As reported in Variety, the musical's handful of developmental performances in The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Sept. 16-26 attracted not just musical theatre fans who raved, but investors who saw potential gold in the concert-style format that introduces a Christian pop group that sings and swivels to satiric-but played-straight faith-based songs.
In one number, "The Calling," the boys sing about the Lord contacting them by cell phone and email.
Whether the material has crossover fans in the Christian pop community is yet to be seen. Adding spice and contrast to the show, there's an apparently gay member of the fictional group. There's also a Jewish guy — Abraham — who is part of the gang. The troupe is made up of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Juan (and Abraham), all fellas from Greenville, Ohio, who are on tour to sing about their passion for clean living and their devotion to their beliefs.
"The festival run was an incredible arena for us to continue the development of the show, and we were able to see the show up on its feet with a very important ingredient: the audience," said director Stafford Arima. Refinements are expected before its legit bow in 2005.
The trade paper reported that the commercial run's capitalization is $800,000. Among other projects, producer Davenport (who co conceived Altar Boyz) is known for The Awesome '80s Prom and Robyn Goodman is a producer of the Tony Award-winning Avenue Q.
Casting has not been announced, though it's thought the recent company will re-team if commitments and timing can be worked out. A venue has not been announced.
Ryan Duncan (Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof), Cheyenne Jackson (Aida), David Josefsberg (The Joys of Sex), Andy Karl (Saturday Night, Saturday Night Fever) and Tyler Maynard (Mamma Mia!) were the young "apostles of pop" in the show by Kevin Del Aguila (book) and Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker (songs). The piece was conceived by Marc Kessler & Ken Davenport.
Stafford Arima (London's Ragtime, Off Broadway's Children's Letters to God) directed, Lynne Shankel (The Thing About Men) was music director. Christopher Gattelli choreographed.
For more information, visit thealtarboyz.com.
Although some promotional material has called the show The Altar Boyz, the proper title (despite the web address) is Altar Boyz. The NYMF performances played the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (The 47th Street Theatre) at 304 W. 47th Street.