Matthew, We Hardly Knew Ye: Porter Leaves Altar Boyz Feb. 7

News   Matthew, We Hardly Knew Ye: Porter Leaves Altar Boyz Feb. 7 Owing to a TV deal, Scott Porter will exit Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz Feb. 7 at Dodger Stages, leaving his brethren behind and handing the lead-singer role of Matthew to a current company member.

James Royce Edwards, who plays Luke in the pop musical comedy about a faith-based boy group, becomes Matthew Feb. 9, to March 19. Andrew Call, who appeared in the national company, is expected to join as Luke. A nationwide search will be conducted to find a new Matthew.

Edwards appeared in the national tours of Mamma Mia! and Hairspray. While on the road, he received a call to audition for Luke and got the job in August 2005.

Regionally Edwards was seen in Children of Eden and The Scarlet Pimpernel at the Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, The Sound of Music and Miss Saigon at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Footloose and Sound of Music at the Sacramento Music Circus. He played an eight-month run with San Diego's resident company of Forever Plaid. Edwards holds a B.F.A in music, dance and theatre and a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University (he's also he is an A.C.E. certified personal trainer).

Altar Boyz opened March 1, 2005. The cast current includes Tyler Maynard (Mark), Dennis Moench (Abraham), Clyde Alves (Juan).

Scott Porter created the role of Matthew after a nationwide search. He's leaving the show to pursue a solo career in television, beginning shooting for the new Ron Howard/Brian Grazer series, "Friday Night Lights," based on the 2004 film of the same name. Peter Berg will direct, and co-produce the new series for NBC. Winner of the 2005 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, Altar Boyz is the popular musical-comedy spoof about "a heavenly guy-group on the rise to stardom."

The 90-minute entertainment is directed by Stafford Arima and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli. Altar Boyz has music and lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker with book by Kevin Del Aguila, based on a concept by Marc Kessler and Ken Davenport.

The producers are Ken Davenport and Robyn Goodman, in association with Walt Grossman, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, Matt Murphy and Mark Shacket.

Performances are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM & 7 PM, at Dodger Stages, Stage 4 (340 West 50th Street).

Tickets are $69.99. ($1 Restoration charge included). Tickets may be ordered online at www.telecharge.com or by phone at (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit www.altarboyz.

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