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Altar Boyz

a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, Book by Kevin Del Aguila

COMPANY : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
ID# 3148

SHOWING : September 12, 2008 - November 16, 2008

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

This long-running, critically-acclaimed musical comedy is the hilarious story of a Christian boy-band (with one nice Jewish boy) who are nearing the end of their “Raise the Praise” concert tour of church halls and picnics. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham now have their chance to break into the big time, bringing their soul-saving rhythm and funk to Atlanta. The Altar Boyz aim to rock the masses of all denominations.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeff Adler
Sound / Video Designer Brad Bergeron
Choreographer Charles Bulloch
Scenic/Projections Designer John Thigpen
Musical Director Bryan Mercer
Juan Ricardo Aponte
Mark Kyle Haak
Announcer/Voice of GOD Matthew McClure
Mark Understudy Andy McKissick
Abraham Andy Meeks
Matthew Josh R. Noble
Luke Ronve O'Daniel
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Am I now an Altar groupie?
by LeonaTerrell40
Saturday, October 25, 2008
4.5
After seeing this performance of ALTAR BOYZ at the Horizon Theatre 4 times, each time bringing back girlfriends of mine, my daughters and friends...does this now make me what they call an "altarholic"?

I will try to be short and to the point. These "BOYZ" are each charming, talented, and engaging in their own right...not to mention cute and handsome.

Ricardo Aponte is hilarious as Juan, Josh Rhett Noble is unbelievably real as Matthew and brings depth to the script, Kyle Haak as Mark is hysterical with his "almost coming out" number, Andy Meeks proves why he is a vet of theatre as Abraham and Ronve O'Daniel had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

Oh...and they all sing heavenly too.

I have seen this production in NYC, Chicago and now Atlanta. I have loved every production, and this one is no exception. It is intimate. It is VERY well acted (more so than the others I have seen), and has true heart. Director Jeff Adler was able to bring sincerity to what could be a paper thin script. This production at no point tries to "copy" the NYC production. It is its OWN entity, as should be any regional premiere of the show. The point of the script is that the boyz have been performing at very small venues (bingo halls, etc.), so the fact they end up in the small Horizon Theatre instead of the Fox makes perfect sense.

But, check it out for yourself. I hope you'll leave the theatre with a huge smile like I have!


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Don't have much to say...
by jcman3777
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
2.5
I saw this show on Off-Broadway and it became one of my favorite shows of all time. Everything about it was incredible. There wasn't one thing that was out of place. Almost as if it was...holy? Horizon's production of it was disappointing to say the least. The whole cast didn't seem to really understand the whole meaning of the show. It's a spoof on the religion of Christianity AND boy bands (Also character qualities). But the cast seemed to skim over these subjects without digging deeper. The characters didn't seem fully developed, except Ricardo Aponte. I was thoroughly impressed with Juan! But other than that the cast seemed bland. The harmonies weren't as tight as they could've been. The dancing...well...the lack of dancing. It was just not a very good interpretation of it. They didn't give you a feel like you were in a concert, they made you feel like you were in the basement at the Horizon Theater. Off-Broadway didn't have a huge theater either, but they pulled off everything! Atlanta has good performers too, so I don't know what went wrong. Maybe the director?

Maybe I was expecting too much. I mean it was the first performance of Altar Boyz in Georgia. And I do love the written script and music. And for that I give it 2.5.

One more thought, if you have never seen it, I understand why you would love it. Everyone falls in love with the Boyz their first time. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
'Altared' my mind...
by newskid
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
5.0
I saw the show last weekend.. it was great!

I'll say this.. I think the talent far exceeded the quality of the production itself. Without that particular cast - I don't think I would've enjoyed it as much. The intimate venue, though, really worked here.

Josh Rhett Noble rocked it. He is so NATURAL in the role of Matthew. He's by far the only one who didn't appear to be 'acting'. He truly reacted to his scene partners and never once appeared to anticipate the next line. He took the wheel and thanks to him, the show never left the road. Nice voice too - when he serenaded a girl in the audience - he really showed his vocal talents. Loved it.

