Call Redialed: NEW Michael Longoria Interview: "Merry Christmas Darling" + Birdland Theater Concert
This is one of the best holiday gifts I could receive…getting to do a new interview with original Jersey Boy & Midtown Men’s Michael Longoria about his new Christmas album Merry Christmas Darling.
After listening to Merry Christmas Darling, I’m definitely ready for the holiday season to begin. This album is the perfect addition to your holiday collection. It’s a great mixture of classic, modern day, & original holiday tunes. On these cold winter nights, it’s wonderful having Michael’s voice to warm me up.
Merry Christmas Darling features a ‘60s vibe of holiday standards such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” & “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” modern day hits “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Last Christmas” as well as the debut of an original Christmas song co-written by Michael Longoria and Rona Siddiqui called “Merry Me This Christmas.”
Grab a cup of hot cider, curl up by the fire place with yourself or someone special and get ready to be transported to the most wonderful time of the year with Merry Christmas Darling. Purchase Merry Christmas Darling at iTunes or Broadway Records!
Michael will be celebrating the release of Merry Christmas Darling in his Birdland Theater debut on Monday, December 10 at 8:30pm. Click here for tickets!
1. You just released your second solo album, Merry Christmas Darling. What made you want your follow-up album be a holiday album? I randomly listened to a song called “It Must Have Been Love (But Its Over Now).” I connected with it in a deep way, and as I started to find out more about the song, I found out that it was a winter break up song. They changed the words when it was used for the Pretty Woman soundtrack. That led me down a winter snow trail at the beginning of summer. I started to listen to winter songs primarily about being in love at Christmas time. This made me want to record a romantic album from the perspective of a lonely lover longing to be with his other half during the holidays. Songs that would describe what you feel when Christmas is happening all around you and the only thing you want for Christmas is something that you can’t find under your tree.
2. What did you learn about the making of your debut album Broadway Brick By Brick that you brought with you in the recording of Merry Christmas Darling? Broadway Brick By Brick also had a musical story arc. I was telling the story of how I went from a little mariachi boy singing in Spanish, to growing up dreaming of singing Broadway, and then realizing that dream playing "Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. I used Broadway songs to sing that journey.
With Merry Christmas Darling, I took a similar approach to having an emotional through line. I think it’s the actor in me that always wants to make the project deeper than just singing great songs. It’s about a message and using my voice to tell a musical story that also lives in a specific emotional space.
3. I love that these songs, while most familiar, have been given a '60s vibe. What made you want to bring us back to that time and arrange the songs this way? Music, and more specifically, singing in the 1960s was all about wearing your heart on your sleeve and singing outside the window of a cutie you are trying to ask out on a date. It was a more romantic time where guys would use their singing voices to profess devotion. It was also a time in signing where it wasn’t about perfection but more about emotion, and I’m always driven to songs that give me the feels.
4. What was the first song you knew had to be on the album? “WRAPPED IN RED.” The lyrics in the chorus of this song were the inspiration for me taking a risk on Christmas this year. The lyrics really spoke to me when I began the journey of making this album:
“This Christmas I’m gonna risk it all,
This Christmas I’m not afraid to fall,
So I’m at your door with nothing more,
Than words I’ve never said.
In all this white you’ll see me like
You’ve never seen me yet…”
5. On December 10, you will be celebrating the release of this album at the new Birdland Theater. What are you looking forward to most about this upcoming concert? Yes! It’s actually my BIRDLAND solo concert debut! I’m super excited for this singer’s milestone to happen with Merry Christmas Darling. I’m looking forward to being one of the carolers crooning his way through November and December this year.
More on Michael:
Michael Longoria is best known for his star turn on Broadway as Frankie Valli in the Tony Award Winning Musical Jersey Boys. Currently starring in The Midtown Men concert tour and Meet The Midtown Men (a live concert and documentary for PBS), Michael has been crooning across the world in a rock concert celebrating the 60s. Their self-titled debut album, THE MIDTOWN MEN: Sixties Hits was met with critical acclaim and was followed by their first radio single “All Alone On Christmas” with producer Steven Van Zandt and members of Springsteen’s E Street Band.
Michael trained at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts followed by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (BFA in drama). Michael began his career with theatrical credits including Peter Pan & Wendy at the Prince Music Theater (Barrymore Award nomination for Best Actor in a musical), West Side Story at the Walnut Street Theatre, A Chorus Line at Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center and Avenue X at the Abe Burrows Theater. Internationally; Michael appeared in West Side Story at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and A Chorus Line in Munich. Michael made his Broadway debut in the smash hit musical Hairspray (2003 Tony award for Best Musical), later creating the role of Joey in the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys (2006 Tony Award for Best Musical) before taking over the role of Frankie Valli. In 2017. Michael created the role of “Freddy” in the original Off-Broadway cast of The View UpStairs and can be heard on the original cast album. He has appeared on television as the lead vocalist for Cirque du Soleil on the Season 9 Finale of America's Got Talent, Broadway Under The Stars: A Tribute To Harold Prince, the Opening Ceremonies at The U.S. Open and as animated characters on Dora the Explorer. Michael also appeared in the documentary film One Night Stand.
As a headlining solo concert artist, Michael has appeared at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, co-staring with SNL’s Joe Piscopo in That’s Life! As a singer-songwriter, Michael has performed his original songs at Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, CB’s Gallery and Caroline’s on Broadway. In 2016, Michael's solo debut Broadway album, Broadway Brick By Brick, reached #2 on the iTunes Vocal Album Chart. That year, Michael was nominated for Best Male Vocalist and Best Cabaret by The Glam Awards.