Altar Boyz

So, about a week ago I went to see the off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz with one of my friends. Here’s a little thing in two parts: summary and review.

Old Testament: “We are the Altar Boyz, We love the wafers and the wine…”

The musical is set as if it was taking place in a concert, a concert for the latest Christian pop sensation the Altar Boyz. Consisting of 5 guys, Mathew (the leader), Mark (the *shh* gay), Luke (the gangsta), Juan (the …spanish?), and Abraham (the, well, Jew). They’re mission during the show is to purify all the burdened/bad souls who have attended the concert with the help of good music, faith and the "Soul Sensor DX-12."—a machine that counts the number of souls in need of help. The show also reveals some of the secrets of the Altar Boyz, Mark’s love for Mathew, Luke’s battle with ‘exahstion’, Juan’s search for his parents, and another secret revealed closer to the end of the show.
“Were going to altar your mind”

New Testament: “God put the rhythm in me...”
Not altering from the pop-minded theme, the songs echo those of the great boy bands; Catchy, uplifting, fast tempoed, with lyrics that you can’t help but get suck in your head. Apart from the music itself, the choreography also mimics that of pop sensations; Fast and furious, snappy and sometimes over the top. The overall choreography at some points really kinds of blows your mind, wondering how they are keeping up with themselves. Humor plays a leading role in this musical, woven in between the lyrics and into the choreography as well. The humor comes in two forms Firstly, humor in the satire of faith, secondly the use of lyrics to ‘tell’ untold stories through clever rhyme schemes, and thirdly in the sometimes bizarre dance moves. For its small-stage feel, Altar Boyz make a big impression; for its well rounded story, dance, music and lyrical genius I would give this an 9/10.

Altar Boyz is an off-Broadway production at the New World Stages (340 West 50th Street (between 8th & 9th Ave).

Beatles x2: American Idol

This is the first time I’ve actually seen any of the top twelve performances, so I thought I’d take the liberty and do a little review of the performers and their songs on this, the Beatles night. Acts one and two, like the judges rightly said were forgettable; I don’t even care enough to look up their names. Off melody, some pitch problems, off tempo, just bad (5/10 and 4/10 respectively). Act three: David Archuleta, I saw clips of his ‘performance’ last week and laughed; I was, truthfully, expecting much the same this week, but he really did his song (‘the Long and Winding Road’) proud, good job (8.5/10). [Side note: really Seacrest? iphone and AT&T plug, lol…and coke]. Act four: Michael Johns, love this song (‘A Day in the Life’), there’s something wrong with the performance, I don’t know what it is, good but not great (7/10). Act five: Brooke White, (I wish I saw last week’s performance) she did it good (‘Here Comes the Sun’) adding her own little touches to it, disagreeing with the judges a bit (8/10). Act six: David Cook, I like this guy’s voice, good rendition of the song (‘Day Tripper’) that really matches him as a performer, solid performance, though not sure about the voice-box thingy (8.5/10). Act seven: Carly Smithson (she’s Irish?), probably my favorite Beatles song (‘Blackbird’), she was pretty good but she tried to do a bit too much and lost the song in places (7/10). [Side note: cooliocious? ©Randy Jackson]. Act eight: Jason Castro (‘Michelle’), good voice, but looked, at times when he was singing French that he didn’t know exactly what he was saying, Paula’s got it right, a “distinct charm”, again good but not great (7/10). Act nine: Syesha Mercado, she sung it well; the song (‘Yesterday’) is well suited for acoustic accompaniment, very good performance (9/10). Act ten: Chikezie, suitable song to begin with, then it got kind of weird, cant say I liked the harmonica, but he’s got a lot of character (6.5/10). Act 11: Ramiele Malubay, not great at the beginning but got better towards the end (6.5/10). Looking back at tonight’s performances, I hope Simon was right about the boat of performers picking the wrong songs, because otherwise I’m not entirely impressed by this year’s contestants; this weeks winners: David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado.

Beatles x2: Heather Mills

So, as you’ve probably read, the judge finalized the divorce agreement of Heather Mills and Paul McCartney for close to $50 million. What I have to say on this whole situation has to do with the publication of the agreement and Ms Mills position on it. She claims to protect the privacy of herself and her daughter, but I ask you this: if she’s so concerned about her privacy and her image in the public eye why did she go through with a high-publicity divorce with the most famous performer in recent history? I saw on the news the other day an video clip of her saying, roughly, I don’t know why people don’t like me, I’ve spent 20 years of my life dedicated to charity. Well, my love, it’s because you’ve created this whole debacle of a divorce, you’ve put yourself in this situation. Now take your $50M and go live in your privacy, because I personally have had enough of you.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

that is all.


SNL: Bad Writing or Acting?

