Amen! ALTAR BOYZ Rocks!

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The cast of ALTAR BOYZ, playing at The Broadway Theatre of Pitman in Pitman NJ through May 22.

It is what you think it is and it’s not. A spoof on the boy band craze of the late ’90s and ’00s. On the last night of their Raise the Praise 2011 Tour this particular Christian boy band tries to save nearly 500 souls in the Broadway Theatre of Pitman as the ALTAR BOYZ tell their story. It was fun. It was joyous. It rocked. It messaged. (I’m even making up my own words now.)

It doesn’t matter if you are religious, spiritual, church-going or not, prepare for total enjoyment and uplifting of spirits.

The stage is set for a concert complete with strobe lights, fog and other special effects. The atmosphere is perfect. A voice from above and everywhere. It begins and ends with fantastic music and stupendous individual performances. It was the top off of a perfect evening spent with my wife out to dinner and a show.

Broadway Theatre of Pitman’s production of ALTAR BOYZ gets the credit for my shortest review yet. My big complaint: Intermission came too soon. Just because the cast, musicians and production staff needed a break…

Congratulations on a spectacular show. Ed Doyle, the director, rocks for bringing this to us. So does Jack Hill, music director. And, the Pit Orchestra and Carmine Bello, the orchestra coordinator; Christopher Melohn, your costumes were right on; Christina Janka, the amazing choreographer, who made the Boyz dance as if God meant them to. To Jeannette Carden, the stage manager, Jennifer Kopesky, the assistant director and Fog Girl, your work was valuable indeed. We needed your fog for the spectacular light effect and I’ll bet Shawn McGovern, the famous lighting designer, put you up to it. And everyone else on the production side of the house I might have left out: you’re all very important people now (if you weren’t already)! That you do good work is an understatement.

To the AMAZING ALTAR BOYZ: Matthew Reher as “Matt,” Cory Wade Hindorff as “Mark,” Michael Angelini as “Luke,” Ramon Licairac as “Juan,” Chad Parsons as “Abraham,” and Pat DeFusco as the “Announcer/Voice of God;” you owned the audience, and the standing ovations belong to you and your incredible performances, individually and as a group. I’m sure more audience members would have stood if they could, but we all aren’t as young as we used to be. You proved a musical doesn’t have to be big to be great. You were terrific–a true ensemble cast to be praised, and you brought joy to the House, and to the Broadway Theatre of Pitman.

Book by Kevin Del Aguilla
Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker
Conceived by Marc Kessler and Ken Davenport
Directed by Ed Doyle
Musical Direction by Jack Hill
April 29 – May 22, 2011
The Broadway Theatre of Pitman
43 S. Broadway
Pitman, NJ 08071

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Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw

Jack has directed such plays as HARVEY, LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS, ROMANTIC COMEDY, BLITHE SPIRIT, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, and CREATION OF THE WORLD AND OTHER BUSINESS; and acted in various Regional theaters throughout the country. His professional musical theater experience includes such roles as Nathan in GUYS AND DOLLS, Perchik in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Mordred in CAMELOT, and Ice in WEST SIDE STORY. He has performed as Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT and Prince/Chorus in ROMEO AND JULIET in Shakespeare summer stock, toured as Tom in THE GLASS MENAGERIE with The National Deaf Theatre Company. As a staff commercial announcer in radio and television he has done hundreds of regional commercials as well as many national and some international spots for the U.S. Air Force. If he is acting, he likes to play bad guys—like the Nazi officer in NUMBER THE STARS. If he is directing, he likes straight plays as opposed to musicals. He recently played Candy in OF MICE AND MEN and Tony Abbott in HEAVEN CAN WAIT. Before that, the abusive dad in THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and an old fool in PLAY ON! He is a steady reviewer for STAGE Magazine, while he continues to write several articles a week for various blogs, including Shaw’s Reality. He has published two books on theatre, one on training and development, and a novel, In Makr’s Shadow. He teaches English, speech and drama part-time as a visiting professor or adjunct instructor for local colleges and universities.

One Comment

  1. Stephanie Scanlon says:

    Everything this reviewer said is true. The cast was great and made this a professional-caliber production. I was very pleasantly surprised at the level of talent — I think at least a couple of the cast members could make it in the Philadelphia or New York theatre circuit. In this day of overpriced ticketing, it was nice to leave the theatre feeling that I had gotten my money’s worth.

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