While other former Pal Joey castmembers are finding their way around Broadway and off-Broadway, Christian Hoff has found a very special spot for himself with THE MIDTOWN MEN, performing concerts across the country with former Jersey Boys friends Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer. Movies, television (I recently caught him on a chilling episode of Law & Order, SVU with Debra Messing), Broadway, and now a musical group. There is no end to Christian’s talent, and his drive to do what he loves to do - perform and entertain!
Catch THE MIDTOWN MEN in concert - you won’t be disappointed.
4 stars from the Original Cast of Jersey Boys
return to the Big Apple
After a successful 2010 tour of nearly 50 cities across the US and Canada, THE MIDTOWN MEN bring their highly anticipated concert act to New York City with a performance and fan reception at the Colden Center at Queens College on Saturday, April 9th at 8pm.
The Midtown Men are Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer.
The group’s jump- to- your-feet show features top hits from a who’s who of the ‘60s including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Jackson 5 and The Four Seasons, whose story they brought to life every night as stars in the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys.
“The 60s produced some of the greatest songs ever written,” says THE MIDTOWN MEN’S Christian Hoff, who won the Tony for his portrayal of Four Seasons bad boy Tommy DeVito, “so we’re having a ball adding our own style to those great songs everyone loves.” Their fans agree–in one week last summer over 45,000 people of all ages came out to enjoy their unique singing style and legendary onstage chemistry.
Now, in 2011, their tour continues with stops all across the country including a special appearance in New Jersey in early May where their talents will raise funds and awareness for a 10th year commemorative project honoring victims of 9/11 and their families.
THE MIDTOWN MEN concert takes place at The Colden Center at Queens College at 8pm on Saturday, April 9th. Tickets are $40 and are available via web or phone. For updated tour information and to purchase tickets visit www.themidtownmen.com or www.facebook.com .
Pal Joey Special Correspondent Tom Barton saw the show during previews and had this to report:
The new version of Parade is terrific. I saw the third preview and they received an extended standing ovation. Christian is the third lead, prosecuting attorney Hugh Dorsey. It’s a very strong performance. The entire cast is wonderful, especially T. R. Knight of Grey’s Anatomy as accused killer Leo Frank. The performance was sold out.
This will be a very tough ticket.
Christian Hoff fans won’t be surprised to hear that the critics agree! The “Hollywood Reporter” states … Of special note in the splendid ensemble are …Christian Hoff as the unprincipled prosecuting attorney… ; the “Santa Monica Mirror” reports…Though Knight steals the show, the ensemble cast is likewise powerful, particularly Christian Hoff as Hugh Dorsey; and “Variety” says of Hoff’s performance…The prickly, unsympathetic defendant is at the mercy of relentless D.A. Dorsey (a superb Christian Hoff), his spellbinding gestures misdirecting attention from a parade of dubious circumstantial evidence.
Besides Knight and Hoff, the fantastic cast includes Lara Pulver as Lucille Frank, Michael Berresse, Charlotte d’Amboise, Davis Gaines, P. J. Griffith, David St. Louis, Curt Hansen, Deidrie Henry, Lisa Livesay, Hayley Podschun (Pal Joey), Rose Sezniak and Phoebe Strole. The show runs through November 15 at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles.
Similarly, on September 12, 2009 - now officially known as “Christian Hoff Day” in sunny San Diego, California (yes, that Christian Hoff - who knew?) - the home-grown Tony-award winning actor/singer/dancer changed the last line of the Drifters’ (and George Benson) classic On Broadway from “and I won’t quit ’til I’m a star…” to “and I didn’t quit; now I’m a star…on Broadway.”
It was a fitting punchline to his tale of how perseverance, dedication, and guts, (with maybe a bit of talent thrown in, he modestly conceded), can lead to great things. This was one of his themes as he spent the evening inspiring today’s generation of tomorrow’s stars and their families at a benefit performance at the San Diego Junior Theater, the same institution where he himself learned to tread the boards as a “yute,” (i.e., youth) as Joe Pesci might have called him in “My Cousin Vinny.”
Christian entered the packed theater from the back, coming forward down the center aisle as the crowd went wild. Looking suave, sophisticated, and debonair in a finely-tailored black suit, he exuded the confidence of knowing he already had the audience in the palm of his hand. Audience members had “Come Together” this summer evening (a song performed in the second half of the show in honor of it being Beatles Week) from several different areas of interest: Many appeared to be involved with SDJT in one way or another, past or present, faculty or staff, participant or patron. Family and friends were in attendance as well, and of course, a bicoastal contingent of Jersey Boys fans made more than its share of noise.
