When I told a friend I was going to "Altar Boyz," she said, "I have that movie," thinking I meant the drama that came out in 2002, "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys."
Nothing could be further from the truth. "Altar Boyz" (with a "z") is pure fun, pure and simple.
Directed by L.L. West, "Altar Boyz," at the Egyptian Theatre, has a pretty simple premise: A Christian boy band is wrapping up its "Raise the Praise" tour preaching the message of God and saving souls.
With perfectly coiffed hair, big white smiles and funky dance moves, the Altar Boyz Matthew (Thomas Marcus), Mark (Kevin Jordan), Luke (Joshua Joel Black), Juan (Phil Lowe) and a nice Jewish boy, Abraham (William Richardson), sing and dance their music with a message.
The more familiar you are with boy bands and the Catholic church, the funnier the show will be. During "Church Rulez," our Altar Boyz, concerned that no one is going to mass because we're "scared of acting like fools," go through funny directions of when to stand, kneel and sit which ends up sounding more like calisthenics than worship.
Be prepared for hip-hop speak: Jesus Christ is often J.C.; leprosy is a "whack disease," and "your posse might not think it's dope to confess your sins, and like the Pope."
But the show doesn't get any more offensive than that. All of the barbs are done in good fun, and it works because the Boyz really do believe their message, and it ends up being a positive one.
The energetic choreography, by Michelle Hunt Robbins, works best when the moves are true to the boy-band style. Sometimes it looked a bit "musical theater," and at one point the boys were doing the bunny-hop, which I just can't see Justin Timberlake doing.
"Mad-props" to the boys for having the energy to dance then turn around and sing. At times the pitch wavered but overall sounded good.
I'm not sure if was the sound design, inadequate speakers or an out-of-date sound board, but the mix just didn't seem right. There were many times the sound was swallowed and the solo lines sung by the boys didn't carry.
"Altar Boyz," is a fun night. Remember, the Egyptian has lowered ticket prices to help ease the the pinch of gas prices!Sensitivity rating: Mild sexual references, some swearing, references to deity. There is also heavy use of fog, which could be troublesome for those on the first few rows.
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