Broadway cutie Michael Longoria is known best for his roles in iconic shows like Jersey Boys (where he played Frankie Valli) and The View Upstairs. Now the talented singer and performer is shifting gears a bit by creating his first ever Christmas album… that has a mixture of favorites, contemporaries and an actual gay wedding song just in time for the holidays.
He has called it Merry Christmas Darling, and it might just be the one thing you need for any holiday party you plan on hosting from now until the big day. Michael chatted with me about the effort, which comes out tomorrow, and the inspiration behind taking on such a task. Take a look.
What inspired you to want to do a holiday album?
I wanted to record a romantic holiday album that captured the magic of giving your heart away at Christmas time. A winter album to warm up the lover alone at Christmas who wants nothing more than to tell their baby to come home and cuddle by the fireplace. I discovered, as I was researching every holiday song ever written, that I gravitated to the songs that were less about jingle bells and more about taking a chance on love as the snow falls down. The lyrics in the song "Wrapped In Red" (track number 11 on Merry Christmas Darling) was the main inspiration for the album though: "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".
Will it be filled with a mixture of classics and some new songs?
I recorded a mix of Christmas favorites like Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and George Michael's "Last Christmas", with modern treasures like Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me".
The more contemporary songs, Leona Lewis' One More Sleep and Britney Spears My Only Wish (This Year) represent the modern day lover in us all who wants to take a chance under the mistletoe. The more classic songs like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "The Christmas Waltz" represent the outside world of Christmas coming into the world of the longing lover waiting by the door for their other half to come home. I also co-wrote a brand new Christmas song for the album called "Merry Me This Christmas", a song about how I met up for a first date with a Facebook cutie at a Christmas party and then later married him in a winter wedding.
Hold up… you wrote a gay, wedding Christmas song? WHAT? We need details now.
I met my husband on Facebook and we had an online courtship back in 2008. I had just finished Jersey Boys on Broadway and went to LA to try out for some TV pilots and he was in New York City working on publicity campaigns for Broadway shows. I kept my Hell's Kitchen apartment with a sublet situation while I was in LA, and when my sublet guest had to leave town, I had to come back to New York City and decide if I was going to keep the apartment or stay in LA. It was December, so I messaged this cutie that I was coming to town.
We had never actually met in person but we discovered that a mutual friend was throwing a Christmas party at ELMO in NYC and had invited us both. We decided to meet up at the Christmas party and on that night I met the guy that I walked down the aisle with last December. With "Merry Me This Christmas", I wanted to capture our love story in a song and maybe inspire other romantics out there to propose a winter wedding.
Is that your favorite song off of it or do you have others?
Definitely my favorite because it speaks to my own journey in love at Christmas. One of my other favorites on the album is "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". It's a song that captures the juxtaposition of the joyous holiday world outside a lonely lovers window pane as he remembers the love he had at Christmas time the previous year.
You are known for your work on the Broadway stage. Do you plan on sticking with that in 2019 or are there other plans?
Broadway has always been a big part of my journey and I welcome opportunities to tell beautiful stories on stage in musicals. But laying my voice, heart, and soul down on a recording for a listener to discover through their ears later is magical. I plan on doing a lot more recording in 2019!