Thursday, May 15, 2008

Neil In Altar Boyz

Regular readers are aware that Neil Haskell is currently appearing in the off-broadway show Altar Boyz. Joe X is a big fan of Neil's. He attended the show recently and was kind enough to send us this report.

It was great! The stage is set up basically like they are a group and doing a show. There are people on instruments- two keyboards, guitar and drums- that don't interact. It is just on the boys. Neil plays Luke who is a kind of an airhead hip hop poser. The story was that he has just come out of rehab where he was being treated for 'exhaustion.' It was hard to remember that it was Neil because he made you believe that he was the real character. He had great facial expressions and acting. One song I found funny because it had the word 'kneel' in it which was funny because Neil was singing it. All of the boys have a song that they mostly sing. Neil was very good. I do not know if the choreography was altered but one time Neil and another guy did what looked to be part of the paso doble- at least it kind of looked like what he and Sabra did- then he jumped off the stage. He also showed his gymnastic ability. The show lasts 90 minutes with no intermission. It went by very fast- too fast. All of the boys were very good, but Neil and the guys who played Abraham and I think it was Matthew were the best. It was like Neil had been there for a long time. It turns out his mother was in the audience.

After the show, he came out and gave her flowers. There was a girl there who seemed to know his mother. It may have been his girlfriend. I asked him what advice he had (for s4 sytycd contestants), he said to practice and to listen to the judges. He was nice to sign autographs. He shook my hand. The restaurant Neil said was his favorite is really nice. There were many people eating outside around the fountain. I do not remember the name but it had a sock monkey on the menu. The prices are great and you get free chips and salsa [it is Mexican]. The food came out very fast. There were many pigeons around the place. The theater has around six other shows playing on different stages. There is a bar associated with Time Out NY magazine. Refreshments were also sold before the show started. Two of the cast members were played by understudies when I saw it at 2PM. It is cheaper to go on Saturday afternoon because all seats cost $79 in the evening. I plan to go there every month Neil plays.

Thanks for a great report Joe.