Holy pointy ears, Bat Boy!
Wouldn’t it be great if there were an event this Halloween that is fun and sophisticated? Well, lets not take the word “sophisticated” too far. After all, it is Halloween we’re talking about here. There is a different kind of culture that shows its ugly – and sometimes grotesque – face around town this time of year. So, if you’re looking for the ugly, the hideous, the freakishly entertaining, look no further than Portland Center Stage’s “Bat Boy: The Musical.”
If you’re tired of getting a door slammed in your face because you’ve tried to squeeze one more year out of the ol’ trick-or-treating costume, then “Bat Boy” provides a great alternative. It includes everything you love about the tabloids with a dash of classical music numbers and a pinch of “Saturday Night Live.” It’s a regular witch’s brew that will make you crap your pants due to its sheer hilarity.
There is nothing better than a story about incredible events and horrific people to soothe pangs for the fantastic. Swamp-people, mermaids and werewolves: They are all a part of the sub-human community that lurk within dreamers’ fantasies everywhere.
Two dreamers in particular caught sight of one strange little boy’s face on a cover of the Weekly World News and decided there was another story that needed to be written, one of love, horror and intrigue. Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming resurrected the story of the poor “bat boy” and turned the tragic events of his life into a full-blown musical, complete with spoofs of “My Fair Lady,” “The Lion King” and “Dracula.”
Of course, no tabloid-worthy story would be complete without a struggle between the supernatural and real. This story starts out in a cave near a small town in West Virginia.
Edgar, the bat boy, is the main subject of interest during the play. Keep in mind that this is really a coming-of-age story about a boy that is half bat, half human. The storyline follows the life of this unfortunate boy. How can that not be funny and completely ridiculous?! Add in some random songs here and there and you’ve got yourself an evening of strange and unusual entertainment!
What would a musical be without a love story? That’s right, the heart of this half-beast is fixed on the oh-so-out-of-his-league beauty Meredith. The interaction and love between the lovely lady and Bat Boy, with his pointed ears and sharp teeth, makes for a great romance and resembles the relationship between Madame de Villeneuve’s beauty and beast.
The play is directed by Chris Coleman and stars Wade McCollum (Edgar) and Susannah Mars (Meredith). Wade has intrigued Portland audiences in the past as Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” while Susannah has also been a stage darling with her performance as Mama Rose in Portland Center Stage’s “Gypsy.” Both performers put their heart and soul into this odd, yet touching, production of “Bat Boy: The Musical.”
The play runs through Nov. 23 in the Newmark Theatre. Tickets are $16 for students 25 years of age and younger with student ID. If you have kids, I’d recommend finding a baby sitter for the night. The story has the same style as “Little Shop of Horrors,” and some of the subject matter might be too scary for little ones to handle. Besides the fact that screaming children are extremely annoying during performances, Portland Center Stage doesn’t allow children under the age of 5 to attend any performances with or without adult supervision. Opening night of “Bat Boy: The Musical” will be an extreme gala, to say the least. So, round up all the monsters and goblins that you know and head on down to the theater to watch and be entertained by the story of a special freak who is really just like the rest of us.
“Bat Boy: The Musical”
Portland Center Stage
1111 S.W. Broadway
Through Nov. 23
$16 students under 26