“You know, we’re really achieving the American dream,” Daniel Reichard says.
Reichard is part of a singing quartet called The Midtown Men that writes, produces and choreographs its own shows.
“Our schedule is busy, but we work only for ourselves,” Reichard says. “We’ve built our own show, and we each get to work on stage with our three best friends.”
Reichard and his fellow Midtown Men will bring their piece of the American dream to Paragon Casino Resort’s Mari Showroom on Saturday for a full show of 1960s music spanning everything from the Beatles to the Mamas and the Papas.
And they’ll throw in a couple of hits by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The Midtown Men’s stage story begins with those boys from New Jersey.
Reichard and his fellow singers — Michael Longoria, Tony Award winner Christian Hoff and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer — made up the original cast of “Jersey Boys” for three seasons on Broadway. Reichard played Bob Gaudio, who not only sang but was the Four Seasons’ songwriter. He’s also credited with writing the music for the show.
“I honestly didn’t know much about Bob Gaudio before playing him in the show,” Reichard says. “It was an unbelievable learning experience, and it was great to introduce his story to audiences who may not have known much about him.”
The quartet hit the road as The Midtown Men after “Jersey Boys’” Broadway run, becoming the first Broadway cast to create a separate musical act. And, as Reichard points out, there is a clear difference between the two.
“‘Jersey Boys’ was a theatrical experience,” Reichard says. “As the Midtown Men, we are a separate entity, and we can create our own repertoire and tell stories from our lives. We’re not portraying characters but ourselves. We live in the moment, and it’s been very liberating.”
The Saturday performance will mark The Midtown Men’s second at Paragon. The group also has performed in Baton Rouge, Gretna, New Orleans and Lafayette, as well as nearby Biloxi, Mississippi.
“We always leave Louisiana so spoiled because of the warmth and generosity of the people there,” Reichard says. “Oh my God, the food is the best there, and we’re always pressured into eating lots of it. But we always wait until after the show, because we have to fit into our costumes before the show.”
Reichard spoke from his home in New York and was hitting the road for Marksville after the interview. The Midtown Men hasn’t been his only project after leaving “Jersey Boys.” Reichard received critical acclaim for his starring role in the New York City Opera’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” and he stages an annual, sold-out charity Christmas show in the intimate setting of the Triad Theatre on New York’s Upper West Side.
Reichard also can be seen as Frankie in the 20th anniversary film version of the international hit musical-comedy “Forever Plaid,” but even this is moved to the back burner when The Midtown Men’s tour season begins.
The group entered its sixth tour in 2015. The quartet meets before hitting the road to choose music and dance steps for the show. Performances are designed to entertain all audiences, from those in large concert halls to others in smaller settings.
“We just did a show in the Beacon Theatre, which is probably one of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll venues in New York and probably one of the biggest in the country,” Reichard says. “We also performed with the Boston Pops recently. But smaller venues are just as important. We know we’re fortunate to be able to do this. It’s a beautiful experience when I look out at people’s faces while performing.
“Their faces and bodies change while we’re singing, and it’s great to see them standing and clapping and singing by the end of the show,” Reichard says. “It’s a blessing to know that we were able to make their day better.”
Reichard and his colleagues have performed as The Midtown Men on national television and have been featured in national publications, all for a show that they put together.
“It’s ours, and we took this idea and made it a success,” he says. “This is our American dream.”