Miranda Musical Society’s new production is a very good revival of the show ALTAR BOYZ helmed by Osman Kabbara. ALTAR BOYZ premiered at the 47th Street Theatre in New York City in September 2004 and then went Off Broadway in March the following year. It has since become one of the longest running off-Broadway musicals of all time.
ALTAR BOYZ tells the story of five small-town boys – Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham – trying to save the world, one screaming fan at a time. The musical is presented in real time as the final concert of their national “Raise the Praise” tour.
Four of the group Matthew (Gareth Davis), Mark (Tim Wotherspoon), Luke (James Jonathon) and Juan (Sasha Simic), are Catholic while the fifth member Abraham (Gus Noakes) is Jewish. This dynamic adds to the humour and developing story within the musical.
Through the show the band members address the audience directly. The concert venue and references have been changed from New York to down-town Sutherland.
On opening night, with the reactions of the very enthusiastic and supportive audience, it really felt like being present at a big concert. There was even a little audience participation with one patron being brought onto the stage.
As part of the story each of these talented actors has the chance to perform solo work. Particularly impressive was the work by James Jonathon and Tim Wotherspoon.
The demanding choreography by Craig Nhobbs is performed with skill, energy and excellent timing backed by a lively small band with musical direction by Joshua Ransom.
During the show, the Altar Boyz repeatedly turn to a TV display screen, the “Soul Sensor”, that they explain shows the number of burdened souls in the theatre. Their goal is to reduce the number on the machine to zero by the end of the concert.
A highly effective backdrop to the musical is an ongoing series of projections on a large screen highlighting the action on stage– from swirling designs of light and happiness, to a gentle cartoon of miracles and a dark scene of hell. Credit to the great work by AV designer Adam Ring.
As with all live concerts there were impressive light changes wrung by lighting designer Tim Dennis.
A very entertaining show, ALTAR BOYZ is playing the Sutherland Memorial School Of Arts, East Parade Sutherland until Sunday June 21.
The remaining performances are Sunday 14th June at 2pm, Wednesday 17th June at 8pm, Friday 19th June at 8pm, Saturday 20th June at 2pm and 8pm and the final performance on Sunday 21st June at 2pm. Bookings 88145827.
For more about Altar Boyz, visit http://www.mirandamusicalsociety.com.au/