Joey McIntyre Jokes His Kids 'Don't Take Notes Very Well': I Don't Give Them Any Stage Tips
"Apple doesn't fall far from the tree: They love theater, and they're in different shows," he tells PEOPLE
Joey McIntyre admits that the kids on the block he’s happiest spending time with are his own.
“I am present with my kids, that’s for sure,” McIntyre, who made his name in the boy band New Kids on the Block, told reporters at the 24th Annual “A Night at Sardi’s” fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“They demand it. I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my kids. I’ve got three little ones — 4, 6, and 8 — and never a dull moment!”
McIntyre, who attended the event with his wife Barrett Williams, revealed that as a dad he’s even picking up a new trick or two from his children, daughter Kira, and sons Rhys and Griffin.
“Griffin is teaching me how to be a decent soccer player … not really!” he jokes. “I never knew soccer, but he’s so good, he keeps me on my toes. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: They love theater, and they’re in different shows, and we have fun working on that stuff.”
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For their part, the kids would rather follow their theatrical instincts than take tips from their seasoned pro dad. “They don’t take notes very well,” he says of the response to his attempt at guidance. “So I’ve learned very early on: If I have an opinion, don’t give it.”
The evening raised money to treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and featured a number of celebrities performing Broadway standards old and new, including McIntyre’s lush rendition of “S’ Wonderful” from Funny Face.
“Something like this makes you realize what’s important,” says McIntyre. “My mom passed away about a year and a half ago from Alzheimer’s, and she suffered for a while. So that’s what brought me in, but it’s such a great night. It always has such a special vibe … and to be a part of it, I always felt very special.”
He admits that he feels he and his family handled his mother’s condition “not very well. I’m sure there’s lots of ailments and diseases that can tear people apart and tear families apart if you don’t have the help, but with Alzheimer’s, it’s so hard to figure out. When it first comes on, you just think they’re acting weird or acting selfish or being angry. Then, you realize that it’s not something they can control.”
Eventually, McIntyre says, his mother reached a more peaceful place. “Finally, after the paranoia and being scared at night, she had a few years of what was kind of bittersweet because there were a lot of tender moments, but she wasn’t all there. So it’s a hell of a thing, and that’s why we’re here,” he says.
“My mom was 83 when she passed away and 75 when she came down with Alzheimer’s,” he continues. “That’s young nowadays, but what makes me keep showing up is for the parents and the people and the kids who see their loved ones getting this disease in their 50s and 60s. I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking it is. So we’re here, and we’ve done amazing things.”
And his focus remains steadfastly on family time. “I’m super grateful for just having a very full life,” he adds.
“We recently got a place back in Boston that we go for the summers. My kids see their 15 cousins, and I get to see my friends from back home — all that stuff that’s priceless. I sound like an old fogey, but I’m kind of like, ‘When’s the summer going to happen when we can get back home?’ ”
— Scott Huver