On Stage at Kingsborough highlights oldies and goodies
It’s going to be a nostalgic blast from the past.
On Stage at Kingsborough is bringing classic Motown, pop, rock and doo-wop hits with the Modern Gentlemen, a popular and talented four-part harmony group.
The group, which toured and perform with legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Frankie Valli for over a decade, decided to go out on its own to bring the hits of several beloved bands to the masses.
“The four of us became a quartet when we were originally selected by Frankie Valli to join his show and tour,” recalled band member Brian Brigham. “It was our first experience working with a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer so it was incredible. It was before ‘Jersey Boys,’ and it took his career and our experience to another level.”
The group was formed about two years ago, when members were still working with Valli. But, as of a few months ago, the group decided to go full time with their own shows.
“It was getting to the point where we had to turn down a lot of opportunities,” he said. “With his support and blessing, we decided to take a chance.”
Although it was a lot more work to be on their own, as they had to learn all aspects of the business, and be their own travel agents and tour manager, it has been more fulfilling for the group to make its own decisions.
“We learned a lot working with Frankie and seeing the way he was doing things,” Brigham said. “It gave us a big fan base already. People were rooting for us right out of the gate which was a really great thing.”
Just this past March, the band performed in a PBS special, “Doo Wop Generations.”
“It was like passing the torch from the older generation to the newer one and keeping the music alive,” he said. “It was great to be a part of it.”
Executive Director of On Stage At Kingsborough Anna Becker is excited to have the group in Brooklyn.
“Any group that the great Frankie Valli raves about is a must for On Stage at Kingsborough.” she said. “When I first heard the Modern Gentlemen, I knew we had to invite them to perform here. This fantastic group has the outstanding talent, brilliant song selection and great entertainment value that our patrons have come to expect from us.”
Brigham and the Modern Gentlemen are also thrilled to come to On Stage at Kingsborough.
“We are very excited,” he said. “This is our first show in New York as a group so we’re very happy. Our show is interactive. We get the audience involved from the beginning because we want them to have a good time. It’s all about entertaining. If you’ve seen Frankie Valli perform in the past 15 years, you’ve seen us.”
As for the music, “We do a big mix of music over several decades,” Brigham said. “We do Four Seasons but Motown too. Inevitably, we will play somebody’s favorite. It’s nice to hear people’s favorites but it’s difficult to choose because we also have our own individual tastes.”
The group still looks to Valli for guidance.
“He’s been like a father figure to us many years on the road,” said Brigham. “I call him on the phone and ask for advice, not just in music but in life.”
The Modern Gentlemen will perform at On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, on Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $32-$37. For more information, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.
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