“…Altar Boyz tells the holy inspiring story of 5 small-town boys – Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham – trying to save the world one screaming fan at a time. Their pious pop act, including lyrics like “Girl You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone,” worked wonders on the Ohio bingo-hall-and-pancake-breakfast circuit. But when fate brings them to New York, will the boyz take a bite out of the forbidden apple? With angelic voices, sinfully spectacular dancing and a touching story, Altar Boyz is destined to rock the masses of all denominations!” (http://www.altarboyz.com/about-the-show.html).
Needless to say, I was dreading the performance for quite some time while Kerry, for her part, had been delighting in my discomfort, even going so far as to purchase the official Altar Boyz soundtrack to prepare me for (torment me prior to) the big night. Which was last night.
Despite my best efforts to duck out (“Hey, Carl, you know what would be a hilarious practical joke? If you went to the show instead of me!”), I met Kerry and Marty G. for dinner at Bin 942 where I had a glass of so-so Gewurztraminer, enjoyed some tasty tapas, and lost my sunglasses. Then, with twenty minutes to spare, it was off to Granville Island, community theatre central.
We had tickets in the fifth row, middle section and, as I settled into my seat, avoiding Kerry’s smirksome glances, I regretted not having brought along something to read. This, I thought, is going to be sheer Hell. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat as the lights dimmed and the unseen announcer introduced The Altar Boyz. Showtime!
Well, I survived the experience, my sanity intact. And, I have to admit, I didn’t hate it. As someone who dislikes musical theater (and downright hates contemporary theater in general), that’s saying a lot. The show is a parody, hit and miss, but amusing enough to keep me entertained throughout. The songs are comically sanitized takes on various musical styles (“Girl You Make Me Want To Wait” was my personal favorite although it would have been downright spectacular had the woman they’d brought up on stage for the audience participation portion of the show been Kerry). Campy fun but certainly not the type of tunes you’ll be humming. And as for the performers – well, I thought they were all excellent, particularly David Hurwitz’s portrayal of the flamboyant Mark. All in all, I can think of worse ways to spend ninety minutes (network note calls immediately come to mind).
What made the evening even more special was that, while I didn’t mind the show, Kerry did. Very much. Throughout the performance, I would cast quick glances over at her cringing and frowning, her hand pressed up against her mouth like a witness to some gruesome accident attempting to stifle a horrified cry. Yep, she hated it. She felt the parody and humor didn’t go far enough, vacillating between satirical and deeply earnest and erring on the side of the latter.
Kerry’s misery coupled with my surpassed low expectations had me surprisingly upbeat as I exited the auditorium, determined to hold her to her word and have her buy me an inspirational Altar Boyz t-shirt I promised to wear to the office. Alas, there was no merchandise for sale in the lobby and I ended up leaving empty-handed and bitterly disappointed.
Today, I received an email from Kerry in which she reiterates her dissatisfaction with the show and expresses shock and outrage at my positive response. She writes: “You were supposed to hate this more than me! Why didn’t you hate it, Joe!!!!!” and offers up her take: “…I found that it did not push the envelope AT ALL in its satire. So, instead, by playing it safe, they played it straight. And by playing it straight, it made my evening awkward because I felt like I was watching a high school production of a Christian musical that sometimes poke fun at itself.” She concludes with: “ Moral of the story is that this bet completely backfired as I ended up suffering through it more than you did. And let me tell you, that really grinds my gears. Why didn’t I just make you take me to Les Mis…”
Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular for the love of Beckett.
Wonderingbrit writes: “But my mate’s daughter went with friends for an Indian meal in Chesterfield (UK) to celebrate leaving college…”
Answer: Congratulations. Used band-aid in the salad was a strong candidate but your story takes the award for Most Disgusting Anecdote.
OHinNJ writes: “One day, shortly after he started the job, he was sweeping up the trash and food scraps that had fallen on the floor. He looked around for a garbage can and saw a very large metal container filled with other food scraps, so he dumped the trash in. A little later he saw the sous chef dumping the contents of the container into a large pot on the stove, adding water and turning on the flame. Turned out that container held the vegetable scraps used to make soup stock. “
Answer: …Although this one came pretty close…
Pastrygirl writes: “Third is an industry story from one of the chefs I know – when he was working in a bakery, he witnessed one of the guys start a mixer and spew flour/other ingredients all over the floor. The guy then went and got the broom and dustpan (that’s right, the same one used to sweep up GARBAGE) and swept it all up and dumped it back into the mixer bowl, continuing to make whatever.”
Answer: As did this one.
Nadine writes: “So Joe, of the animated movies (not anime..) you’ve seen, do you have a favourite?”
Jedi43 writes: “I have also found hair in food that is not mine.”
Answer: The hair or the food?
