You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Midtown Men were once Jersey boys

The singing group is coming to Kuss.

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.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

Burt Reynolds to auction replica 'Smokey and the Bandit' Trans-Am
Burt Reynolds to auction replica 'Smokey and the Bandit' Trans-Am

Remember the iconic muscle car driven by Burt Reynolds in the kitchy yet classic 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit? Who wouldn't want to own a Trans-Am just like it? Bidders will get their chance Friday at an auction in Arizona, MSN Autos reports.  A listing for the Barrett-Jackson sale in Scottsdale shows a Pro-Touring Firebird...
Report: Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Trump inauguration concert
Report: Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Trump inauguration concert

Holliday retweeted The Wrap's report on her Twitter account.In a letter addressed to "my beloved LGBT community," Holliday explained why she initially accepted the invitation to perform at the inauguration, saying she wanted to perform for the people, not for Trump. But after a vocal backlash, Holliday has decided not to perform.  According...
Children remember your words for the rest of their lives

“Parentspeak - What’s Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children — and What to Say Instead” by Jennifer Lehr (Workman, 276 pages, $14.95) We’ve all seen it. And heard it. In public places, watching parents interact with their children, what’s being said and done. Heck, maybe they were your own kids and you are evaluating...
Clark State Theatre Arts to hold auditions for ‘The Clean House’
Clark State Theatre Arts to hold auditions for ‘The Clean House’

The Clark State Community College Theatre Arts Program will hold auditions in January for their spring production of The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. The Clean House centers around Matilde, an aspiring comedian, who has come to “metaphysical Connecticut” via Brazil to clean the home of Lane and Charles, but instead secretly works on developing...
'The Exorcist' author William Peter Blatty dies at 89
'The Exorcist' author William Peter Blatty dies at 89

Author William Peter Blatty, who wrote the best-selling horror novel, "The Exorcist," has died at the age of 89.
More Stories