Christian devoted the first half of his show to Broadway and pop standards, accompanied only by his arranger and pianist Charles “the Czar” Czarnecki. Indeed, this was a show for all ages. He opened with
Medley: “I’ve Got the World on a String”, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”, and “With a Song in My Heart”.
What a terrific way to bridge the generation gap with the 1933 Harold Arlen/Cab Calloway song “I’ve Got the World on a String” also covered in 2007 by Michael Buble. Who of us older baby boomers can forget William Holden and Jennifer Jones as the European/Chinese doctor and American journalist on “that high and windy hill” as the beautiful Four Aces “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” played in the background? And finally, the wonderful triumph of physically challenged songstress Jane Froman (Susan Hayward) entertaining the World War II blends perfectly to show us her road wasn’t always easy, but she always had “A Song in My Heart.”
The magically perfect blend of these three songs, with “Splendored” and “Song” slightly more upbeat than the originals, set the tone of the evening as our Tony winner had the crowd, young and old, “on a string” from the start.
“This Can’t Be Love/Thou Swell”
Those of us who were treated to Christian’s magnificent cabaret performance “Exiled”
Fans gathered from far and wide to share a night of music with one of their favorites - Christian Hoff.
from the North County Times
Tony-winner Hoff back home to honor his theatrical roots
PAM KRAGEN - pkragen at nctimes.com | Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:15 am
Thirty-three years ago, a tow-headed 8-year-old Little Leaguer from La Jolla traded in his cleats and ball cap for a pair of tights and trumpet to play a boy page in San Diego Junior Theatre’s production of “Cinderella” at the Casa del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park.
On Monday, he’ll return to the stage that launched his career, and Tony Award-winning “Jersey Boys” star Christian Hoff says he hopes to inspire some of the young Junior Theatre actors who may want to follow in his footsteps.
Hoff will host a master class for young actors (ages 12 and up) on Monday afternoon, and then on Sept. 12, he’ll perform in concert to raise money for Junior Theatre programs. He’s now recording a CD of standards, jazz and pop tunes that will be for sale at the concert, with all revenues benefiting the theater.
Hoff said he’s wanted to give back to his theatrical birthplace for years, but “Jersey Boys” and other work commitments have kept him from fulfilling that goal.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for kids to do what they do and hear about life in the theater, my experiences and how to bridge their youth theater work into a professional career,” he said. “I want to talk to them about body language, finding their essence and having a respect for the discipline of the craft of acting. That’s what’s missing out there right now, that discipline and respect for the process.”
by Contributing Writer Priscilla Florindi
Saturday at the ‘beautiful place by the sea’, better known as Ogunquit, Maine, my daughters and I were awed by the production of Guys & Dolls at the Ogunquit Playhouse! Ogunquit Playhouse is “America’s Foremost Summer Theatre” of the Northeast! The Playhouse (which) consistently contracts Broadway actors, and this season its management culled a Tony winner from Jersey Boys, Christian Hoff!!
Christian, cast as Sky Masterson, evoked charisma, expertise and allure that mesmerized a packed audience. Receiving applause upon entrance, Christian exhibited his customary charm and was rewarded with a standing ovation at the close.
Christian’s beautiful baritone voice as well as his tenderness was showcased throughout the play. Despite the fact of achieving grand success on Broadway, Christian embraced the Ogunquit Playhouse role with genuine humility and grace.
Playing the part of Nathan Detroit, Richard Kind impressed with his impeccable comedic timing. Although his age separated Kind from the youthfulness of the supporting cast, the audience thoroughly enjoyed his performance. The ensemble dancers provided strong techniques. William Ivey Long (Pal Joey), a Tony-winning costume designer, again designed and created his signature technicolor costumes which completed the revival’s success. Linda Cameron, cast as the General Cartwright, was a hilarious showstopper and she graciously accepted kudos at stage door.
Christian received us at stage door, which was definitely the highlight of the evening. He was well-rested and looked simply divine! This has been Christian’s first venture to the Northeast and he has been taking in all the local delights with his beautiful family for the duration of the performance.
The production was rewarded with a visit at Sunday’s matinee by George H.W. & Barbara Bush, who also frequent the Playhouse. Guys & Dolls completes its run on Saturday, August 8th!
When I learned last year that Guys and Dolls would be returning to Broadway, my first thought was that Christian Hoff would be a perfect Sky Masterson. Unfortunately, his schedule (Pal Joey) did not permit. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who could envision Hoff in the role. He is appearing right now in the Ogunquit Playhouse’s current production of the classic Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows musical. And he is a HIT!
