Batboy the Musical

The Romance… The Terror… The Pointy Ears! Who would have thought that one day, the Weekly World News’ story about a half-man, half-bat would be made into a rock musical? Well, it has been, and now, in its Vermont Premiere, Batboy: The Musical has come to UVM. The show, which opens Monday March 11th in Ira Allen Chapel, focuses in on the story of Batboy (Ted Szadzinski) as he is captured from the caves of Hope Falls and taken to the town’s local veterinarian Dr. Thomas Parker (Evan Beamer). Chaos ensues as the townsfolk begin to blame the town’s recent cattle plague on the misfit, and the Parker Family begins to accept Batboy as a member of their own family. The show is directed by Rebecca Sherman and Andrea Morales, who two years ago brought The Rocky Horror Show to Billings North Lounge. This production, say the directors, is wonderful because it hilariously funny, completely ridiculous, and still manages to leave the audience with a positive message: Love your neighbor, even if he has pointy ears and fangs. Batboy was produced off-Broadway in 2001, and opened to rave reviews. It quickly gained a cult following (much like The Rocky Horror Show) because of its catchy music and bizarre characters. Last year after the production rights were released, the directors jumped at the opportunity to bring the show to UVM. The production is entirely student-run and has a cast that includes mostly students at the University, The directors are both graduating seniors, but the cast and crew include students from every year. This show presented its own unique challenges to its crew, including the need for a human sized cage for Batboy, as well as a decapitated cow head (which was built out of synthetic material – no cattle were harmed). The show’s designers, Jessica Pescosolido (costumes), Eric VanArsdale (sets), and Kira Atwood Youngstrom (props), worked together to try to create these unlikely objects and character pieces while maintaining a sense of humor about them. This production features the musical direction of Nate Venet and the choreography of Jamien Lundy, both of whom also worked on The Rocky Horror Show. Batboy’s score includes many different kinds of music: There are notes of gospel and country, among other genres, mixed in the rock score; and the cast also had to learn how to handle singing many different styles of music for one show. There is even a rap number performed by David Aspro and Greer Lanzet as Rick Taylor and Shelly Parker. The cast for the show is an incredibly talented group, many of whom play more then one character, (and often different-gendered characters at that!). The townsfolk of Hope Falls (played by Hannah Blum, Greg Hoffman, Emily Froehlich, Molly Cameron, Will Todisco, and Katy Lynch) have to change characters more then once within a given musical number. The cast also features Colleen Horan as Meredith Parker and John McKinnon as the Sheriff. Batboy opens Monday March 8 and runs through Thursday March 11. It plays every night at 8 PM (doors open at 7:30) at the Ira Allen Chapel. Tickets are $5 at the door.