They’ve graduated from Boys to Men on the musical stage. Four stars of the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation “Jersey Boys” have headed in another direction with 1960s pop music with their act, The Midtown Men.
The Midtown Men will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, presented by the Springfield Arts Council.
“Jersey Boys,” which tells the story of ’60s pop stars The Four Seasons, was an immediate smash, earning a Tony for Best Musical of 2006 and launched its cast, including Tony winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer, to new heights.
Longoria, who played Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys and sings falsetto, said the roots of the Midtown Men came during the cast’s free time when they’d have fun singing Motown and other ’60s songs together. Their voices came together perfectly rooted in a four-part harmony like the doo wop groups of the Four Seasons era, with Hoff as baritone, Spencer as bass and Reichard as tenor.
After “Jersey Boys,” the future Midtown Men began doing fundraisers and really got noticed when they performed at TV personality Katie Couric’s 50th birthday celebration.
“We realized we had something really special and thought to ourselves, why not do it for real,” said Longoria.
The Midtown Men perform popular favorites from The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas and, of course, The Four Seasons among others, with Motown tunes thrown in.
The idea was to keep in a certain vein, but always adding new tunes, such as songs from female performers such The Supremes and The Ronettes. Longoria said the group loves that era’s songs because those singers only needed one element — the power of the human voice.
In concert, each Midtown Man talks about how they met and the journey they’ve been on. Longoria said it’s common to find kids as young as 9 to grandparents rocking along.
And he added don’t forget the dancing shoes. The shows always end up with the audience dancing.
HOW TO GO
What: The Midtown Men
Where: Kuss Auditorium, Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 1
Admission: Adult tickets cost $55, 50, 45, 35; student tickets (ages 22-younger) cost $45, 40, 35, 25
More info: (937) 324-2712 or www.springfieldartscouncil.org/midtown.htm