In their spectacular debut at City Winery NYC on Saturday, June 17, The Boy Band Project dazzled a packed house with their biggest and best Boy Band Brunch ever (and that’s really saying something, since it’s always been fabulous), for a non-stop 90 minutes of unsurpassed vocals, synchronized choreography, and sizzling interactions with the audience, giving it “all [they] have to give” in their fan-favorite covers of chart-topping hits by NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and more of the most popular guy groups from the ‘90s till today, newly added numbers to their expanded set list, and their own original songs.
Backed by DJ Tamra “The Vampire Slayer” Sheehan, the live performance was interspersed with vintage videos of TV shows and films from the era and of themselves (both on the news and performing snippets from their award-winning concerts), along with their engaging banter, parodic embodiments of “all the feelings” of the boy band archetypes, and personal introductions of The BBP’s rotating members of musical theater triple-threats from Broadway and beyond. The latest show featured Jesse Corbin as “The Bad Boy,” Chris Messina as “The Sporty One,” Jesse J as “The Sensitive One,” and founder, producer, and lead member/emcee Travis Nesbitt as “The Boy Next Door,” with each one giving it their all and bringing down the house with their powerhouse solos, rich flawless harmonies, hot high-energy moves (made even more dynamic and explosive on the venue’s large stage), knockout good looks, well-toned bodies, and irresistible personalities.
The show opened with the group singing a reverberating “Bye Bye Bye” (by NSYNC) in LED light-up sneakers and futuristic breakaway silver jumpsuits, which they soon pulled off to reveal their much (much, much) tighter black pants and sparkling tops that matched the glitter on their faces and defined their different boy band identities. From perfectly coordinated spins and turns, kicks and jumps, back bends and side leans, and lying and kneeling up-close to the audience at the edge of the stage, to body rolls, booty shaking, pelvic grinds, crotch grabs, and butt slaps, the Boys pumped it up with their signature physicality, sex appeal, and tongue-in-cheek humor in sixteen songs, one mega dance medley, and an encore of their own “Get Behind My Love” (composed by Michael Mott, who was in attendance), following screams, cheers, wild applause, and a standing ovation.
In between were slower paced “stool numbers” (their favorites, they joked, since they finally get to sit down!), with them seated, singing, chatting, displaying their camaraderie and emotions, and their gratitude to the audience for being there. There was also a short break for them to cool down and wipe off, in which their Christmas hit “Jingle My Bells” was screened, and a segment with their rendition of “All I Have to Give” (by Backstreet Boys), in which they brought a very lucky audience member on stage to be sung to, flirted with, and competed over, who was then given a BBP tee-shirt (I won’t tell you how they made the gift even more desirable than it already was – you’ll have to go to their next show and see it for yourself!).
The song list included such familiar BBP blockbusters as Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody,” “I Want It that Way,” and “Quit Playing Games” (with the Boys in shades), NSYNC’s “Tearin Up My Heart” and “This I Promise You,” New Kids on the Block’s “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step,” BBMak’s “Back Here” (with Jesse Corbin rapping), Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” (which Jesse J sang on his knees while holding the hand of one particular front-row audience member, who shall remain nameless), and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Story of My Life” (my personal favorites in this show and every show), which had the audience singing, clapping, and moving along to the stellar performances.
Some of the newer numbers in the blowout concert were O-Town’s “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing” and Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid.” And there was The BBP’s beautiful interpretation of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic, with a hilarious “boy band twist” on who was actually on that sinking ship.
If you missed The Boy Band Project’s unparalleled show this time, they’ll be back at City Winery on Saturday, August 19, at noon, with a new Boy Band Brunch, so my best advice is to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale, since they’re likely to sell out. And if you’re not a devoted fan already, you’re sure to become one after seeing this amazingly talented, charming, and entertaining group!
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, without intermission.
Boy Band Brunch played on Saturday, June 17, 2023, and will return on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at noon, at City Winery, 25 11th Avenue, NYC. For ticket sales, check the website.