Altar Boyz, the 2004 Christian boy band spoof, can be a heavenly time as long as you are not too catholic about your religion or your art. This enjoyable theatrical trifle with a throwaway story plays like Forever Plaid for the Twitter generation.
The quintet pretends Winnipeg is the final stop on their Raise the Praise tour. They spread the gospel according to Boyz Matthew, Mark, Luke et al., who get jiggy for Jesus together. Their goal is to lift spirits with some sharp choreography and harmonies, while saving a few souls.
All five dreamy performers of the Winnipeg Studio Theatre are standouts, led by Jeremy Walmsley as the "crunky" Matthew, who extols the virtues of abstinence in his love ballad Something About You. He vows to wait until he’s married; until then, he sings, "I’ll just have to master ... his fate."
Joseph Sevillo, back from Toronto as Mark, the closeted apostle of Matthew, is terrific. Marc Devigne also impresses as Latin boy Juan in his big, rock-the-house, Ricky Martin-esque production number La Vida Eternal. Michael Lyons busts more than a few moves as Luke, the hip-hoppin’ homeboy, while Simon Miron, the Jewish member Abraham, is no chopped liver either.
For $9, Altar Boyz is a fringe festival steal, given all the talent on display under the lively direction of Kayla Gordon. Remember, it’s no sin to admit you like it.
— Kevin Prokosh
From the official Fringe program:
Watch out 'N Sync, the "Altar Boyz" are coming to the Fringe! Hailed as "high-octane entertainment", the boyz Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham - the gefilte fish out of water - can sing and dance with the best of them, and these heartthrobs want to ‘Raise the Praise’ with funk and rhyme.
Full of sharp parody, sinfully spectacular dancing and irreverent humour, this critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical comes to Winnipeg produced by the creative team that brought you "Hair, the Rock Musical".
Don't miss it!
Warnings: Subject Matter,
RECOMMENDED: General Audience
Babes in arms permitted.