Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review of Griffin Theatre's Bat Boy: The Musical

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Bat Boy: The Musical. The book was by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming and the music and lyrics were by Laurence O'Keefe. It was directed by Scott Weinstein. The music direction was by Charlotte Rivard-Hoster and the choreography was by Rhett Guter and Amanda Kroiss. It was about the famous Bat Boy (Henry McGinnis) from a tabloid. Of course the Bat Boy is not a real thing, but they made up a really awesome backstory to go with him. But it was also a very dark story. When I was little I used to hate dark comedies, but now I'm a big fan. This show is about respect, family, and prejudice. I thought that this was an absolutely fun and amazing show.

One of my favorite songs (and also one of the most uncomfortable songs for me to hear ever) was called "Children, Children." It was a song sung by Pan (Jordan Dell Harris). It had a bunch of animals and mythical creatures coming out and talking about the beauty of nature, or at least that is how it started. And then it turned into all of the animals very suggestively doing things with the different animal puppets (by Lolly Extract and Amber Marsh) they were holding. It was basically to encourage Edgar, the Bat Boy, to "get together" with this girl he likes named Shelley Parker (Tiffany Tatreau). This song was hilarious but it made me very uncomfortable. I think everybody else just found it hilarious, but since I am an eleven-and-three-quarters-year-old girl, that made it slightly more awkward for me. It was so funny because of the way they used the different parts of the animal puppets and their costumes (by Izumi Inaba). It was hilariously awkward.

I also really liked "Mrs. Taylor's Lullaby" sung by Mrs. Taylor (Ron King). It was absolutely hilarious and the character work put into Mrs. Taylor was amazing. She would fan herself very quickly with her hand when she would get frustrated, which I could not stop laughing at. The song was funny because it was a very dark song about killing Bat Boy sung in a very sweet tone and manner. Ron King also sang a song called "Joyful Noise" as the Reverend. It was very high in energy and I really loved that song. I would have that be my ringtone! It was super fun and I wanted to just get up and dance during that song.

"Show You a Thing or Two" was another of my favorite songs, sung by the entire Parker family--Dr. Parker (Matt W. Miles), Meredith (Anne Sheridan Smith), and their daughter Shelley--and Bat Boy. I really liked this song because it was really sweet, but it wasn't a slow sweet song. It was just about how everyone in the family wanted to help Edgar/Bat Boy become a gentleman. The song was a really fun montage of them teaching Edgar to read and write, teaching him to speak well, and they also had flash cards that were really funny because they were not necessarily things someone learning civilized English should need to know immediately, like names of operas, movies, and people. Also in the montage was Bat Boy drinking blood! Later in the show, you find out who Bat Boy's mother is, which is a big reveal, but then Dr. Parker has to explain to Bat Boy where he came from. And it is like this big long elaborate story and he has to put on a wig to tell the story and that was very funny. I really liked how Dr. Parker's character changed so much over the course of the show. It was funny to see this person who seemed to be so intelligent at first making these horrible decisions to talk about his plans in earshot of other people. They'd say, "What did you say?" And he'd say, "Nothing" and go on with his day. Bat Boy's transformation is going from a demon-boy found in a cave to a civilized, strangely British man, Dr. Parker's transformation is going from a smart, civilized guy to a crazy man. It just shows you that people can drastically change and just because you think you know who somebody is, doesn't mean that is how they are today.

People who would like this show are people who like blood, murderous lullabies, and ridiculous mating rituals. I think that people should definitely go see this show. It is super funny and awesome and I had so much fun at it.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

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