Corine: I first met you in Broadway Under The Stars, the once yearly event in Central Park. You were playing Joe Pesci and were the understudy for JLY. You are a very talented Performer. Tell me, what inspired this Album.
Michael Longoria: You met me shortly after the 2006 Tony Awards, right around the time Producers of Jersey Boys asked me to start playing Frankie Valli officially during the matinees. That tribute to Hal Prince that you mention was my first public appearance as the Frankie track, so I remember that night being magical. I had asked producers if I could keep my featured scenes as the character I originated ( a teenage Joe Pesci) during the night time performances. They thought it was odd that I didn’t want to just be a standby for the starring role which was what they were proposing. But at the time, so many huge stars and directors and casting directors were coming to see Jersey Boys right after the show won the Tony for Best New Musical. I didn’t want to limit my exposure as an actor to just two performances as Frankie Valli a week, so with Actor’s Equity agreeing to temporarily put the character of “Joe Pesci” on a principal contract, the producers allowed me to do both roles at different performances. They hired an extra ensemble member to play the rest of my original ensemble track which the ensemble swings affectionately named “Gabe”.
Corine: You were great in both roles! Are there any songs with The Midtown Men on your new CD?
Michael: Yes! As you know, I met the other Midtown Men and more importantly bonded with them when I was on for Frankie as they played the other group members of The Four Seasons in Jersey Boys. We have been touring in concert for nine years now. I thought the Beach Boys, Little Saint Nick, was the perfect song for us to harmonize to.
Corine: What is up with the Midtown Men? Will you perform in the City soon?
Michael: Visit www.themidtownmen.com
for tour dates!
Corine: Would love a Midtown Men CD. I know you had a PBS concert where is that available as well.
Michael: You should get two! We have two albums, The Midtown Men: Sixties Hits and The Midtown Men Live In Concert, our PBS concert, both you can find on iTunes for download right now.
Corine: What is next for the talented Michael Longoria?
Michael: I released my debut solo album, Broadway Brick By Brick on Broadway records and now my first Christmas album. I feel like the recording studio is a new way for me to express my art and I’m loving every minute of it. I see myself in the studio in 2019. With the new album release of Merry Christmas Darling, I plan to sing my heart out in concert for my Birdland concert debut in New York City on Dec 10th @8:30 pm for the album release concert.
Thank you for doing this interview, Michael. Get your tickets to see Michael at Birdland on December 10th and go and see him with the very talented MIDTOWN MEN! I adore the entire group.