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RED BANK: FOUR MEN FOR ALL SEASONS

midtownmenThe Midtown Men return to the Basie stage Saturday for a stylish salute to the music of Frankie Valli and his 1960s jet-set contemporaries. 

The sleek-suited Mad Men of TV may have linked their last cuff – but we’ll always have The Midtown Men, that quartet of actor-singers whose 60s sharkskins and smooth retro style has taken the music of Frankie Valli and his contemporaries to all new audiences (and heights).

As group member (and Tony winner) Christian Hoff observed during one of their previous forays to the local stage, “You know it’s hot up there when the color of your suit changes from light blue to deep purple…but something about wearing those clothes keeps you focused, keeps you in the period…like wearing the uniform of a great ball team.”

Being former cast members from the Tony-winning Broadway smash Jersey Boys — and co-producers of their own internationally touring and recording act — the Midtown Men (Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer) continue to sweat the details of a project that pays particular tribute to the soaring sound and catalog of the Four Seasons, as “home team” an act as the Garden State’s ever produced. And when the guys take it to the Count Basie Theatre stage this Saturday, May 30, they’ll more than just follow in Frankie’s footsteps — they’ll be on the turf of Steven Van Zandt and the E Street Band, with whom they collaborated on the single “All Alone on Christmas.”

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MIDDLETOWN: CATCHING UP WITH 2014

jerseyboysmovieimageFrankie Valli meets Dirty Harry — when director Clint Eastwood’s cinema treatment of the Four Seasons musical bio JERSEY BOYS screens as part of a month of free 2014 releases at Middletown Library.

Remember 2014? Even if you’re the resolute type who actually meets your personal goals, and who wraps up The Year That Was with a neat little bow, there no doubt remain a number of tiny but torturously nagging regrets — chief among them “that movie you were meaning to go see.” Fortunately, for the latest monthly slate in their ongoing series of free movie screenings, Middletown Township Public Library presents a month of Mondays (and one Friday) designed to offer a chance to catch some last-year releases that may have slipped between the sprockets.

It begins this coming Monday, January 5, with a 2:30 pm showing of a biopic that boasts a special resonance for regionals: Jersey Boys, an adaptation of the Broadway jukebox-musical smash detailing the early career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Director Clint Eastwood (who, it must be recalled, acquitted himself well with the Charlie Parker jazzman bio Bird) works with a cast featuring Tony winner John Lloyd Young (originator of the Frankie role on Broadway) and Christopher Walken — as well as a slew of vintage Bob Gaudio/ Bob Crewe songs that include of course “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Rag Doll.” The January screening schedule continues from there, with some cinematic studies in art, commerce, cooking, passion, and romance with a decidedly mature shading.

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