God, I love Bat Boy so much. It's incredible. I have loved Bat Boy since just a year or two after it came out, and I loved it so much I bought the script and SCREAMED when I read the ending.
There's a trio of musicals that came out at the turn of the 21st century that give me hope for all musical theatre: Spelling Bee (even though it was in the mid-2000s, it still counts in my mind), Urinetown (which we'll get to in approximately 200 years) and Bat Boy. They are all original musicals (yes, they used an established idea for this, but it's still an original musical), with amazing scores. Bat Boy is the only one I've never seen live (but it's the only one I read the actual script for), and by far the darkest.
So. Why do I love this musical so much?
1. It is hilarious funny.
2. Shelley is amazing. (Dear Universe, I am still young enough to play Shelley, but it needs to happen ASAP. PLEASE UNIVERSE, PLEASE.)
3. It has fantastic, creative doubling of roles.
4. It can be done on a small stage with basically no set.
5. The music is to DIE FOR. Laurence O'Keefe is incredible. He writes legitimate rock and legitimate musical theatre style in this show, and sometimes he combines them and it's still amazing.
6. The book is insane and weird and unexpected, but so clever and funny and heartfelt
7. Despite being so funny, I cannot listen to it without crying because it is so sad
8. The women are so, so good in this musical -- everyone has something to do
9. The original off-broadway cast KILLS
Bat Boy is based on the Weekly World News story of "Bat Boy" (if you hadn't guessed). It is 99% perfect (the only downfall is the song "Children, Children" which just makes me uncomfortable), even with how incredibly weird it is. I can tell you my exact Top 3 Favorite Moments from the original recording:
1. The very first, full minute of "Comfort and Joy"
2. 2:07 - 2:28 of "Apology to a Cow"
3. 2:35 - 3:33 of "Finale: I Imagine You're Upset" (and this part I cannot even speak about without crying because it is so beautifully written)
But, please, listen to Bat Boy if you haven't already. If you have, listen to it again. REALLY listen to it. If you don't like musical theatre, but you took my advice and gave Assassins a chance -- give this a chance, too. This show deserves more than a cult following. (I am even sad to be done writing about it.)
Bat Boy: the musical
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe
Book by Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming
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