The Altar Boyz At Villagers Theatre In Franklin Township

ead29f6a62f429e7780a_unnamed-5.jpg
05cf855622e93d359166_IMG_8927.JPG
Dan Keyser playing "Abraham" in Altar Boyz
92aa044b9e412cd8911b_IMG_9403.JPG
Kevin Albanese playing "Matthew" in Altar Boyz
e3128f890fa7d68eef7a_IMG_9406.JPG
Jose Arroyo playing "Juan" in Altar Boyz
51dc0e36b8f009a0595a_IMG_9411.JPG
Phil Marcus playing "Luke" in Altar Boyz
dcd39e388de39afe4805_IMG_9425.JPG
LaJuan Miller playing "Mark" in Altar Boyz
ead29f6a62f429e7780a_unnamed-5.jpg

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Altar Boyz opened at Villagers Theatre on Friday night and will run through Feb. 19 in Franklin Township.

The Altar Boyz is directed by Khy Garner and starrs Kevin Albanese (Matthew), LaJuan Miller (Mark), Phillip Solomon (Luke), Jose Arroyo (Juan), and Dan Keyser (Abraham).

"Altar Boyz is pure entertainment and a welcome distraction from the cares of the day," Villagers Theatre VP of Production Marie Fiorello said.  "It is a musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy-band with lots of harmony and high energy dancing.  In their efforts to save souls, they teach themselves a valuable lesson about love and loyalty."  

Sign Up for E-News

Garner the director hails from Woodbridge where he is a private vocal coach. Garner started his career with a production of "Hello Dolly" at Linden High School with a group called "The Linden Summer Playhouse." Garner thought about quitting theater in 2014 but decided not too after the loss of his brother to pancreatic cancer. 

"It was cathartic for me to help him plan his funeral," Garner said. "Help him pick out the music, all of the things that I do in my normal life helping people put a show together to actually help someone do their last show. Was a big influence, he even told me "you have to keep going because now you living for 2 people" that made me decide I can't quit the business I have to keep going."  

Marcus (Luke) will be one of the starrs of Altar Boyz, he is currently an English teacher during the day and in addition to performing in shows and working at dance studios in the area, he provides choreography for various upcoming dance competitions. 

"If I could give advice to anyone who may be interested in theater, I would tell them to observe as much as possible, seeing performances that move audiences," Marcus said. "If they feel the need to evoke that emotion themselves, then a career in the performing arts is inevitable, regardless of experience level."

Marcus will be choreographing the Spring Musical at Matawan-Regional High School and competing as a bodybuilder while pursuing representation with a modeling agency. 

Albanese will also be starring as "Matthew" and has been in community theater for a little more than 5 years. Last year he performed in The Pillowman at Union County Performing Arts Center. Albanese also said he felt fortunate to perform alongside Drew Lynch, the comedian who was the runner-up on America's Got Talent last year as well. 

"I first heard about Altar Boyz about 10 years ago and has been my dream show ever since," Albanese said. " As soon as I found out Villagers was doing the show, I immediately started preparing for auditions."

Keyser will play "Abraham" and only acts as a hobby as he is a full-time high school English teacher. Keyser enjoys opening people's minds to dramatic and literary arts, whether it be on stage or in the classroom. 

"I've always loved theater," Keyser said. "My parents played tapes of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera in the car from the time I was a baby. Sweeney Todd got added to the roster once I left diapers behind. It wasn't until high school that it dawned on me that I could actually get involved, though, and I found my passion on stage."

Keyser earned his first lead as reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose and most recently played Jim Farrell at the Villagers Theatre in Titanic. 

Arroyo will play "Juan" and was inspired to get into acting after seeing Cathy Rigby play Peter Pan on broadway when he was in kindergarten, he was "mesmerized and inspired."

Arroyo's biggest highlight of 2016 was having the opportunity to sing with Kean University's Broadway Babies alongside the "legendary" Patti Lupone. 

When asked what advice he would give someone trying to get into acting Arroyo said "this is a difficult lifestyle to get into and maintain. If you want to pursue acting/entertainment make sure it's your passion. Make sure that you wake up and want to perform when you go to bed you dream of performing and when you are eating you are consuming a plate of your dream(s)!"

Miller will star as "Mark" and has been in theater since 2013 when he was cast in a production of Hair at his college. Altar Boyz is his seventh musical, and his most recent production was "In the Heights" at Kelsey Theatre in West Windsor. 

"I found my way to theater through a love of singing," Miller said. In high school, I realized I loved singing and knew that when I went to college I wanted to do more of it. At Rutgers, I found the Livingston Theatre Company, which showed me musical theater was the outlet I had always desired. I've been madly obsessed and inspired by theater since."

Garner recently debuted an original play entitled Filling in the Blanks at Villagers Theater dealing with happenings of his life. Garner recently directed the New Jersey debut of the musical Floyd Collins at Hamilton Stage UPAC in Rahway. He can be seen on the panel as a judge for Fearless Icon, a musical theater competition for competing singers held by Fearless Productions. This summer he will be musically directing the big hit Hairspray for Mystic Vision Players a Linden-based theater company.  

"If someone wanted to do what I do, I would tell them to study," Garner said. "That is so important, get all the knowledge you possibly can about that subject. Become and expert, because that is the only way someone is going to listen to you. You want to direct study the art of directing if you want to dance study the art of dancing."

Garner feels you will always come across people that have more experience than you would have, but if you study you can be prepared to present yourself in the best light. 

Did you like this story? 

Sign Up for E-News

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Environmental Victory – Transco Withdraws NESE Pipeline Application to DEP

June 21, 2018

In a small victory for the environment, Transco withdraws DEP’s application for their compressor station in Franklin Twp. on June 14, 2018 for approval under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules & Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules. Transco also withdrew DEP’s application for their pipeline on the Old Bridge Raritan bay for approval under Coastal Wetlands ...

Edison Police Seek Help Finding Missing 14-Year-Old

June 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ - A 14-year-old Edison girl who ran away from home on May 3 has yet to be found and police are asking anyone with information about her to come forward.

Edison detectives are leading a statewide search for the girl, Jalaysia Staplar-Evans. They believe she could be staying with friends or acquaintances in Newark or the Essex County area, said Edison Police Lt. Robert ...

Police Issue Alert for Missing New Brunswick Girl (FOUND)

Update: According to New Brunswick Police Department Capt. JT Miller, Tomesell has been located.  

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Payton Tomesell, was last seen on Wednesday at 18 Abeel St., authorities said.

The girl suffers from anxiety and depression, and is taking medication, police ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Edison Police Seek Help Finding Missing 14-Year-Old

June 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ - A 14-year-old Edison girl who ran away from home on May 3 has yet to be found and police are asking anyone with information about her to come forward.

Edison detectives are leading a statewide search for the girl, Jalaysia Staplar-Evans. They believe she could be staying with friends or acquaintances in Newark or the Essex County area, said Edison Police Lt. Robert ...

Police Issue Alert for Missing New Brunswick Girl (FOUND)

Update: According to New Brunswick Police Department Capt. JT Miller, Tomesell has been located.  

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Payton Tomesell, was last seen on Wednesday at 18 Abeel St., authorities said.

The girl suffers from anxiety and depression, and is taking medication, police ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...