‘Bat Boy: The Musical’ opens next Thursday! Buy your tickets online!
Bat Boy: The Musical Flies into the Bonstelle Theatre for Only Two Weeks
Opening April 12, 2013
DETROIT— The Bonstelle Theatre presents the rock ‘n’ roll cult classic, Bat Boy: The Musical by Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming, and Laurence O’Keefe, running for only two weeks, April 12 through 21, 2013. Based on the grocery store tabloid, Weekly World News, Bat Boy: The Musical is a rambunctious musical comedy that closes the Bonstelle Theatre season with a bite. Tickets are $20-$25 and are available by calling (313) 577-2960, visiting http://www.bonstelle.com, or visiting the Wayne State University Theatres Box Office located at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.
Bat Boy: The Musical is about a supernatural half bat/half boy creature that is discovered in a cave in West Virginia and brought to the home of local veterinarian Dr. Parker. The Parker family decides to take him in and teach him to behave as a normal human, attempting to integrate him into a narrow-minded town. As he tries to fit in, romantic sparks fly and he decides to run away with the veterinarian’s daughter, Shelley. But happiness is shattered as the town hears the shocking story of Batboy’s unholy origin.
First performed on Halloween in 1997, Bat Boy: The Musical has had success both in the United States and in London’s West End. The character of Bat Boy was created by former Weekly World News Editor Dick Kulpa, and debuted as a cover story on June 23, 1992. The original front-page photo of Bat Boy, showing his grotesque screaming face, was the second-best selling issue in the tabloid’s history, and he has since evolved into a pop-culture icon. This creature inspired writers Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming to write a stage adaptation, and they were joined by American composer/lyricist Laurence O’Keefe.
The musical differs in a few of its plot details from the Weekly World News portrayal of Bat Boy. In the musical, Bat Boy learns to speak from his adoptive family, yearns for acceptance and tries to join society, only to face hatred and violence from a town that fears him and jealous rage from his foster father. But according to the Weekly World News, Bat Boy is a member of a race of creatures who have interacted with humans for at least 400 years, and he was discovered in the Ozarks in 1992 by biologist Dr. Ron Dillon after he was trapped by a falling rock in a cave he was hiding in. At the time only two feet tall and weighing less than 20 pounds, Dr. Dillon was shocked later when the creature grew a set of wings and escaped. This would be only the first of Bat Boy’s many captures and escapes that Weekly World News would expand upon.
Though Bat Boy and his stories told by Weekly World News are fictional, the story of Bat Boy: The Musical deals with serious themes such as hypocrisy, acceptance, forgiveness, racism, revenge, and scapegoating, but often punctures the most serious moments with slapstick, surrealism, camp-horror, and irony. The show also contains religious themes with biblical allusions. One interesting theme about the show, which lies somewhat underneath the surface, is the idea that we all have a dark side, or an animal side, that comes out when we’re afraid, that drives us as humans for food, sex, power, or control; and the idea that we must embrace this side of ourselves instead of fear it.
Bat Boy: The Musical won awards for best Off-Broadway musical including the Lucille Lortel Award, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2001. Regional productions of Bat Boy have been nominated for and won awards including the 2003 Elliot Norton Award (New England) and the 1998 Ovation Awards (Los Angeles).
The cast includes (in alphabetical order):
Jacqueline Fenton (Allen Park, MI) Ensemble, Ivy Haralson (Belleville, MI) Ron Taylor, Bridgette Jordan (Southfield, MI) Reverend Billy Hightower, Sara Kline (Madison Heights, MI) Sheriff Reynolds, Alyssa Lucas (Garden City, MI) Maggie, Colin Mallory (East Lansing, MI) Pan/Daisy, Jackson McLaskey (Mt. Clemens, MI) Dr. Thomas Parker, Matthew Miazgowicz (Dearborn, MI) Lorraine, Shane Nelson (Windsor, ON) Bud, Britta Peele (Harrison Township, MI) Shelley Parker, Jonathan Pigott (Wyandotte, MI) Ensemble, Kelly Robinson (Royal Oak, MI) Meredith Parker, Luke Rose (Harrison Township, MI) Rick Taylor, Anthony Scamihorn (Marshall, MI) Mrs. Taylor, Anna Seibert (Detroit, MI) Ruthie Taylor/Ned, Nicholas Yocum (Royal Oak, MI) Bat Boy/Edgar.
