If you loved “Jersey Boys” you’re gonna love “The Midtown Men Live in Concert!” premiering tomorrow (Nov. 29) on NJTV. The special not only features four members from the original cast of the hit Broadway musical–still packing houses–it will be the New Jersey station’s first nationally-distributed show.
And, according to NJTV General Manager John Servidio, “The Midtown Men” is the first of what he hopes will be many more live events for local or national broadcast staged at New Jersey performing arts venues.
Click here for a sneak peak.
Previously, NJTV collaborated to produce “American Songbook at NJPAC,” which aired January 2014. Season 2, taped in September, is scheduled to premiere on NJTV and THIRTEEN this January. Neither are planned for national distribution at this time.
“The reason ‘Midtown Men’ is a milestone is it is the first pledge program NJTV ever produced and the first pledge drive NJTV is rolling out nationally,” Servidio explained.
“If it is a success — and I see no reason for it not to be a success as a pledge show — it’s a great model and PBS could easily call on us to produce other pledge programming,” he added. “It’s a big step for any station.”
“Midtown Men,” taped in May, debuts beginning at 7 p.m. tomorrow on NJTV, followed by its sister stations THIRTEEN (8:30 p.m. Nov. 29) and WLIW (7 p.m. Nov. 30) in the New York metro area, followed by a national rollout beginning in March 2015.
“We’re thrilled to bring the excitement of The Midtown Men’s live performance to viewers across the country,” Servidio said during a telephone interview earlier this week. “It’s a milestone for us all, proving that quality content with top-notch talent from a local television network can have a national presence.”
Leaving Broadway for a life on the road
The concert features Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer and Michael Longoria, all members of the cast when the musical–based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons–opened Nov. 5, 2005 (after 38 previews) at the 1,200-seat August Wilson Theatre on 52nd Street in Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Hoff, who won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, played Tommy DeVito; Daniel Reichard was Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer was Nick Massi, and Michael Longoria played several members of the ensemble before taking over the role of Frankie Valli.
For more info on Broadway’s “Jersey Boy” tickets, click here.
They formed The Midtown Men after leaving the show and began touring in 2010 singing songs from the ’60s. This fall, they began their fifth North American tour, and sell out performing arts centers and symphony halls from coast to coast.
The concert includes a special appearance by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gene Cornish, who lends a hand on the harmonica for his band The Rascals’ hit, “Groovin’.”
Besides the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” and “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).,” the TV special includes songs from such popular 1960’s artists as The Drifters and The Ronettes, Detroit’s Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and the Temptation, California’s The Turtles, The Mamas & The Papas and The Association. And let’s not forget the impeccable choreography as well.
“Midtown Men Live in Concert!” set list includes these hits:
• Big Girls Don’t Cry/Sherry (The Four Seasons)
• Happy Together (The Turtles)
• Up On The Roof (The Drifters)
• Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
• Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles)
• Be My Baby (The Ronettes)
• Never My Love (The Association)
• California Dreamin’ (The Mamas & the Papas)
• Groovin’ (The Rascals – with guest appearance by Gene Cornish)