The Midtown Men will perform at the Honeywell Center at 7:30 p.m. May 4. Photo provided.
The Midtown Men will perform at the Honeywell Center at 7:30 p.m. May 4. Photo provided.
The original Broadway cast of “Jersey Boys” shared a stage for four years, bonding like brothers.
So when it was time for Tony Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer to go their separate ways, they did something out of the ordinary. They put together “The Midtown Men,” a concert experience celebrating the music of the 1960s.
“It was our idea. Nothing like this has ever been done before,” said Hoff during a telephone interview March 23. “It came out of a love of performing together.”
The concert comes to the Honeywell Center in Wabash at 7:30 p.m. May 4. Tickets are available at the box office or online at honeywellcenter.org and are $35, $45 or $58.
Hoff and Spencer were cast for “Jersey Boys” even before there was a script. The show toured a year before running on Broadway for three years.
“By the fourth year, when we were thinking of moving on, we realized there would be a void creatively and personally in singing the songs,” Hoff said. “... We loved it so much, we didn’t want to do a one-off (show), but we wanted to continue the momentum.”
With a seven-piece band in tow, The Midtown Men performed across the country. Then the continent. Then in China last year.
The group performs the music that defined the ’60s, from The Beatles to The Turtles and Motown.
“We found the ’60s was so diverse in style and representation of the country. That’s when radio became very regional. The ’60s was such a unique time with television, radio and music,” Hoff said.
There were different styles of music in pockets across the country, from Motown in Detroit to surf music on the west coast and country in between. The various styles allow the guys in The Midtown Men to spread their voices, and there’s little chance of running out of music.
“We have five to six hours of music we can use to put together a show,?“ Hoff said. “We use our favorites and fan favorites. We have favorites, but we’re constantly reinventing our approach.”
He said his favorite number is “Got to Get You into My Life,” which he performs as a mix of The Beatles and Earth, Wind and Fire and incorporates a three-piece horn section effectively, he said. He also enjoys singing Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”
“We roll with a seven-piece band. We have a three-piece horn section that’s been with us since the beginning. They kick butt, the whole band does,”?he said.
After seven years, he added, he still enjoys traveling with the group. “We always leave the stage better than we found it,”  he said.
Over the years, The Midtown Men have performed over 600 shows, sung with 31 symphony orchestras and entertained television audiences on “The Today Show,” "Good Morning America," "Access Hollywood," "Katie" and "The Chew."
A  couple of years ago, Hoff said they released their radio single, "All Alone on Christmas," written and produced by “Sopranos” and “Lilyhammer” star Steven Van Zandt and backed by Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. He said a highlight over the years was performing at the White House for the National Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The group has released two public television concert specials: “The Midtown Men Live in Concert,”?taped at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s majestic Prudential Hall, and “Meet the Midtown Men,” which goes behind the songs to get a personal look at the men and their music.
For the future, Hoff says they take it one season at a time. Right now, the group is still booking for 2018.
“It’s so amazing we get to do what we do and we’re friends with some of the artists we cover,”?he said. “We’re a live band. No tracks. We do it old school. The whole thing is choreographed, but we do banter. It’s structured but also improvised. There’s folks who have seen us 40 to 50 times around the country.”