Kyle K. Haak was a hoot and a half. I think he nailed it.. He made it easy to laugh out loud.

Ronve' O'Daniel was enjoyable. He really played well with the audience..

Ricardo Aponte was spot on. He was hard to understand at times but I think that added to his character..

Andy Meeks sold it. Great facial expressions.. Good dancing.. Perfect grasp of his character.

Matthew McClure probably doesn't get the credit he deserves as the 'voice of God'.. I had to do some research to figure out who lended his voice for the role. Job well done. Smooth.. Authoritative.. clear.. He can say my name anytime.

It's a show worth seeing - I promise.

I'm glad I had the chance. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Rock out with your cross out!
by zwzg17
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! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Altar Boyz
by Trudie
Monday, October 13, 2008
5.0
A fun show, completely appropriate for the whole family. Good music, fabulous dancing, wonderful lighting and an uplifting message. Enough tongue-in-cheek humor to keep adults laughing without having to make too many explanations to the pre-teen set. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Could have been better
by J_Wild
Sunday, October 5, 2008
2.5
This is the Atlanta premiere of Altar Boyz, which debuted Off Broadway in the early 2000's. I saw this show OffBway in 2006. Altar Boyz opened up in NYC with talent that was comparable to Justin Timberlake or Jason Mraz. Now, the show has been running off Broadway for several years, and has done some mini national tours. Horizon Theatre did a pretty brave thing by being the first theatre in Georgia to pull of this comedic show, but unfortunately they could've done a better job.

I am by all means not saying this show was bad. There were actually many good things about it. Among the good things are Richard Aponte as Juan, Josh Noble as Matthew, and Andy Meeks as Abraham. The others were just not quite as strong... I did not enjoy Ronve O'Daniel's performance as Luke. It seems like he missed a lot of the comedy that the script had to offer... Another disappointment was the singing overall. Yes, they all had good voices. But did their voices flow? No. The harmonies were not as good as when I saw it in 2006. "God Put the Rhythm in Me" was not nearly as impressive as the offbway production. And that is my favorite song from the production.

But if you have never seen this show, you are sure to love it. If you have seen the OffBway production, you will probably be disappointed by this production of Altar Boyz by the Horizon Theatre.

Overall- 68/100 [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Oh no... by jcman3777
This is not what I want to hear. I also saw Altar Boyz in 2006 Off-Broadway. Sad to hear that it doesn't serve up a close enough experience. I will be seeing it though.
Wonderful by LeonaTerrell40
My husband and I have been back 3 times to see this production. We have also seen the NYC cast twice. Horizon's production is a much more sincere, intimate approach to the show and honestly...it works. We love it and will be back.
The Devil on My Shoulder
by Dedalus
Monday, September 29, 2008
3.5
Remember those old cartoons that would put an angel by one character’s ear and a devil by the other? That’s pretty much how I felt while watching “Altar Boyz,” Horizon’s staging of a “Concert Musical” featuring a Catholic (sorta kinda) Boy Band whose specialty is “Rockin’ Funk for the Lord.”

In my Right-Brain Analytical Ear (the left one?), a little angel (or is this one a devil?) is whispering “Judge it harshly! It’s contrived, it’s clichéd, it’s about all the pseudo-Godly crap that’s all surface no substance, it’s stereotype humor of the worst kind!” In my Left-Brain Emotional Ear (the right one?), a little devil (or is this one an angel?) is whispering “This is funny! This is tuneful! This may not be saving your soul, but it’s making you clap and shout!”

And, of course, both voices are right. And the second voice is beating the bejeebers out of the first.

So, what else is there to say? Well, the “Altar Boyz” are Matthew (the leader), Mark (the gay one), Luke (the .. um .. urban one), Juan (the comic-accent one), and Abraham (the Jewish one). How they get together as a Catholic boy band is right out of an average Dramaturgy 101 primer. They are broad and bring no surprises to the table. But, I ended up liking them all. A lot. Maybe that’s surprise enough.

