(HILLSIDE, NJ) –– Capture all the excitement of the real Jersey Boys in nearby Hillside, when The Modern Gentlemen – Frankie Valli’s longtime backup singers – arrive at Kean Stage’s Enlow Recital Hall in Hillside on Saturday, October 7 at 7:30pm. The quartet will bring harmony and high energy choreography to the stage as they perform Motown, pop, rock and doo-wop favorites.
The Modern Gentlemen have performed background vocals and choreography for Valli for more than a decade. Landon Beard, Todd Fournier and brothers Brian and Brandon Brigham were all in-demand singers before being brought together as a quartet by the legendary crooner.
“My brother and I were athletes in high school but we were also in show choir,” said Brian Brigham. “We were in a barbershop quartet and a lot of the stage shows at Disneyland. It was fun. We were getting paid for doing what we love, and we really had a chance to hone our skills. It was great training.”
There, the Brighams met Beard and Fournier. One of them had a friend who worked for Newark-born Valli and suggested they audition for him. For the past 15 years, they’ve been performing alongside the 83-year-old rock and roll icon in about 75 shows a year.
“Ever since Jersey Boys took off, Frankie’s career has been rejuvenated,” said Brigham. “We’ve been very busy.”
Aside from their shows with Valli, The Modern Gentlemen have developed their own signature sound, bringing their four-part harmonies and impressive choreography, as well as the classic hits of Motown, pop, rock, doo-wop and, of course, the Four Seasons, to audiences worldwide.
“We perform music from a lot of our favorite vocal groups,” Brigham said. “I love seeing the audience reminisce about the first time they heard those songs. Jersey Boys has also brought us a younger audience, which is fun.”
They’ve performed for U.S. presidents and shared the stage with such greats as the Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and Tony Bennett. This is their first east coast appearance, as they must fit The Modern Gentlemen shows in between those of Valli.
“Frankie has been very supportive of us,” said Brigham.
They’ve also been spending time in the studio with Valli, working on a Frank Sinatra tribute album.
“We’ll be doing cool vocal harmonies, à la the Four Freshmen,” he said.
At Kean Stage, concertgoers are likely to hear songs from the Beatles, the Bee Gees, the Beach Boys and Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as Four Seasons hits, including Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry and December, 1963 (Oh What a Night).
“I think this is going to be a really fun show,” Brigham said. “We’re excited about our first tour date in New Jersey. It’s fun venturing out on our own. It would be awesome if we have a career half as successful as Frankie.”
The Modern Gentlemen will perform at 7:30pm on Saturday, October 7, at Enlow Recital Hall, 215 North Ave., Hillside, NJ. Tickets are $40 to $60 and are available at the Kean Stage Box Office in Wilkins Theatre on the campus of Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ, by phone at 908-737-7469 or online at www.keanstage.com.