Wareham's Teddy Mathews, a go-getter in the music world, is still "Hangin' Tough" after the New Kids on the Block asked him to open their Fenway show this Friday, only to be told yesterday that all the opening acts had to be cut out because of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

"It's really hard," he said. "I'm going to make no bones about it. It's not easy to work, work, work your behind off and get so, so close – and then, through no fault of your own, it doesn't work out."

This is the first announcement he's made of it.

"Of course I'm disappointed, but everything happens for a reason, so I've learned to release the things I can't control and just focus on the things I can control," he said with the maturity of a seasoned pro.

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It all started a couple of months ago, following an impassioned version of the national anthem at T.D. Garden before a Celtics game. His voice struck a responsive chord with NKOTB's Donnie Wahlberg, who was in attendance. He sought out Mathews, asking him if he'd like to open for the New Kids concert at Fenway on August 6.

You can say, it was sweet music to Teddy's ear. So he started putting together some original material with some cover songs and choreographed a new routine for the dancers. All along, Mathews and his record company were still waiting for the final word from Wahlberg. But when the call finally came in yesterday, what they heard wasn't what they were expecting to hear.

"I'm the type who feels something else is on the horizon," Mathews said. His plan now is to "get ready for some new music, new visuals and get ready to see me soon on a stage near you."

"It may not be Fenway Park," he said laughingly, "But it will be a great show!"

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