***from Theatremania, Reviewed By: Sandy MacDonald · Jul 17, 2009 · Maine***
Tony Award winner Christian Hoff is a bantam, Cagneyesque Sky Masterson. Where many an actor tackling the role of the seemingly hard-hearted gambler might rely on broad shoulders and a matinee-idol profile, Hoff’s edge is intellectual. It’s smarts that earned this Masterson his peers’ respect. His ever-calculating brain is also his foremost means of seduction (although his warm singing voice doesn’t hurt).
***from seacoastonline.com, By Sharon Cummins, July 22, 2009 6:00 AM***
Christian Hoff, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the role of Tommy DeVito in “Jersey Boys,” is believable as the handsome high roller, Sky Masterson. His voice in “My Time of Day,” is as smooth as silk charmeuse…
…One of the better-known numbers from “Guys and Dolls,” “Luck be a Lady,” is passionately performed by Christian Hoff as Sky Masterson and a dozen other dancing gamblers in the city sewer.
The show goes on through Aug. 8. For more information, click here to visit the Ogunquit Playhouse website.
According to Variety, Christian Hoff is set to join T.R. Knight in the upcoming Los Angeles revival of Parade. Also slated for the show are Broadway vets Michael Berresse and Charlotte d’Amboise, and Olivier Award nominee Lara Pulver. The production will run from September 24 to November 15 at the Mark Taper Forum.
Hoff, who was sidelined from Pal Joey with a foot injury, won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, His “character” both onstage and off won him many dedicated and loyal fans who, I’m sure, will be delighted to see him on the stage again.
Knight, who is trained for stage, is probably most recognizable as Dr. George O’Malley in Grey’s Anatomy, a role he played since the show’s debut in 2005. He made the decision earlier this year not to continue on Grey’s, and his character will apparently be written off the show.
For more information on Parade, click here.
Congratulations to Melissa and Christian Hoff, who welcomed baby Evelyn Jane into the Hoff family on Monday, March 16th. Little Evelyn, who weighed in at 8.5 pounds and 21 inches, joins brother Eli and sisters Erika and Elizabeth in the ever-expanding Hoff family.
“What a blessing from God”, says Christian. And we wish the Hoffs many more blessings in all aspects of life.
Although Andrew Gross’s novel “Don’t Look Twice” is not available until March 3, a sample of Christian Hoff’s audio book recording is available through Blackstone Audio. To listen click here.
To pre-order your audio book through amazon.com, click on the “Don’t Look Twice” icon in the sidebar.
You may have noticed the “Amazon Wheel” on the right sidebar. When a CD, movie, or book is mentioned in this blog or may be of particular interest to readers, it is added to the “wheel” to make it easy for you to visit the Amazon site and purchase the items. Please feel free to “browse”. Let me know if I’ve missed any items, or if there’s something you’d like me to add.
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Sounds like Christian Hoff has been a busy man. He has just completed recording the audio book Don’t Look Twice by New York Times and International best-selling author Andrew Gross. Gross, author of The Blue Zone , has co-authored six best-selling crime-thrillers with James Patterson. Don’t Look Twice is not set for release until early March, but you can pre-order your audio book by clicking on the “Don’t Look Twice” book in the From Amazon section in the right sidebar.
Of course Hoff is no stranger to audio books. Entertainment Weekly called him a “Master Mimic” in 2007 when he beat out Jim Dale (of Harry Potter audio book and Broadway fame) to claim his World Record for an unprecedented 241 character voices in an audio book. That book — Tell Me How You Love the Picture: A Hollywood Life — by Hollywood Producer Edward S. Feldman and Tom Barton, afforded Christian the opportunity to voice such notables as Harrison Ford, John Wayne, Eddie Murphy and Jack Lemmon. Also it was a finalist as Foreword Magazine’s 2008 Audiobook of The Year.
The audio book is available on amazon.com, and can be accessed by clicking on the “Tell Me How You Love the Picture” cover in the From Amazon section in the right sidebar.
Click here to watch the “Tell Me How You Love The Picture” video tour of NY locations.
In case you missed it the first time around, ABC will re-run the Ugly Betty episode “Betty Suarez Land” on January 29th. Be sure and set your Tivo - you don’t want to miss Christian as DA Blackman in a rather “compromising position”! And don’t forget, Christian revealed in his exclusive Pal Joey blog interview that “they have left it open for DA Blackman to return using his powers of persuasion!”
I believe Jack Black said it best in introducing honorees Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey on the “Kennedy Center Honors” program: “Thank you for blowing our minds and touching our hearts”. Those words express so accurately what the audience felt at the end of The Who’s Tommy reunion concert on December 15th, and what I still feel now, two weeks later. Thank you Donnie Kehr, and the entire original cast of The Who’s Tommy Broadway show, for making this experience possible.
