There were many more bloggers than newspaper journalists at the recent presscon for "Altar Boyz," Rep's new production opening April 4 at Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Makati. The Altar Boyz--PJ Valerio, Red Concepcion, Reuben Uy, Reb Atadero and Chevy Mercado--performed two songs from the musical and were asked about the experience of coming together, rehearsing and performing as a putative "Christian boy band." They gave such sincere, heartfelt answers that director Chari Arespacochaga had to interject, "But let's not forget, this is a musical comedy!"
My initial observation, after having watched one Youtube video after another of various Altar Boyz incarnations (following the conceit of the original Off-Broadway show, the Rep production is supposed to be the Manila leg of the Boyz's worldwide tour): Manila's Boyz are boys compared to their Western counterparts--and I don't mean in terms of talent or energy, only in terms of looks and physique.
The original Off-Broadway cast was closer to the Backstreet Boys/N'Sync template of brawny boy-men--grown-up and already mamang mama compared to our strikingly teenage-looking cast. Take a look at the vid of the Altar Boyz performing at the Drama Desk awards here, and the group that's come to perform in Manila, natch.
Can you hear me behind the camera trying very hard to suppress my giggles at those winking lyrics ("The Calling," second song)? "Jesus called me on my cellphone/No roaming charges were incurred/...He beeped me, He faxed me, He e-mailed my soul..."
Here's a one-minute, 360-degree shot of what was happening at the MyCinema lobby right before the Boyz gave a preview of their upcoming "Manila concert." Wala lang, just wanted to do the shot.
More early buzz from bloggers who came face-to-face with the, um, Prayerful 5:
Jesus wants you to watch this musical (and so do I)
Meeting the Altar Boyz
Spreading the Word
Repertory Philippines Altar Boyz
Altar Boyz: More Fun Than Religious
Raise the Praise, It's the Altar Boyz!
The Altar Boyz Musical Hits Manila This April
Altar Boyz World Tour: The Manila Leg
The pic above is Hogi's. More fab photos in her Multiply.
PLUS: Synopsis, videos, song lyrics--everything you need to know about the Altar Boyz but are too chicken to ask, well, thank DavidPlatz for this.
("Altar Boyz" runs April 4-27 at Onstage, Greenbelt 1. Call 8870710 or visit Rep's website.)