Satisfy your appetites with the ‘Boy Band Brunch’ at NYC’s Chelsea Table + Stage

On Sunday, February 27, The Boy Band Project kicked off their Boy Band Brunch residency at Chelsea Table + Stage, playing every other Sunday at 2 pm, through April 24. And it was absolutely delectable! The new intimate venue provides the perfect space for an up-close-and-personal experience with the super-hot mega-talented NYC-based rotating roster of four triple-threats from Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, the cabaret scene, and entertainment cruises on the high seas.

The Boy Band Project at Chelsea Table + Stage. Photo by Deb Miller.

Covering some of the biggest hits, hottest moves, and “all the feelings” of the guy-group phenomenon that first topped the record charts and pop music videos in the ‘90s, The Boy Band Project continues to attract devoted followers of the genre, along with new generations of fans, with their knockout performances and ever-expanding repertoire, genuine camaraderie with each other and seductive rapport with the audience. And as fabulous as they’ve always been, they never fail to pump up the energy with each high-voltage show, to step up their powerful solos and smooth group harmonies, to heighten the youthful romantic mood of the lyrics, and to leave the crowd satiated but still craving more (resulting on Sunday in wild screaming, standing, and applause, two encores, and a post-show photo op and mingling; the house staff even had to ask the audience to leave, so they could prep the room for the evening act). Yes, they’re THAT good – Broadway-quality good – and THAT appreciative of their adoring public. And “that’s what makes [them] beautiful.”

Chris Messina and Nic Metcalf. Photo by Deb Miller
Christopher Brasfield. Photo by Deb Miller
Sam Harvey. Photo by Deb Miller.

For the premiere Chelsea show, the featured performers and embodiments of the boy-band archetypes – revealed as layers of their dazzling costumes were quickly removed, from the formal jackets and ties in which they took the stage to the glittering bare essence of the characters (and the Boys’ well-toned torsos) – were Chris Messina as the Sporty One, Christopher Brasfield as the Boy Next Door, Nic Metcalf as the Sensitive One, and Sam Harvey as the Bad Boy and the irresistibly engaging emcee. The Boy Band Project’s founder, lead member, and producer Travis Nesbitt could be seen working behind the scenes and cheering them on from the audience, as was long-time BBP member Jesse Corbin, both of whom will be appearing in upcoming Boy Band Brunch dates.

The Boy Band Project (Chris Messina, Sam Harvey, Christopher Brasfield, and Nic Metcalf). Photo by Deb Miller.

The show opened with classics by two influential boy-band forerunners of the 1960s, The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and The Four Seasons’ “September 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” which set the stage for such BBP favorites as Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody,” “I Want It That Way,” and “Quit Playing Games (with my Heart),” and *NSYNC’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” They were delivered with the group’s unique mix of tribute and parody, with their quintessential vocal harmonies and rich alternating solos, the full-out physicality of their high-energy synchronized choreography, and the tongue-in-cheek humor and sex appeal of their repartee and interactions with one another and the audience as they kept spreading the boy-band love.

The Boy Band Project (Chris Messina, Sam Harvey, Christopher Brasfield, and Nic Metcalf). Photo by Deb Miller.

Following “the iconic stool number,” for which the Boys were seated to sing a heartfelt rendition of “My Heart Will Go On,” they took turns circulating through the room, singing directly to individual fans, and heating up the packed house, back on stage, with sizzling body rolls, pelvic grinds, hip thrusts, jumps, kicks, spins, finger points, and booty shaking. The remaining set list included some new surprise additions and, of course, their non-stop expressive performances of more BBP standards like “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step” by New Kids on the Block, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” by 98 Degrees, and “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers, closing with their high-energy blockbusters (and my personal faves) “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life” by One Direction and an encore of *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” But it wasn’t bye, bye, bye for the Boy Band Brunch; the excited crowd wanted more, so the Boys came back with yet another heartthrob encore, of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination,” led by Brasfield.

As always with the BBP, the live performance, backed by DJ Tamra “The Vampire Slayer” Sheehan, was interspersed with videos of the era and of themselves, both in the news and performing their award-winning show and songs. If you missed the Chelsea Stage + Table debut of the Boy Band Brunch, you can still catch it, or see it again, on four more dates in March and April; you’ll be glad that you did. I can’t recommend this fun-filled show and these stellar musical-theater artists highly enough.

Running Time: Approximately 65 minutes, without intermission.

Boy Band Brunch opened on Sunday, February 27, and plays every other Sunday, at 2 pm, through April 24, 2022, at Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street, NYC, downstairs, inside the Hilton New York Fashion District. For the full schedule and tickets (starting at $30), go online. All tickets include a $15 per person food and beverage credit, which will be applied to your final bill. Following current safety protocol, everyone must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and a photo ID to enter and should wear a mask inside when not actively eating or drinking.


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Deb Miller
Deb Miller (PhD, Art History) is the Senior Correspondent and Editor for New York City, where she grew up seeing every show on Broadway. She is an active member of the Outer Critics Circle and served for more than a decade as a Voter, Nominator, and Judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. Outside of her home base in NYC, she has written and lectured extensively on the arts and theater throughout the world (including her many years in Amsterdam, London, and Venice, and her extensive work and personal connections with Andy Warhol and his circle) and previously served as a lead writer for Stage Magazine, Phindie, and Central Voice.


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