ROCKERS ON BROADWAY
On this 15th anniversary of the opening of “Tommy”, Donnie had the idea to reunite the original cast for this one-night-only event. And they were on board full force: Michael Arnold, Anthony Barrile, Bill Buell, Maria Calabrese, Victoria Cave, Michael Cerveris, Tracy Nicole Chapman, Paul Dobie, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Tom Flynn, Cheryl Freeman, Romaine Fruge, Jody Gelb, Christian Hoff, Todd Hunter, Paul Kandel, Donnie Kehr, Tracey Langran Corea, Lisa Leguillou, Norm Lewis, Marcia Mitzman, Lee Morgan, Alice Ripley, Sherie Rene Scott, Timothy Warmen, with national tour alum Destan Owens appearing for original cast member Michael McElroy. The show was produced by (see photo left) Cori Gardner, Donnie Kehr and Sandy Hicks.
You could feel the excitement in the air before the show even began. We were all here to witness something special, and we were in good company: spotted in the crowd were Rick Elice (writer, Jersey Boy) whom I had the pleasure of chatting with before the concert; Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, along with son Ben Stiller and his beautiful wife Christine Taylor; funny lady Caroline Rhea; John Ciarcia, Frank Vincent, Vincent Pastore and “Little Stevie” VanZant (who, I’ve heard, was so caught up in the moment that he was hugging people during the ovation!). And no one was disappointed.
The production was presented concert style with the cast and band on stage during the entire performance. Donnie Kehr started things off by introducing Des McAnuff, director of the original production, who read a letter from Pete Townshend, saying how sorry he was to miss the show, but he was performing in a “Who” concert - I guess we’ll forgive him. From the first notes of the overture, I knew we were in for a wild ride. The emotions of seeing and hearing this story told, with the use of projections and pictures from the original production, are indescribable. Watching David Bologna as young Tommy, sitting completely still and expressionless was heart-wrenching. And when Michael Cerveris ran on to the catwalk suspended above the cast, the power of this show became so obvious. I’ve heard it described as almost a religious experience, and that is truly accurate.
‘By the time Cheryl Freeman made her appearance as the Acid Queen, devouring the stage as if in contention for taking over Tina Turner’s crown, people were clapping along and screaming for each sustained note. In the midst of it, Freeman turned around and caught sight of a production still from 1994 projected on a screen above the stage. There she was in full costume—yellow dress hugging her body, and wig as boisterous as her belting voice—raising her arms up to the stage lights above her. Freeman paused tonight in the midst of her fury. She lifted her hands to the lights above her head, this evening topped off by a much more fashionable bob, and struck the same pose, watching her youthful self float across the projection screens. For a moment it seemed like she let the nostalgia take a hold of her. And we all went there with her.Immediately following her number, the theater exploded. Not literally, but it may as well have when the song “Pinball Wizard” started. Christian Hoff and Donnie Kehr began the number and executed a full section of the original choreography by Wayne Cilento to rousing applause from the audience as the music swelled around us. By the time they finished the number, much of the audience was on its feet and for a moment the importance of theater was overwhelming: the way a theatrical experience can become so much more than a collection of performers, lights, and songs. It can become a shared experience, and a time capsule of emotion.’*
By the end of the show, the crowd was in a frenzy. We all felt that we were a vital part of this spectacular, phenomenal show. And in a way we were. When the applause finally ended, and the cast left the stage, the crowd spilled out onto 52nd Street. It seemed no one wanted to leave. The atmosphere was that of a huge, happy street party. Stars mingled in with the crowds, everyone smiling, everyone happy. And there, in his rightful place at the August Wilson stage door, was Christian Hoff, smiling, laughing, hugging old friends. And as always, staying until he was sure he had seen all those who wanted to see him. A gentleman always!
As my husband and I wandered down the street, not wanting the evening to end, I thought to myself “I would give anything to relive that experience.”
I’ve said it before, and find it true again - you can find anything on YouTube! Here is video footage of one of the few curtain calls that included Christian Hoff.
Matt Windman posted the following on the amNew York, New York City Theater blog (December 16):
Something very weird is going on… Two weeks ago, Roundabout Theatre Company claimed that Christian Hoff had withdrawn from PAL JOEY due to a foot injury, now replaced by his much younger understudy Matthew Risch. Before the injury occurred, however, Hoff was set to appear in the one-night-only reunion original cast reunion concert of THE WHO’S TOMMY.