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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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Companies Reviewed#
Atlanta Professional Theatre1
Horizon Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 4.25000
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REVIEWS

Altar Boyz, by Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, Book by Kevin Del Aguila
Rock out with your cross out!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
4.5
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to see Alter Boyz. It was my first trip to see anything at the Horizon. What a treat this turned out to be! Though I never got to see the original off-Broadway production live, I had seen a *gasp* bootleg copy of it in which I fell in love. I thought the premise was hilarious, and Horizon's production did not disappoint.

It had the appropriate amount of camp which works for anything involving boy bands. My date was one of those screaming girls from the late 90's with walls plastered with *N'sync and Backstreet Boys posters, and she had a ball! She felt that the cast gave an eerily accurate portrayal of her beloved boy bands even though they were stereotyped.

I think that the show carefully walked the line of tastefulness when it comes to combining humor with anything remotely "Christian" in the South. As a patron, I always wonder if anyone ever gets offended when something is poked fun at...The cast was phenomenal. Did I say that already? Two stand outs to me were understudy Andy McKissick and Ricardo Aponte. McKissick took a character that was already written well and gave it more life than I would have imagined. I have seen a lot of Aponte's choreography, but I never knew he had such presence onstage. Hilarious!

If you get a chance, you should go down to Little Five and catch this fun show! Bring some friends, enjoy one of the delicious cookies, and prepare for some great laughs!

Disney's High School Musical!, by
Hello APT!
Friday, March 14, 2008
4.0
*Disclaimer* There is perhaps a bias on my part in this review because I have been assisting this new company through their first two shows. I'll try to be as objective as possible, but this review serves as commentary about the show and about this new company.

It's a strange and exciting time when a new theatre company makes its first mark in a somewhat small and competitive market. Having been around the partners of this company and the cast of their show, I can say that Atlanta Professional Theatre has something to offer. Disney's High School Musical! is no exception to that statement. After talking to the partners to understand their vision, I decided to sign on and do something to help get them on their feet. I think that they are doing a great thing by trying to bring family oriented entertainment to our theatrical community as well as trying to express themselves artistically. When you see this show, you'll notice that their upcoming season has a nice balance between family fun AND artistic merit. It's an exciting time for any theatre lover.

I've never been a fan of High School Musical. In fact, I'm not necessarily a fan of the corporate musical. My perception has since changed about High School Musical because of how the stage production is written versus the movie AND by this amazing cast. As you can see, there is a combination of more "seasoned" Atlanta professionals along with some debuts rounded out with some younger actors who act simply because they love to do so. It should be noted that APT is also in the midst of starting a Children's Theatre and/or Youth Program. It's very admirable to see a company giving young people an opportunity to learn and be nurtured in the arts.

Brook Run is a different space. It may not have the pizzazz of the better funded theaters or the intimacy of some of Atlanta's more popular spaces, but it has character and potential. If the city or county finally decides to make APT the house company, I'm know they will transform this vintage space into a viable asset to Atlanta. Having said that, Brook Run did give High School Musical some challenges. The natural acoustics in the space gave APT some challenges. I felt that they were able to negotiate through most of the problems. Sound masking will help out some of those problems in the future.

From a visual perspective, the set is gorgeous and vibrant. Costumes were also done very well. Overall, the show was easy on the eyes. Director/Choreographer Katie Rouse also does an great job of giving the audience lovely pictures to look at on stage. Translating a film onto the stage is a tough task, and I applaud Katie for bringing us right to East High. To borrow a word that I overheard earlier, I thought that the "industrial" look was very appropriate. High School Musical is really a glorified rock concert with a plot. Throw in the screaming 13 year old girls, and you'd never know that you weren't at a Justin Timberlake concert with the lighting rig and speakers hanging everywhere.

In regards to the show itself, Justin McGough and Mary Raines Battle as Troy and Gabriella were outstanding. They had such great chemistry on the stage. Nevermind the age difference. I never saw that at all watching them. I saw two kids from different sides of the tracks trying to make it happen. There were some very beautiful moments especially during their duets. Speaking of chemistry, Johnathan Maloney and Ally Maher were hilarious as the Ryan twins. I felt that they played off of each other very well on more than a few occasions in which I couldn't stop laughing. Bonnie Chambless and Nicholar Morrett were also other notables. They were a breath of fresh air, and I laughed every time they opened their mouths.

A cast is as strong as its Ensemble, and this one doesn't disappoint. Given the varying levels of talent and experience within the Ensemble, I was impressed. In fact, it was actually some of the younger and/or inexperienced actors that brought the energy. I HAVE to take the time to say that the Auditions number in the show was hilarious. Every single soloist from the ensemble really stepped into their spotlight and gave the over-the-top performance that was needed. The favorite number for me was the Act I closer, Stick to the Status Quo. It was visually stunning to watch, hilarious, and booming with energy at certain points.

All in all, APT gives you exactly what you expect from High School Musical. It's a show that's in your face filled with many great laughs, some tender yet cheesy moments, and good ole fashioned Disney fun. Though some may consider the ticket price a bit much, I can say that you will get your money's worth when you see this show. APT may be a new company, but I have a feeling about them. "Something's coming...It's right outside the door, around the corner. But
it's comin'!"

~Andy Danh

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