'Jersey Boys' leads to group formation

Adam Larck
mtn@timestoday.com
Under the Streetlamp may have formed while singing in “The Jersey Boys,” but they'll bring a wide assortment of songs when their tour stops in Peoria on Tuesday.

A musical has led to a music group on its fourth tour for four singers.

Michael Cunio, Michael Ingersoll, Christopher Kale Jones and Shonn Wiley were all members of “The Jersey Boys” while it was on stage in Chicago.

In 2009, while the show was still going on, the group started singing extra events in their spare time.

“We were doing ‘Jersey Boys’ in Chicago and on our nights off we did private events,” Cunio said. “It gave us a chance to expand beyond the Four Seasons catalog. We found that there was not only an enthusiastic group for the Four Seasons music but for more music as well.”

Now, four years later, Under the Streetlamp is set to bring that extended catalog at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Peoria Civic Center.

Tickets are $29, $39 or $49, and can be purchased at the Peoria Civic Center box office, Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000.

After the show closed in Chicago, Cunio said the group kept getting requests for music from the era of the Four Season, the 1960s.

“One of the things that we learned, whether it was doing the ‘Jersey Boys’ or something outside of that, is that there is a real hunger for the music from that era,” he said.

That hunger for music allowed the group to open up more of a catalogue to sing from.

 Cunio said that each person has a distinct type of music they’re well versed in.

“I’m more of a rock and roll guy,” he said. “I think it makes for a very diverse evening of music.”

In fact, Cunio said that he now performs many of the songs he did 20 years ago in his first cover band.

While rock may be his forte, Cunio showed his well-roundedness with the type of music he likes.

“Personally, I’m really drawn to soul,” he said, noting that Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin can normally be found on his iPod.

During the show, Cunio’s favorite song to sing actually comes from “The Godfather of Soul” himself, James Brown.

Audience members can expect to hear Cunio belt out “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” during the evening.

Cunio added that audience members also really like hearing “At Last.”

“It’s an incredible tune, but it’s also a song I’ve been singing every day since 2006,” he said. “One of the things I love about this is the chance to keep things fresh and keep things new.”

Coming from the show in Chicago, Cunio said Peoria is one of their favorite places to play. Many made the trek years ago to see them in the “Jersey Boys,” and he said that there are some new musical surprises for those that have seen Under the Streetlamp perform before.

“I think the thing they can look forward to is a lot of showiness and a lot of jokes,” he said.