Theatre / Altar Boyz

"We are the Altar Boyz
We know that God is where it's at
We are the Altar Boyz
Because we think he's real phat
We are the Altar Boyz
You know we don't get no complaints
We are the Altar Boyz
And we can even name the saints!"
"We Are The Altar Boyz"

Five small-town boys from Ohio Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham (he's Jewish) have joined forces to save the souls of America through their righteous music, with lyrics like "Girl, You Make Me Wanna Wait" and "Jesus Called Me on My Cell Phone". But will their angelic voices and spectacular dancing work its wonders in New York City?

The ninth longest-running off-Broadway musical in history, Altar Boyz is an Affectionate Parody of boy bands and Christan rock. The Boyz are giving a concert in New York, hoping to save the souls of their audience, but find themselves confronting their own demons and doubts over the course of the night.

This musical provides examples of:

  • Big Applesauce
  • Black Comedy: An extended sequence involves milking laughs out of Juan's discovery that the parents for whom he's spent his life searching are, in fact, dead.
  • Boy Band: The central concept of the show is an Affectionate Parody of Christian rock and boy bands.
  • Breakup Breakout: Doesn't actually happen, but record labels promise exactly this to each member of the band to get them to sign a solo deal. Abraham is the only one not to accept the deal.
    Abraham: Let me get this straight. You mean I'm the only Altar Boy??
  • Funny Background Event: When Abraham takes over the vocals on "La Vida Eternal", it's kind of funny, but watching the other three desperately chase Juan around the stage is hilarious.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Mark. His bandmates do not appear to notice.
  • Funny Foreigner: Juan, particularly played up in the "Genesis of the Altar Boyz" segment.
  • Gay Aesop: "Epiphany", Mark's big solo, seems to be setting up a "Gays are people too" message, but then turns out to be "Catholics are people too" instead.
  • Give Me a Sign: Used in the "Genesis of the Altar Boyz" segment.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Altar Boyz is made of this trope.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: An audience member confesses to having coveted his neighbor's ass (i.e., the sin of lust). Juan mistakes his meaning and gives an impassioned speech about the lure of donkeys.
    "And maybe if you ask nicely, your neighbor will allow you to stroke his ass!"
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The Soul Sensor DX-12.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Falls decidedly into the diegetic category.
  • Parental Abandonment: Juan's backstory.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Luke.
  • Product Placement: The Soul Sensor DX-12 is a Sony product, and Matthew never fails to remind the audience of that fact.
  • Pun
    "At least I signed with Virgin!"
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: A variation; the rhyme is preserved but the spirit is the same. In a song about waiting until marriage to have sex:
    Girl, you make me want to wait
    At least until our wedding date
    So till then, I'll master...
    My own fate
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "Genesis of the Altar Boyz", the beginning of the band is told in a sketch divided into segments, each written by one member of the band and highly influenced by the author in Mark's section, Matthew gushes over his hair; in Luke's, everyone is very nonverbal; in Juan's, everyone is incredibly insensitive about his lack of parents, and in Abraham's, everyone is incredibly insensitive about his Judaism.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Repeated reference is made to Luke having just come out of rehab for "exhaustion".
    • Subverted by the in-character blog that used to be on the site for the musical. It turns out that Luke was exhausted because he'd been driving the band's van at night and not getting any sleep, causing him to crash into a tree and sustain some minor injuries (hence the need for rehab).
    "In my defense, I was incredibly exhausted at the time!"
  • When It All Began: The "Genesis of the Altar Boyz" sketch.
  • You Got Crunk: During the spoken interlude in "Girl, You Make Me Wanna Wait"
    ... something's making me behave responsibly tonight. It's your special blend of charisma and spunk. Crunk, I guess you'd call it. Whatever it is, you got it all up in ya, girl. You got crunk.