Theatre Review: Altar Boyz

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 16, 2009

I’ll admit it – mention boy bands, I think of John Paul George and Ringo in their moptop phase. Which means I’m a bit older than the target demographic for “Altar Boyz,” which features 20-somethings born around 1990 named Matthew, Mark, Luke and Juan. And their buddy Abraham, whose Jewish, and writes the lyrics.

 (“We are the Altar Boyz”)

That kind of generic number, with predictable lyrics, is what you get in this show – along with slick dance moves and a zillion jokes about the Catholic church. You won’t get much of a story. And the cast is all male, which dispenses with the boy-gets-girl angle. You do get hand puppets and costume changes and the obligatory drag-a-member-of-the-audience-onstage routine. “Altar Boyz” is kind of a hybrid between a bland feel-good revue like “Forever Plaid” -- updated with a tad of Christian rapping  -- and corny humor derived from a dinner theater show like “Nunsense.” Alas, that’s not much to draw on, and for me the show’s narrowly-based appeal evaporated halfway through. But if you’re looking for lightweight pop entertainment – and I mean really, really light – “Altar Boyz” will while away 90 minutes of your time.