The production team includes:
Michael J. Barnes (Director), Julia Moriarty (Assistant Director), Jeffrey Michael Rebudal (Choreographer), Daniel Greig (Music Director), Devon L. Hansen (Instrumental Music Director), Meghan Lynch (Stage Manager), Curtis Green (Scenic Designer), Anthony Karpinski (Technical Director and Properties Master), Mary Gietzen (Costume Designer), Brian M. Scruggs (Lighting Designer), Tyler Ezell (Sound Designer), and Alexandra Stewart (Publicity Manager).
About the Bonstelle Theatre
The Bonstelle Theatre is a Broadway-style House with a 1,143-seat auditorium featuring a balcony, owned by Wayne State University. Here, future stars of theatre, film, and television follow in the footsteps of such successful alumni as Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning S. Epatha Merkerson (NBC’s Law and Order, Lackawanna Blues), Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, ABC’s Desperate Housewives) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, NBC’s Heroes). For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, group discounts and corporate packages, please call the box office at (313) 577-2960 or visit the theatre’s website at www.bonstelle.com. Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.
Season sponsored by CBS Outdoor, Between the Lines, and Encore Michigan
Bat Boy: The Musical
Book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe
April 12, 2013 – April 21, 2013
Friday 8 p.m. April 12, April 19
Saturday 8 p.m. April 13, April 20
Sunday 2 p.m. April 14, April 21
Reviewed by Patty Nolan, The Examiner.
Click HERE to read the review on The Examiner’s website.
Posted March 1, 2013
If you are interested in new plays, new playwrights and the emerging theatre scene, don’t miss WSU’s Heck-Rabi One Act Festival. This is an annual showcase of three one-act plays composed by student playwrights, performed by student actors and directed by, yes, fellow students.
The Louise Heck-Rabi Dramatic Playwriting One Act Festival has been an annual event since 2000, a program designed to encourage young playwrights to submit their original works in hopes of having them produced. Each year, six or seven semi-finalists are chosen out of all submissions. The plays are then read at a Workshop, where they are critiqued by judges. Three finalists win a scholarship as well as the opportunity to produce their play in front of a live audience. Each winning playwright has the invaluable opportunity to work with a student director and student performers to realize their productions on the stage.
Opening last night, February 28, and running through March 9, 2013, audience members at the Studio Theatre were treated to a diverse selection of winning plays – spanning the abstract, the inevitable, and a haunted theatrical production. All three plays are performed in a single evening with a short intermission between each — a three-course dramatic meal that is most satisfying. Making it even more interesting is that all of the winning playwrights are also actors whom you may have seen perform on the Hilberry stage.
This year’s selected student plays include: “Hurts So Good,” by Carollette Phillips and Edmund Alyn Jones, (who appeared together in “Richard III” as Lady Anne and Richard); “A New Play by Neil Simon,” by Dave Toomey (“Frank Langella’s Cyrano”); and “Chiseled,” by Laura Heikkinen (“Summer and Smoke”).
“Chiseled,” by Laura Heikkinen opens the show and is the most abstract of the three pieces. A sculptor encounters a young woman at a gallery displaying his newest work – and they are inexplicable drawn together. In a series of staccato scenes, we watch their relationship unfold and his creative work wax and wane until we are not sure which is art and which is artifice. This abstract piece is open to much interpretation and is sure to stimulate conversation regarding what we “thought” happened.
Directed by Sharayah Kay Johnson, the cast for this play features Hannah Butcher as Model, Denzel Clark as Dan, Kristen Dawn-Dumas as Cee, Tayler Jones as Em/Guest 1, Bryauna Perkins as Elle, Laith Salim as Jay and Brad Smith as Guest 2. Amanda Mahoney is the Stage Manager.
Dave Toomey’s “A New Play by Neil Simon” is a hilarious backstage play with a sinister twist. Lou, a theatre veteran and director, has returned to his hometown to help out best friend Sandy, who has sunk everything into a decrepit theatre and the production of a new play by renowned playwright Neil Simon. The trick is, the play doesn’t sound anything like Neil Simon – with themes of demonic repossession and grisly murder. The ill-fated production takes a turn for the worse when disembodied voices and shadows haunt the theatre. You may scream … you’ll certainly laugh.
“Hurts So Good,” by Carollette Phillips and Edmund Alyn Jones, drops us into the middle of a story between two people who clearly have a history. Are they friends? Lovers? Both? Ultimately, this is a moving little slice of life about complicated relationships and the eternal struggle to know if what feels right is really all wrong.
“Hurts So Good” stars James Jordan and Alexis Mabry under the direction of Zee Bricker; Michael Hallberg is the Stage Manager.
