Mysterious cow disappearances, evangelical tent revivals and a bat-human mutant hybrid take the stage at Cite des Arts.
July 21, 2010
Written by Annie Bares
|Inset photo by Robin May|
Song, dance and jazz hands are standard fare in musical theatre. But mysterious cow disappearances, evangelical tent revivals and a bat-human mutant hybrid? Not so much. Bat Boy: The Musical has all of the above and is bringing its act to Lafayette for the summer. Starting July 25, local theatre group Acting Unlimited will be performing the musical at Cite des Arts.
Faithful readers of the now defunct Weekly World News will know that since his creation in 1992, Bat Boy (“50% Bat, 50% Human, 100% Awesome”) has done everything from marrying Britney Spears to advising George Bush on the invasion of Iraq. It’s speculated that he’s related to Louisiana’s own James Carville. In 1997 Bat Boy even got his own musical, courtesy of Tim Robbins’ Actors Gang Theatre.
Ruth Diaz, a recent graduate of UL’s theatre program, discovered the show’s soundtrack a few years ago and has wanted to perform it since.
“It’s a beautiful script,” says Ruth, who plays Bat Boy’s adoptive mother and is one of the 24 locals participating in the production of the show. Many of the cast members are young theatre enthusiasts who have been involved in different Acadiana theatre troupes including the Abbey and Evangeline Players.
The show begins when rural West Virginia teenagers capture a bat/human creature while spelunking. They turn him over to the sheriff who puts him in the charge of a local vet, played by area playwright Cody Daigle. Bat Boy becomes “Edgar” and gets an education in civilization. The conflict comes when the small town suspects that Edgar is responsible for killing the cows that provide the backbone of their economy.
“The play is partially about a community dealing with economic devastation, which is very relevant with everything going on right now in the Gulf,” says cast member Kelly Griffin. The players emphasize that while Bat Boy is based on a Weekly World News article, they’re not taking it in the direction of the spoof or a farce genre.
“The premise is odd, but the characters are very real. This is not Rocky Horror,” explains stage manager Marie Diaz.
“The humor is grounded in the fact that you can relate to the characters,” says Ruth. The cast also says that the play touches on the serious issues of prejudice, being an outsider, and spirituality, particularly the conflict between natural and organized religions. Some of the actors’ favorite numbers include the show’s opener, “Another Dead Cow,” and the Act 1 finale, “Comfort and Joy.”
The cast is also careful to distance Bat Boy from the current vampire craze. While it may have fangs, “there is no sparkling in the show,” jokes Griffin.
“[The musical] most resembles a Greek tragedy,” says Director Walter Brown. “It’s a combination of Oedipus and Frankenstein. Humor is used as a recognition of humanity.”
Brown also emphasizes that in addition to being a fun show, Bat Boy also employs experimental theatre techniques to keep the audience thinking. For example, Erik Schneider and Phillip Smith were both cast to play Bat Boy on different nights with each performance ending differently.
A grant from the AcA allowed the production to involve a wide range of the local art community. Jason Pennington, voice coach and musician, was hired as music director, and painter Scott Bailey was pegged for set design.
Bat Boy plans to give back to Acadiana, too. Friday, July 30, will be a pay-what-you-can performance, and all proceeds from the Aug. 6 show will go to a Gulf relief fund.
Bat Boy: The Musical runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from July 29 to Aug. 14. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. at Cite des Arts on Vine Street downtown. For more information, visit www.yourbeastinside.blogspot.com.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.