From Jersey Boys to Midtown Men

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Michael Longoria -Photo: Courtesy

Unable to attend the Milwaukee production of “Jersey Boys”? Need a little more doo-wop? Fuhgedaboutit! The Midtown Men are making two stops in Wisconsin during their current 77-city tour.

One of several groups capitalizing on the runaway Broadway hit about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Midtown Men unites the four principals from the original “Jersey Boys” Broadway cast for an evening of vocal harmonies from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown and others.

Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard – the original “Jersey Boys” – harmonize seamlessly. They bring the same energy and finesse to The Midtown Men that made “Jersey Boys.”

“We’re just four guys who have fun and sing our faces off,” Longoria says. “The chemistry we discovered during 1,000 performances together is going to bring some magic to the stage.”

Longoria, who is 30 and out, played both Joe Pesci and Frankie Valli during the original run of “Jersey Boys.” At one point, he played Pesci during evening performances and Valli during matinees. He met both men, and they gave his performance two thumbs up. 

“When Frankie Valli saw me, he said, ‘You were fucking sensational,’ and Joe Pesci said, ‘Pretty fucking great to be able to cuss on stage, right?’” he remembers. “They’re Italian boys and they got mouths on them.”

Longoria says audiences of all types are drawn to the emotional content of the ’60s songs his group performs.

“The music of the ’60s in general is so raw in its music and lyrics,” he says. “The pain and loss and longing for someone you can’t have are emotions that all of us can relate to, whether we’re gay or straight.”

The Midtown Men perform at UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center on Oct. 11 and Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts on Oct. 12. The concerts are a perfect warm-up for “Jersey Boys,” which runs Oct. 16-27 at Milwaukee’s Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information on the Green Bay date, visit www.weidnercenter.com. For the Madison performance, go to www.overturecenter.com.