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Q&A with Noah Longton, making his San Diego directorial debut with "Altar Boyz"

SAN DIEGO -- Audiences have been packing the Diversionary Theatre for Noah Longton's production of "Altar Boyz," a foot-stomping rafter-raising, musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy-band on the last night of their national "Raise The Praise" tour.

In the show, the "Boyz" are five all-singing, all-dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham who, with their tight harmonies and spectacular choreography delight audiences. As they perform their signature hits such as "Rhythm In Me," "The Calling" and "I Believe," the Boyz question their loyalty to each other and ask whether or not faith is really holding them together.

They finally deliver a message of unity, that 'there is no star as bright as its constellation, no harmony in a single voice.

As the San Diego production prepares to go into its closing weekend, SDGLN asked a few questions of director Noah Longton:

SDGLN: How did you get involved with this show?

Noah Longton (NL): Michael Mizerany and I decided we wanted to produce a show where I could direct and he could choreograph. We brought this show to Diversionary interested in renting the space; they thought it would be perfect for their newly formed Cabaret Series.

SDGLN: You have directed "Altar Boyz" in another city before – what is exciting about directing this here at home?

NL: When I directed this before I was in college, so its nice to be able to do this again, with a wider variety of talent, and a budget. It has always been a dream of mine to work with some of my friends from high school, so I immediately rounded up some of them to form my production team. Michael and Ashley Hoffman (Technical Director & Stage Manager, respectively) and I have been friends for over 10 years now, and we are finally able to create some magic together. Rebecca Noland (Costume & Prop Design) and I went to college together, and she was with me the first time I did this.

SDGLN: What do you think people will love about this show? What can they expect?

NL: I think this show has something for everyone. I personally loved boy bands growing up. There's also something for anyone who has ever been to a Catholic Mass. Each person will find band member, or a song, or a moment that they love more than any other. Audiences have been responding phenomenally so far.

SDGLN: What has the experience been like working with Michal Mizerany, who I know is a well-respected dance instructor here in San Diego?

NL: Michael is amazing, and I could not have done this show without him. We worked together on Dooley (I was an actor, he was the choreographer) and his work has stayed with me. He has really created something special with this show. Even more so, he has helped me on the production end. He has such experience with his job at Malashock that he was able to help me through this unfamiliar process.

SDGLN: What other projects do you have in the works?

Vacation. I don't have any other projects lined up. This has been an amazing process, and one that I will definitely repeat, but I will be looking for some down time first.

The details

Longton and Mizerany are producing "Altar Boyz" as a special production independent of the Diversionary Theatre. The show is part of Diversionary's Cabaret Series, and runs through Sunday. Tickets are $25. For more information or to buy tickets, click HERE.

Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights.

Left photo: Noah Longton