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Forestburgh Playhouse

Altarboyz

In Review

Bill Moloney
Posted 7/16/21

Can I just proclaim out loud how absolutely joyous I am that live theatre is back?! Praise the Lord! Alleluia! Oh, and how fitting is it that the Forestburgh Playhouse opens their main stage season …

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Forestburgh Playhouse

Altarboyz

In Review

Posted

Can I just proclaim out loud how absolutely joyous I am that live theatre is back?! Praise the Lord! Alleluia! Oh, and how fitting is it that the Forestburgh Playhouse opens their main stage season with an amusing musical spoof of Christian boy bands. In this case, the “Altarboyz” are the boy band on the last stop of their cross-country musical tour that entertains and saves souls at the same time.

Yours truly, an altar boy in his day, certainly relates to many of the references, one-liners, wise cracks and laughs. In truth, you don’t have to be a Catholic to enjoy and get a total kick out of this whole show. Altarboyz had a very respectable Off-Broadway run from 2005 to 2010.

This musical comedy, with music and lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker and book by Kevin Del Aguila, takes place during the present and follows the five male leads (the only characters) during their “Raise the Praise” concert tour.

Appropriately named Matthew (Ethan Van Slyke), Mark (John Zamborsky), Luke (Anthony DaSilva), and politically correct Juan (Preston Perez) are joined by a Jewish fifth member Abraham (Andrew Faria) whose story makes an interesting addition to the rather thin storyline. Rennell Taylor keeps quite busy as the Voice of God and a combination of cameo extras/stagehand. The band addresses the audience directly giving the evening that concert like atmosphere.

Five characters, a thin storyline and 90 minutes without an intermission? How did this have such a successful Off-Broadway run? The answer is in the performers! It’s why the boy bands of the 90’s were such a hit. Young, good looking guys sashaying around the stage slinging a smile and a wink at the screaming girls. But these personas were clearly second to fantastic vocals and in-sync, slick and sexy dance moves. And these guys have it! And it’s non-stop!

You’ve gotta hand it to Director/Choreographer Chaz Wolcott. I envision him at rehearsals with a bull whip making sure that none of these guys slow down for a second. Every dance number pops and sizzles. The tempo is high octane and before you know it 90 minutes are up and you’re headed out the door.

As for the songs themselves, you probably won’t recognize them. But they are a very nice mix of tender ballads, harmonies and hyper-energy dance songs. Songs like “Rhythm in Me”, “Everybody Fits” and “Something About You” name only a few of the numbers with very clever (and fun) lyrics that entertain and make you smile or sometimes laugh out loud.

“Altarboyz” is a lighthearted, dance heavy comical spoof musical that is the perfect kick-off to a theatrical season that we are so ready to enjoy! Welcome back to the Miracle in the Woods folks!

“Altarboyz” will run through July 25th. Tickets and info are available through the box office at (845) 794-1194 or online at fbplayhouse.org.

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