnessed its glory and making new ones for those of us who wish we had been there when these songs first rocked the nation.
Like The Midtown Men’s launching pad, Jersey Boys, our appeal is not as tribute to the hits of the ’60s but an experience of the heart and soul of the songwriters and the unique story of four real guys as a backdrop.
Catch the Midtown Men live with the Houston Symphony August 31, September 1-2, 2012. Buy tickets HERE.
Check out the Midtown Men in action here: