The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 30, 2009

'Hilarious holiness' | 'Altar Boyz,' a pop-musical show, to be staged at Pasquerilla arts center


By TOM LAVIS

TLAVIS@TRIBDEM.COM

Brad Greer feels fortunate that he was selected to be part of a national road tour of an award-winning, off-Broadway production.

Greer, 22, portrays a member of a fictitious Christian boy-band in the musical comedy “Altar Boyz.”

The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Pitt-Johnstown, Richland Township.

Greer, a Georgia native, graduated in May from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and he is putting it to good use.

“I feel very blessed to be part of this,” he said.

“I was an understudy in a production of ‘Altar Boyz’ back in January in Media, Pa., and it feels a little surreal that I’m now in a national touring company of the same show.”

Greer portrays one of five small-town boys, members of a band, who are looking for their big break in New York City.

“We portray wholesome, God-loving guys who want to cleanse the souls of everyone we come in contact with across the U.S. during our tour,” Greer said.

“There are a lot of shenanigans and bumps in the road with a lot of funny results.”

The pious pop act worked wonders on the Ohio bingo hall and pancake breakfast circuit.

Then, when fate brings them to New York, the Boyz take a bite out of the forbidden apple.

Michael Bodolosky, arts center executive director, said the audience will be inspired by this production.

“It’s hilarious holiness,” he said.

“We are delighted to offer this pop-musical show that will keep people laughing.”

Greer portrays Mark.

“Mark is the sensitive one in the group,” Greer said.

Other characters are lead singer Matthew, the pretty boy and leader of the pack; Luke, a bad boy with an interest in communion wine; Juan, a hot-blooded crooner with a passion for pretty girls; and Abraham, a nice Jewish boy, who’s not quite sure how he ended up in a Christian band.

Greer and the rest of the company are finishing rehearsals and ready to begin their tour, which will open in Long Island, N.Y.

“For the past few weeks, we have been in musical boot camp, working eight hours a day,” Greer said.

“The biggest challenge for us is building our endurance.

“Believe me, I have a new-found respect for what boy bands have to go through.”

The Boyz will perform their signature hits – featuring lyrics such as “Girl, you make me wanna wait” and “Jesus called me on my cell phone” – when soul-wrenching secrets come tumbling out with hilarious results.

The Boyz begin to question their faith in each other, and learn if fate is really holding them together or if it’s their extra-firm hair gel.

“Altar Boyz” is full of sweet harmonies, sinfully spectacular dancing and an unnerving sense of fashion.

“Whether a person is religious or not, there is nothing offensive in this show,” Greer said.

“We just want to bring a smile to everyone’s face.”

“Altar Boyz” is the winner of the 2005 Outer Critics Circle Award for the best off-Broadway musical.

Tickets range from $25 to $35 with some discounts available.

Tickets are available by calling (800) 846-2787, 269-7200 or visit www.upjarts.com.

There is a $4 handling fee on all orders.



Production

What: “Altar Boyz.”

Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Pitt-Johnstown, Richland Township.

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

Tickets: Call (800) 846-2787, 269-7200 or visit www.upjarts.com.

Cost: Range from $25 to $35. Discounts available.