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Altar Boyz
a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Kevin Del Agulia (book), Michael Patrick Walker and Gay Adler (songs)

COMPANY : Marietta Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre In The Square:Alley Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 5528

SHOWING : June 07, 2019 - June 22, 2019

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Full of sharp parody, sinfully spectacular dancing, and irreverent humor, this spoof about a heavenly guy-group is adored by audiences and critics alike. With an extraordinary mix of side-splitting songs convincing enough to be played on MTV, uncontrollable laughs and lighthearted fun, this award-winning and totally original new musical is 90 minutes of pure delight that’s suitable for all ages and will have the whole family laughing and singing along.

Hailed as “high-octane entertainment” (Talkin’ Broadway), "Altar Boyz" tells the holy inspiring story of 5 small-town boys – Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham – trying to save the world one screaming fan at a time. Their pious pop act, including lyrics like “Girl You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone,” worked wonders on the Ohio bingo-hall-and-pancake-breakfast circuit. But when fate brings them to New York, will the boyz take a bite out of the forbidden apple? With angelic voices, sinfully spectacular dancing and a touching story, "Altar Boyz" is destined to rock the masses of all denominations!


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeff Cooper
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Rock Camp
by playgoer
Saturday, June 29, 2019
3.0
Imagine the cast of "Forever Plaid" finding religion and wanting to do a gender-reversed production of "Nunsense," but finding that they don’t have the rights, but DO have the set for "Godspell." That pretty much gives you the flavor of Marietta Theatre Company’s "Altar Boyz." There’s plenty of religion, plenty of choral harmonies, and plenty of generally lame humor.

Choreographer Zac Phelps seems finally to have realized that he can’t do a good job of choreographing in the alley black box space with audience on multiple sides of the room. The solution is a set that features an angled chain link fence between the entrance to the black box space and the graffitied back brick wall, leaving audience just on two sides. That allows the choreography to be angled toward the corner of the room between the two halves of the audience. It’s basically choreography for a proscenium stage, but it works to give the entire audience good sightlines of the dance moves.

And, boy, is there a lot of dancing! The five members of the cast seem almost continually to be in motion. This is a very active show, and the movement makes for a visually exciting show. Add in Brad Rudy’s lighting design, which includes LED lights on and behind the chain link fence, an illuminated "Altar Boyz" sign, and a countdown LED, and you have a viscerally stunning show. With tons of lighting cues, there’s very little that goes wrong. True, there’s a small dim spot down front during general illumination and lack of a special effect when each portion of the Altar Boyz’ origin story ends, but the complicated lighting scheme goes off without a hitch.

John Michael d’Haviland fronts an excellent four-piece band that sits in the area behind the chain link fence. As music director, he has gotten the cast to produce an overall fine sound, but the constant activity of the show has a toll on the voices, with the penultimate number, "Number 918," sounding very ragged. Gamble’s sound design has its issues too, with the microphone levels inconsistent among the cast members. I could hear every word Nicholas Anthony spoke or said, but I missed most of the lyrics sung by David Wells and Jared D. Howard. Landon Ebuna’s Hispanic accent, while working very well, can add to the difficulty of distinguishing words.

The cast is well-balanced in terms of dance skills, but the performances are a bit of a mixed bag. Mr. Anthony is wonderful as closeted gay Mark, reacting beautifully to each moment in the show. Sully Brown is bright and energetic as Matthew, but has low volume on his low notes. David Wells has a resting face that seems to have a bored expression, and his acting as Luke can seem a bit stilted, making him appear a bit out of his depth (although he is the flashiest dancer of the bunch). Landon Ebuna is full of energy and pizzazz as Juan, making a terrific impression throughout. Jared B. Howard is more understated as the black, Jewish Abraham (particularly in his sweet vocals), but his performance acts as a nice counterweight to the Catholic boys’ frequent frenzy.

Jeff Cooper has directed a show that is more flash than substance. The songs have their clever moments, but are generally unmemorable. The title number is particularly weak and repetitive. The plot, such as it is, is paper-thin. The success of the production depends on the talent and energy of the cast members. Marietta Theatre Company has assembled a group that fulfills the needs of the script, but they don’t transcend the material. The show is sheer, mindless entertainment with a sometimes uncomfortably religious aspect. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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