Altar Boyz

Altar Boyz

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The peak of the so-called boy band craze in pop music came in about the year 2000; by 2002, the fashion was over. Altar Boyz, a musical about a boy band, arrived off-Broadway on March 1, 2005, which may be as close to currency as the musical theater gets. But there is nothing as out as that which was recently in, and the show plays as a period piece no lessSee more details below

Overview

The peak of the so-called boy band craze in pop music came in about the year 2000; by 2002, the fashion was over. Altar Boyz, a musical about a boy band, arrived off-Broadway on March 1, 2005, which may be as close to currency as the musical theater gets. But there is nothing as out as that which was recently in, and the show plays as a period piece no less than Forever Plaid, another off-Broadway musical about a male vocal group. And similar to Forever Plaid, Altar Boyz is intended as a lightly satiric, yet affectionate take on its subject. The big joke here is that the fictional Altar Boyz are a group of Catholics -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Juan (and, oh, yes, Abraham, who, for reasons never really explained, is Jewish) -- and they are here to sing about their faith. They do so in the combination of dance, Latin, and ballad styles, complete with overly emotive harmony and solo singing, that will be familiar to anyone who's ever heard a Backstreet Boys album. Songwriters Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker clearly have their tongues in their cheeks. "Church Rulez" is an account of what the Catholic Mass is like, with its constant cycle of standing, sitting, and kneeling. "The Calling" announces that Jesus Christ has spoken to the singers -- by calling on a cell phone! "The Miracle Song" repeats familiar Gospel tales in rap style. The big romantic ballad, "Something About You," finds lead singer Matthew (Scott Porter) explaining to his girlfriend his adherence to abstinence. "La Vida Eternal," the inevitable Latin track inevitably handled by Juan (Ryan Duncan), reveals that "the afterlife is not a scary place." And "Epiphany," with lead vocals by Mark (Tyler Maynard), is a declaration of Catholic identity in terms reminiscent of a homosexual coming-out ("this is who you are, it's not a choice"). The singers, of course, render all these potted sentiments with mock sincerity, and, particularly on the cast album, it's possible to mistake that for real sincerity now and then. At very least, the songwriters have brought a knowledge of their musical and theological subjects to their writing, and as much sympathy as critical intent. And maybe the boy band trend has been gone just long enough to be ripe for such treatment. Meanwhile, both non-believers and the devout (as long as they have a sense of humor) should enjoy the music.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/17/2005
Label:
Ghostlight
UPC:
0791558605020
catalogNumber:
86050
Rank:
137237

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Anthony Matos   Guitar
Tyler Maynard   Vocals
Clayton Craddock   Drums
Andy Karl   Vocals
David Josefsberg   Vocals
Ryan Duncan   Vocals
Scott Porter   Vocals
Lynne Shankel   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Doug Katsaros   Programming,Producer,Orchestration,Audio Production
Billy Jay Stein   Producer
Robyn Goodman   Executive Producer
Scott Hull   Mastering
Kenny Davenport   Executive Producer
Kurt Deutsch   Executive Producer
Gary Adler   Composer
Jonathan Kaplan   Engineer
Michael Patrick Walker   Composer

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