No Singing the Blues for San Diego’s Christian Hoff

| March 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
Christian Hoff is a San Diego boy who started his career in youth theater.

Christian Hoff is a San Diego boy who started his career in youth theater.

Tony Award winning actor and singer Christian Hoff will return to his roots on March 6 and 7 when he and his group Midtown Men appear at Copley Symphony Hall with the San Diego Symphony. The quartet, made up of members of the original Broadway company of the hit musical “Jersey Boys,” will fill the hall with the timeless music of the 1960s. The shows will be a homecoming for Hoff, who began his acting career on the local stages.

Growing up in the fertile youth theater fields of San Diego, Hoff knew early on that the stage would be his future. Beginning at the age of 8 with training at the renowned San Diego Junior Theater and continuing at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, Hoff honed his natural talents to the point that the rest of the world had to take notice.

“The most important lesson I learned in those early days was the belief that I could do it: the role, the dance step, memorizing lines,” Hoff explained. “When all those coaches and directors said, ‘You can do this…again!’ that ultimately instilled the confidence that I have today.”

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Hoff’s first Actors’ Equity role came in a West Coast production of “Evita” at the Schubert Theater, and he was also cast early in his career as the voice of Richie Rich in the “Hannah-Barbera” cartoon series. The latter helped launch a voice-over career that eventually saw him named “The Master of Mimicry” by Entertainment Weekly for his work voicing a world-record 241 separate voices for the audio book “Tell Me How You Love the Picture.”

Hoff’s first big break came in 1992 when he attended an open call for the La Jolla Playhouse production of “The Who’s Tommy,” co-written and directed by Des McAnuff. The show eventually transitioned to Broadway in 1993, with Hoff continuing as a member of the original cast. “Tommy” eventually went on to win five Tony Awards.

Lightning would strike a second time for Hoff when he again teamed with McAnuff and the La Jolla Playhouse to debut “Jersey Boys,” a musical based on the experiences of the famed 60s group The Four Seasons. As with “The Who’s Tommy,” a successful run at the Playhouse led eventually to Broadway and Tony Award nominations. This time Hoff received the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor for his role as Tommy DeVito.

Currently Hoff is touring the country with his group the Midtown Men, which includes three other members of the original cast of ‘Jersey Boys’: Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer. The show, which celebrates the music of the 60s, has been called a “musical tour de force” and “a joyous and nostalgic trip through the music of the 1960s.”

Looking back on his career, Hoff acknowledges the start he had in youth theater as a key to his later success. In recognition of this, he recently began developing a special Audition Workshop program that will provide aspiring young actors with additional guidance on the all-important show audition.

“I want to inspire,” said Hoff of his motivation for creating the program. “Shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’ are great examples of performers being forced to take it to the next level. Once you cross that threshold, it’s hard to go back. In this workshop I want to give them real supportive feedback from an entertainer that has been on the front lines of theatre.”

Midtown Men will be performing at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 6 and at Copley Symphony Hall. Two tickets will be given away based on a drawing from Presidio Sentinel’s email list, which you can join at PresidioSentinel.com. Christian Hoff will be teaching his Audition Master Class on Sunday, March 8, at San Diego Creative Arts Project in North Park.

 

 

 

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Category: Entertainment, Local News, Music

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