Performer J. Robert Spencer has had the privilege of portraying two coveted roles in two big Broadway shows—Nick Massi in Jersey Boys and Dan Goodman in Next to Normal. Now, he hits the road with The Midtown Men, for a stop on October 11th at the State Theatre! This musical group of four talented performers includes Spencer, and the other three original cast members of Broadway’s Jersey Boys—Christian Hoff (Tony® Award-winner for Jersey Boys), Michael Longoria, and Daniel Reichard. The group will perform the hit music of the ’60s and of course a few of those great songs from Jersey Boys.
Kelly Blithe: The Midtown Men have the privilege of being the first vocal group ever formed by a principal cast of a high-profile Broadway show. How has that experience been for you?
J. Robert Spencer: This has been an amazing experience! As a kid I always hoped to be a rock n roll star. The fact that we portrayed rock stars in Jersey Boys, and now we are living that rock star dream through touring the country as our OWN concert tour as THE MIDTOWN MEN is exciting, humbling, and surreal!!
KB: And when the four of you started this new venture in 2007, did you have any idea what to expect?
JRS: Just going with the flow and so pleased and surprised at how it has taken off!
KB: For those who have never attended a Midtown Men concert, what can they expect at your upcoming October 11 show here at the State Theatre?
JRS: A lot of hand clapping, dancing, endless energy and smiles! AND some of the most iconic music of the ’60s!
KB: You are branching out from acting and singing to writing, directing, and producing. How do you manage the time to do it all?
JRS: We do our work as we’re traveling on the road. There is a lot of biz you can do driving across the USA!
KB: And do you have any new projects coming out soon that we should keep an eye out for?
JRS: Our symphonic show is kicking up and that’s very exciting. Imagine starting out as four guys around a piano, to playing with an 85-piece orchestra coming up in Houston, Atlanta, Omaha symphonies…it’s another dream project come true.
KB: You have played a variety of characters on stage including Dan Goodman in Next to Normal, Nick Massi in Jersey Boys, as well as roles in Heartland, Cats, Finian’s Rainbow, and Tommy. What roles have you enjoyed the most and why?
JRS: I am eternally grateful to be known In the history books as the Original Nick Massi in Jersey Boys…But originating the role of Dan Goodman in Next to Normal and being nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Musical was the moment I had waited for my whole life as an actor! The show hit all the spots emotionally for me and fulfilled me as a singer! So, to go from the success of Jersey Boys, THEN Next to Normal, and now the amazing success of The Midtown Men…I pinch myself everyday and feel blessed!
Photo from left to right: J. Robert Spencer, Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, and Daniel Reichard.