It’s always fun to watch students in action in the intimate Studio Theatre (downstairs from the Hilberry Theatre) and these young actors hold up to close scrutiny. This trio of unrelated plays makes for a most entertaining evening – put it on your calendar.
Tickets are a bargain at $5 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, purchasing online, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.
Ivanov is the classic Chekhov tragedy about a man uncertain about his life and his future. Bogged-down by responsibilities, Nicolai Ivanov contemplates his situation and the desolate world around him. This one-act reconstructed version of the play, which includes excerpts from Chekhov’s original script, occurs in post-apocalyptic America. Nick, a young man and scholar, joined by his best friend Misha, and his sick wife Anna, inhabit an underground compound. Sasha, a doctor, supplies the medicine for Anna’s sickness and harbors an infatuation with Nick. The characters strive to relate to each other and stay human within a world that has crumbled around them.
Ivanov was generated through a collaborative system of student actors and designers. Actors participated in several Russian-based improvisational exercises to create the script and design elements. These actor-creators have explored the possibilities beyond the traditional theatre structure and present a theatrical experiment.
Sunday, January 27
4:00pm & 8:00pm
Monday, January 28
The Studio Theatre
Down Stairs at the Hillberry
Wayne State Campus
4743 Cass Ave.
Detroit MI, 48201
Stage Manager……….Jamie Spinelli
Technical Director…………Ryan Koprince
Faculty Mentor……….Mary Elizabeth Anderson
A WSU Student Stage Production supported by the Robert T. Hazzard Fund
Superhero Shakespeare; The Comedy of Errors As Seen Through A Young Man’s Eyes
After being separated for many years, two brothers set out to find their identical twin. When their journey begins, hilarious situations involving mistaken identity ensue. Will the confusion settle to reveal they have once and for all found one another? Come and find out February 19 through February 28 at the Bonstelle Theatre.
Director Jesse Merz stages this well known classic through the eyes of a disinterested young student who uses his imagination to transform each character in The Comedy of Errors into a superhero, villain or other childhood fantasy figure. Merzs’ unique concept reaches out to those who might regard Shakespeare as being “old” and “outdated”. His vision, combined with the set design by Fred Florkowski, captures the attention of the audience from the moment the curtain rises. This concept, combined with costumes by Mary Copenhagen and technical direction by Jeffrey Strange, makes this production of The Comedy of Errors a show that should not be missed.
The Comedy of Errors was once regarded as one of Shakespeare’s “lighter” plays. However, it is now understood as a complex and profound treatment of the conflict and hope inherent in human relationships. Written between 1592 and 1595, The Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s early works and has been adapted for the stage, opera, musical theatre and film.
Cast members include Andrick Siegmund (Antipholus of Syracuse), George Abud (Antipholus of Ephesus/Grosse Pointe, MI), Megan Fuller (Dromio of Syracuse/Warren, MI), Sara Kline (Dromio of Ephesus), Katie Lietz Flannery (Adriana), Laura Heikkinen (Luciana), Robbie Dwight (Duke), Patrick Loos (Egeon/Highland, MI), Kerianne Fergurson (Abbess), Justin Crutchfield (Angelo/Detroit, MI), Kyle Holton (2nd Merchant/Detroit, MI), Annabelle Young (A Courtesan), William Turbett (Pinch/Dearborn, MI), Samantha Moltmaker (Balthasar/Harrison Twp, MI), Alexander Trice (1st Merchant/Detroit, MI), Caitlin Morrison (Luce/Romeo, MI), Taurean Hogan (Jailer), Erin Hildebrandt (Officer/Walled Lake, MI), Jacquie Michnuk (Officer/Dearborn, MI), Ciarah Mosley (Messenger). Other production team members include Mercedes Coley (Stage Manager), Christopher Wade (Sound Designer), Bobby Tacoma (Lighting Designer) and Jeffrey Cotnoir (Publicist).
The Comedy of Errors plays at the Bonstelle Theatre February 19, 2010 to February 28, 2010. Advance ticket sales are available at the Wayne State Theatre Box Office, located at 4743 Cass (corner of Hancock), or by phone at (313) 577-2960. Tickets may be purchased online at www.wsushows.com. The box office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door at the Bonstelle Theatre (3424 Woodward Ave.) one hour prior to performances. Regular tickets are available for $15, and $12 discounted tickets are available to seniors ages 62+, and Wayne State University faculty, staff, and Alumni Association members. Student rush tickets are available for $10 the night of the performance. Group discounts are also available. For more information, please visit the theatre’s website at www.bonstelle.com.