Luis writes: “Joe you and Paul’s Comic book deal goes through will they be avaliable in the U.S??”
Answer: The company we’re in talks with is an American comic book publisher. So, yes.
Namiko writes: “The funny thing was, we were guests at a wedding and we were all given disposable cameras at the table (so they could have candid pictures of the party, I guess?), so we took pictures of the bug in my salad.”
Answer: Ha! Exactly what I would’ve done.
Tammy Dixon writes: “However, my sister-in-law went to Paris. She found bugs in her fresh oysters…”
Answer: Hey, this reminds me – speaking of odd things found in your food AND Jamil Walker Smith. Apparently, Jamil was out for dinner with the rest of the cast the other week, went to eat his oyster, and discovered a pearl inside! Much better than a bug.
Deni writes: “Bad news with Martok.”
Answer: Hey, Deni, as someone already said, the fact that you adopted the little guy offered him years of comfort and happiness he would not have otherwise enjoyed. Small solace, I know, but at least something to consider as you reflect back on him warmly.
Scary writes: “How would you define wraith Sexuality? Does our antiquated views on Sexual relations not apply to them? Are more open minded?”
Answer: This is something we never discussed in the room. So far, we know that the wraith warriors (the bruisers with the face masks) are clones produced by the Queen in conjunction with the organic hive ship. On the other hand, we have established that the Queens develop more a long the lines of their human female counterparts. As to how they and the keepers (the other males) are produced – that’s something we have yet to explore. In my view, if you want a sense of how the wraith procreate, you should look to the ever-industrious honey bee.
For the love of Beckett writes: “Tell us another story about your Dad?”
Answer: I’ll tell you two of my favorites. 1) Growing up, my sister and I drank a lot of orange juice – the frozen, concentrated kind you mixed with cold water. However, we were both incredibly lazy and hated going through the trouble of making the stuff so, rather than be the one to finish the juice and assume those duties, we’d drink it until there were many a couple of inches worth left at the bottom of the container and play the waiting game. Sometimes, it would go weeks, sitting there, fermenting as my sister and I waited for the other to blink. Then, one hot afternoon, my father walked into the kitchen after an hour’s yard work, poured himself a nice tall glass of what was left, and had a drink. He was so obviously so thirsty that it didn‘t register until, four or five seconds in (maybe three big gulps), he suddenly smelled what he was drinking. Best spit take ever! It covered the entire kitchen table. 2) My father always enjoyed a nice, tall glass of ice water. He’d poured himself a glass, drop in a couple of ice cubes, then head off into the living room to watch t.v. Once his show was over, he’d return to the kitchen, enjoy his cool glass of water, and head off to bed. Well, one night, while he was watching television, I heard a sound coming from the darkened kitchen. I poked my head inside, turned on the light, and caught our housecat, elbow deep in my father’s water glass, attempting to rescue an ice cube from its watery depths. It was incredibly cute and I made a mental note to tell my sister. I thought nothing of it until, an hour later, I walked back into the kitchen and discovered my father sitting there, the empty water glass in front of him. “Did you drink that?!”I asked, alarmed. “Yeah,”he replied, reading the panic in my voice. “Why?!” “Because the cat had his paw in there!”I informed him as if he should’ve known better.
Karen writes: “Do you just stay in your general area when dining out, or have you considered on traveling when you’re not working?”
Answer: This blog actually started as an online journal of my culinary tour of Asia. When I pick a vacation destination, it’s always with a mind to where I’ll be eating. Which is why I enjoy going to Vegas even though I don’t really gamble or enjoy shows, and why I’ll be returning to Tokyo later this year.
PG15 writes: “Is Brad Wright writing episode 17? Is this the episode you refered to today with “Brad’s story”?”
Answer: 16, 17, 18. Whatever. These episodes get bounced around the schedule so often it doesn’t really mean anything until the show airs.
Mary A. Milan writes: “Did you actually reshoot the scene of Jack eating Fruit Loops and Daniel saying “It’s just how I feel” everytime? Or did you reuse the same footage?”
Answer: Whew, that was a while ago. To best of my recollection, those were different takes.
Iamza writes: “Except that volume one is essentially that same fleeting glimpse at post-zombie apocalypse life that we have seen in countless horror films/books/comics…”
Answer: True, but you have to lay the groundwork first. He starts at the beginning – where most other zombie productions do – with a protagonist coming to terms with the initial onslaught. Then, where other zombie stories leave off, he keeps on going, getting into the survivors’ interpersonal relationships and their subsequent struggles.
Iamza also writes: “Any chance you could talk some of the cast of SGU into doing a Q&A session after the shows airs? From twitter, they seem like an insanely good-natured bunch.”
Answer: They are a great bunch. I’ve already floated the idea by several of them and they’ve all been very receptive. Now it’s all a matter of when the studio gives the okay.