They are on their farewell tour, playing a concert right here in Little Five Points, trying out their new Sony-produced gizmo that counts the number of souls in the room that still need saving. It’s a goofy plot device of a goofy gizmo that yields some not-unexpected-but-still goofy results. The show is a slate of songs about God and Catholics and Virtue and, well you get the idea. It’s all done with a tech-heavy (for Horizon) style absolutely suited to the space, to the group, and to the style of music these “Boyz” are making. (Snaps, by the way, to the tech crew for a well-designed, well-executed concept).

So, what do these “Boyz” and these songs have to say to a crotchety old lost soul like me? Not a heckuva lot, unless you count the basic messages of friendship and honesty, and the simple (okay, simplistic) wit that somehow finds its way to the funny bone. A song about raging hormones and “waiting” comes across as a giggly insult-fest (“There’s something about you that makes me want to wait!”), complete with the expected digression to mastering your own fate. Another song in which we’re expecting to see the flamboyantly fey Mark “come out of the closet” becomes another gigglefest about “Coming out of the cloister” as a Catholic. Juan does an expected salsa number, “La Vida Eternal,” before breaking down in a shallow attempt at depth. Luke gets to rap, Matthew gets to croon, and Abraham shows us that “Christian Values” know no denomination.

Like my Right-Brain Whisperer says, there’s a boatload of cliché, a ton of ammo for the skeptic’s cannon (or canon, as it were), a plethora of reasons to Hrrmph it all away.

But, when the performers are as likeable as this, the songs are as bright and chipper as this, and the laughs are as fast and frequent as this, it’s time to just bitch-slap that analytic voice into silence, sit back, and have a good time. For the record, the marvelous cast is composed of Josh Rhett Noble (Matthew), Kyle K. Haak (Mark), Ronvé O’Daniel (Luke), Ricardo Aponte (Juan), Andy Meeks (Abraham), and God (as Himself). Special note should also be made that God’s program bio tells us that he has “worked with a number of A-List celebs, including Moses, Noah, Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, and Tony Danza.” Name Dropper!

Oh, and also for the record, you may want to question the accuracy of soul-counter. I think it thinks my thoughts are cleaner than I think. And it may have missed the whisperers on my shoulders.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)






[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Heavenly Entertainment!
by TheatreMeter2000
Friday, September 12, 2008
5.0
Get ready to have your mind "Altared"! Altar Boyz at Horizon Theatre is great fun. I was there preview night, and having seen the show before in New York, I must say the Horizon production definitely does justice to the material.

Horizon is known for edgy, contemporary theatre. This show is definitely contemporary as it allows us to join in on the final tour concert for Catholic boy band members Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham (the nice Jewish boy). And while on the surface Altar Boyz may seem like it's all fluff, there's much more to the picture. Altar Boyz is all about family, community, answering your call in life, and sticking together no matter what.

This is originally a one-act show. Horizon splits it up into two acts, which is a little odd, but does give you time to go buy a t-shirt.

The show is visually fantastic, with nice lighting effects, a great projection screen, wonderful costumes and a scaled-down boy band stage that would make N'Sync envious. Horizon is a very unique theatre space, and sound engineers make the best of it, although the music could be a little louder in places.

Josh Rhett Noble is a perfect Matthew. With a smooth voice and rocker-boy look, Noble dances perfectly and brings his own touch to the "straight character" in the show. Kyle Haak is an Atlanta newcomer, and plays "sensitive boy" Mark with sweetness and heart. His "Epiphany" is a highlight of the show. Andy Meeks as Abraham is a hoot, Ricardo Aponte gets many laughs as the Latin heartthrob Juan, and you can't help but love Ronve O'Daniel as Luke.

Hats off to Director Jeff Adler, Musical Director Bryan Mercer, and Choreographer Charles Bulloch for pulling off such a great production. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Amazing! by LeonaTerrell40
I saw the opening tonight and it was simply phenomenal. My husband and I are thrilled we decided to get the tickets.


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