Stage Review

Altar Boyz (2005)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Opening Date: Mar 01, 2005; Lead Performance: Ryan Duncan; Writers: Ken Davenport, Marc Kessler; Director: Stafford Arima

PTL meets TRL in this engaging and surprisingly soft-edged satire, a faux concert by a Christian boy band. ''There's something about you, babe,'' croons buff hearthrob Matthew (Scott Porter) in a clever ode to abstinence, ''that makes me want to wait.'' The other Boyz, all well cast, conform to the usual stereotypes: There's Luke, the hip-hop-leaning lunk just back after treatment for ''exhaustion''; Juan, the ''ethnic'' one; Abraham, the token Jew. And as fey blond Mark, whose 11th-hour ''Epiphany'' isn't what it seems, Tyler Maynard proves the biggest violator of the Seventh Commandment for theft of the spotlight. Though Communion-wafer thin, Boyz manages to find the fun in fundamentalism.

B+

Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints