Having played Off- Broadway for just over 5 years and more than 2000 performances, Altar Boyz made its UK premiere for a strictly limited run of 14 performances at the Greenwich Theatre.
Directed by Steven Dexter (Loserville), the story follows five boys in a Christian pop group. Matthew ( played by Liam Doyle), Mark ( Jonny Fines), Luke ( Jamie-Ray Hartshorne), Abraham (Alex Jordan-Mills) and Juan ( Faisal Khodabukus) on the last night of their “Raise to Praise” world tour.
With flashes of bright lights and pyrotechnics it is made to feel more of a pop concert than a musical. Before the show opens, a few loud announcements came into the auditorium X-Factor style, quickly followed by an awkward silence from the audience, however once the show opened all was forgotten.
Using a soul-cleanser, the band’s mission is to clean the souls of the audience before the end of the show, but four souls remain unclean.
After a twist in the story, four of the boys reveal they have signed solo deals and have not been honest with each other. One of the boys turned down his deal to stay with the band and very quickly finds himself as the last remaining member, but all ends well in this uplifting piece.
This musical comedy sure hits the right spot, cleverly changed scripting allowed for British humour, something that is all too often forgotten these days. A special mention to Jonny Fines, whose comic timing really stole the show and kept us fully entertained in this ninety minute one act Musical. Although Doyle plays the lead character all boys get there moment to shine in this show, but Doyle delivered an excellent vocal.
Before seeing Altar Boyz it did cross my mind that this might be another Book of Mormon, but I must say how wrong I was.
Altar Boyz is full of cheesy pop songs, including a song about Jesus calling the boys on their cell phone, and together with fun camp choreography this show is a sure pleaser with the crowd. With a minimalistic set this show really is all about the five guys.
Strong vocals and fabulous dancing, together with a great comic script, made this show a heavenly treat and one not to be missed.
Review by Martyn Peattie
ALTAR BOYZ is directed by Steven Dexter, whose credits include Loserville in the West End and the World Premiere of Stiles and Drewe’s Honk! at the Watermill Theatre, and produced by Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd, producer of In The Heights at Southwark Playhouse and Rent and Bare here at Greenwich Theatre.
Presented by: Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd
Book, music and lyrics by: Kevin Del Aguila, Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker
Originally conceived by: Marc Kessler & Ken Davenport
Directed by: Steven Dexter
Fri 3rd – Sat 18th October 2014
Performance time: 8pm