Knox supporters gathered on April 9 to celebrate the close of the series’ 70th season with an energetic performance by the Midtown Men. These four fellows were original cast members of Broadway’s "Jersey Boys," the popular Tony Award-winning musical that told how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came into being.
It was also charter night for the historic music series. Board members circulated through the auditorium encouraging patrons to renew their subscriptions in time to be entered into drawings for prizes.
The program began with Knox chairman Phil Webb drawing the winners of those prizes. Carol Sok won the grand prize of two Knox season subscriptions with reserved seating. Janet Reese won dinner for four at Classic on Noble. Karen Davis won dinner for four at Garfrerick’s Cafe. Mr. and Mrs. Craig Miller won dinner for four at the Anniston Country Club.
Before turning the stage over to the Midtown Men, Webb acknowledged the program’s underwriters: Jim and Gina Nolen, Shelley and Clint Ray, Wells Fargo Advisors and Southern States Bank.
Then, to the tune of "Big Girls Don’t Cry," Michael Longoria, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spence made their entrance. They kept the audience grooving all night to tunes from the 1960s — "the greatest decade in music history," Spence said, adding that he wanted to see the audience "shaking it and making noise!"
The music of the ’60s appealed to people of all generations, Spence said. He shared the story of how the group posed for a photo with a 16-year-old fan during a meet-and-greet after a show.
"She posted the picture on Facebook, saying that we were amazing, and that we were just like an old version of One Direction." When the laughter subsided, he added, "I unfriended her."
In addition to music from the Four Seasons, the Midtown Men performed songs made famous by the Beatles ("Can’t Buy Me Love"), the Ronettes ("Be My Baby"), the Foundations ("Build Me Up Buttercup") and even Glen Campbell ("Galveston").
Audience members couldn’t resist dancing in their seats to the group’s renditions of "Ain’t Too Proud to Beg," made famous by the Temptations, and "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5.
The crowd was also invited to sing along to several of the hit songs and even to whistle along with The Lovin’ Spoonful’s "What a Day for a Daydream."
In closing the show, the singers had the crowd stand and pose for a picture that was posted on the group’s Facebook page later that night. "What a marvelous audience and the hospitality lived up to its reputation," the group wrote.
After the concert, patrons gathered downtown at Classic on Noble for a late-night buffet dinner of sweet potato biscuits with country ham and strawberry fig jam, meatball hoagies and bacon-wrapped liver.
"We also served soft pretzels alongside beer cheese soup," said Stephen Pitts, the restaurant’s manager. "And a spinach and crab salad with poppyseed dressing."
The decadent dessert bar featured parfait-filled shot glasses and gourmet chocolates.
The next production for Knox Concert Series will be the season opener featuring Peter Cetera on Oct. 27.
Contact Donna Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org.