So I’m sitting here watching Saturday Night Live right now, and while I’m chuckling at the segment on right now (John McCain: Old), the past couple of skits have been pretty awful. Now I can’t put my finger on it, is it the acting that’s bad or is it the writing. Here’s what I know: the previous skit was a Target skit and the main character, a bizarre cashier, could not stop staring at the teleprompter, it’s offsetting, throwing off the pace. This is not to mention it feels like the tempo (the back and forth between characters) is stuck at an amazingly high speed—like they’re trying to get as many bad jokes as they can in. This might be due to acting or it might be that the writing is bad. With no good writers like Will Ferrell or Tina Fey left in the writing staff has certainly gone down hill but is it the sole cause of SNL’s deterioration. I would still say that some of the writing is good, the opener this week (a musical ‘classy’ number), the SNL digital short, and the aforementioned John McCain sketch have been pretty good. If I had to say SNL’s waning quality is due in large part to bad actors (Kenan), and small part to the writers and another small part to NBC’s failing support for the long term show. Now to one of the consistently good parts of the show, the musical act.


Spring break is here, and like my English teacher, Professor William Stull, aptly put Impending Spring Break Syndrome (ISBS) has been running rampant. There’s something about the week before spring break that means everything is due, and no one wants to do it. I thought I’d do something very cliché for this bloHG and post a poem. Well, it was an assignment for the final English class before spring break…create a ‘baaaad’ poem about how you cant write a poem today (a creative thought, so here goes):

I cant write a poem today,
because all my thought have run away.
6 more classes left in line,
another one falls, the hands of time,
slacking, tiring, slowing down
spring break is here, back to my old town
I go, I run, I jump, I flee,
till a week is over and I come back to thee.

Meh. Its 10 minutes of ‘baaad’ poetry, lol.

Insane Rain

Generally I like rain, I like its sound, and I like its smell just as it starts, I even like being out in it for a while. What I don’t like is a lot of rain, the kind of rain that lasts all day and all night and all day again, the kind of rain that raises flood levels to 10+ feet, the kind of rain that makes everything unreasonably wet. This weekend was one of these ridiculous rainfall periods. I think my main reason for hating the rain comes from the University of Hartford; you see the university was supposedly built on a pig farm which supposedly affects the drainage in some way. Regardless of its causes, the University of Hartford doesn’t have good drainage. One would think being postulated on a river it wouldn’t be hard but whenever big rain events come the puddles rise and you have to wade back and forth to class. This past weekend wasn’t bad, but there have been days where boats were needed just to get to the academic side. Earlier this year, for example, there was an ice storm which, when plowed, created little barriers that held the water that followed, leaving puddles that rose to the top of you ankles in places. There are numerous things one could complain about on the U of H campus but their rain management has got to be one of their worst problems. Perhaps it’s not the rain I hate, maybe its how it’s dealt with.

No Country for Old Men

With little other movies blowing open the box offices right now, we decided that perhaps we should see an ‘Oscar-worthy’ and perhaps Oscar-winner of a movie. After some failures of Oscar films I was, undoubtedly, a little skeptical (cough—Brokeback Mountain—cough), but was slightly reassured after actually taking the time to watch the trailer. Well, my friends, I might have to retract some of my comments from my bloHG earlier about the Oscars and Oscar films because this was a REALLY great movie. Congratulations Coen brothers, you’ve actually succeeded in not only keeping me entertained but also in bringing something philosophically outstanding to the screen. As the title states, the movie is about the turning times, about the old men (a brilliant performance by Tommy Lee Jones, probably one of the best I’ve seen him in) who can’t stand up to the reckless nature of the younger men. Javier Bardem’s performance was definitely worth the best supporting actor award, adding to the movies already extensive suspense. In the end the story isn’t about the drug deal gone bad, the chase from Texas town to another Texas town, the psychopath or the guy on the run; it’s about who we are and about what were doing, it’s about how we act and how the generation before us acted, and it’s about how we see the world.

Super Tuesday part II

Once again super Tuesday failed to do the job, the primary day to end all primaries has put us right back to where Super Tuesday One left us (in terms of democrats anyway). So John McCain is now the presumptive nominee for GOP, being the best of the worst. I have to say, though, that I thought Huckabee was a great guy, he was really likable, funny and interesting, he could have been a man republicans could have got behind…except for the fact that’s he was too conservative. Back to the best of the best, we find ourselves still stuck between two formidable candidates, Clinton and Obama, who both have logical plans for the country, great strengths and examples of leadership. Could we be heading to the so called ‘dream ballet’? If so who will headline it? Will one nominee actually reach the 2025 number? And will it involve Michigan and Florida? It’s impossible to call at this point, and what the country is seeing is that they are two very suitable candidates for a president. Also, Ralph Nader stay out of this, and Ron Paul get out of this.

A Vantage Point on Vantage Point

I saw vantage point the other day and I have to say I thought it was pretty good overall. I have to admit this is one of the films I’d been waiting to be released after seeing the trailer, it looked like a good concept and a good story and some good actors. I saw the movie with two other people and they had mixed reviews of it, and both for stupid/silly reasons, but I did take them to heart. Here’s my vantage point on why I think this movie was really good: 1) the story, it’s plausible, just proving that you don’t have to have a far out or really complicated story for a movie to work. 2) The concept, pretty original, I have to applaud the makers of the film for pulling this off reasonably well. While the reverse to the start did get a bit laughable near the last of them they continually produced something new, and made sure to leave a cliff hanger of sorts to be resolved. 3) The twists, so-so but made better with the concept, the creation of the movie and plot from A to B including the concept-defining vantage points really helped to exaggerate the turning points and revelations. I have to say this was a generally good movie, one that I would watch again without a second hesitation.