Life is easier as either a dazzling diva with charms that can suck the chrome of a
trailer hitch or as some thunderbuns dude whose musky manliness leaves nuns weak in
the knees and pondering kicking the habit. Yet, it’s who you really are that counts, right?
So geez; half boy, half furry flying nocturnal rodent; what’s a “Bat Boy” to do?
“Bat Boy: The Musical” (BB-TM) is based on a recurring character spawned and
spread by the Weekly World News, a notorious tabloid (aka bird and puppy piddle litter).
George Maguire, Artistic Director of the impressive Solano College Theatre
(SCT) team, has done it again. Campy, over the top BB-TM is a must see, high energy,
too funny to be embarrassed romp that delivers a heck of a bite-and that ain’t no guano.
Bat Boy, half-boy and half-bat, is found in a cave in the Appalachian hick town
Hope Falls. In hope of re-kindling wifely romantic duties, the local vet adopts the
creature, his wife names him Edgar and soon the latter-day “Lisa Bat-Little” is wowing
all with his socialization. Yet a foreboding mystery hangs over this little burgh. Spoiler
alert, I have no intention of telling you what happens next! Let’s just say, there’s incest,
bigotry, violence, furry feral fecundity and puppet shows. Yep, all the essential
ingredients of a PG-13 Broadway show
BB-TB’s ribald recipe is filled with hysterical small town caricatures, clever
dialogue, tortuous tabloid plot twists and more than a brush of sincerity, pathos and
lesson learning. This high energy production (think Rent) is what musical theater troopers
love to sink their fangs into complete with zany doubling of roles, gender bending and
outrageous visual gags
The score, professionally performed by a live five piece offstage ensemble, is
classic pastiche employing light-hearted, respectful tongue-in-cheek imitation of others’
style. Thus, there is something for everyone with toe tapping, praising and preaching or
just getting down with your groove thing as songs weave through rap, folk ballad, hoe
down, gospel, and pop. Bubble-gum melodies with crisp clever lyrics twirl and whirl with
soaring Sondheim dissonance and caffeinated Rock Opera. And when the preacher gets
to preaching, you best get up and get religion-you’ll see.
The PG 13 humor drips from lyrics and libretto alike in a sizzling funny show.
Off the wall Monty Pythonesque irreverence is in one hysterical number where mythical
Pan, the ‘Spirit of the Forest’, croons and encourages Bat Boy, his forbidden sweetheart
and associated amorous furry friends in “Children, Children,” (that) “The Earth’s asleep,
time to wake it/If you have clothing, forsake it/We want you breathless, and naked,”
Keep a light on and hold the mail because you’re leaving home and entering
Maguire’s and friends minds. SCT puts on a clinic in mastering the imagination in terms
of set, sound, costume and lighting. Blocking and choreography are excellent and off-
action pacing is very sharp.
Seth Michael Andersen as bat boy is remarkably consistent and capable with
caged, preternaturally limber, feral and convulsive movements reminiscent of Peewee
Herman off his meds. We feel his pain and beware his bite. Barbara McFadden, a Solano
stage staple, is the villainous vets’ too concerned tender and tormented wife who
probably has a dark secret of her own. McFadden, I guess that’s Irish or Scotch for
consummate professionalism, stage presence and serious vocal chops. Her daughter
Shelley is aptly portrayed by Kat McFadden as a callow mid adolescent, replete with eye-
rolling, foot-stomping and a flare for the dramatic. Paul C. Plain plays an evilly jealous sycophantic Dr. Parker with adept and malicious malfeasance. The supporting cast, many
cross-dressing, is solid.
Watch this name-John Rivard, a scene stealing, gender bending, role doubling,
twinkle toed powerhouse countertenor who lives for the footlights-and Lordly can that
The cartoon like conclusion strains credibility. Perfect! Hope Falls may be “no
place to raise cattle” but SCT is a place to love a bat boy, both on stage and perhaps a bit
in us all. Besides, cartoons pose some of the best social commentary, so I wonder,
“Although you can take the boy out of the bat cave, can you take the bite out of the bat?
The opinions expressed and intellectual property on this site are protected by copyright and are solely those of Tonydeaf.org They are not to be attributed to McNaughton Newspapers or its' subsidiariesKevin P Ryan 2011 All Rights Reserved