Bat Boy: The Musical

Story and Book by Keythe Farley and Brian FlemingBat boy: the musical

Music & Lyrics by Laurence  O’ Keefe

Directed by Jacque Lueken

At Village Players Performing Arts Center

The worst musical I’ve seen in years!

I’m amazed that anyone would even think about mounting Bat Boy: The Musical since it is a silly, not funny work with lame atonal music on ridiculous lyrics with a book that defies credulity.  I don’t think a top flight cast of Equity players could make this horrible show work and given the cast of community theatre performers that director Jacque Luekan picked had little chance of success. There is no redeeming artistic value in this drek of a bad musical. It is not funny, melodic,  nor camp nor satirical–only silly. I find it hard to believe that there have been 60 productions of Bat Boy: The Musical around the USA since 2001–a tribute to the lack of taste in some regional theatres.

The Village Players can’t seem to make up their minds if they are a community theatre company or a professional troupe. Their production of Bat Boy: The Musical is peopled with a collection of rank amateurs who can neither sing, act or dance. This cast butchered O’ Keefe’s talk songs wanting to scream or shriek for emphasis. The out-of-step dancers were so lame that I wanted to shout out “Don’t Dance!” The setting was West Virginia, yet only the sheriff had a mountain accent while the others hacked-up their Southern drawls.

The acting was stiff, corny and poorly presented. Mark Lebeay, Jr. tried to make Bat Boy work but his silly animal antics, his swishy manner, with his limited vocal range rendered Bat Boy as a cartoon caricature with ET ears.  No one in the cast could sing a note! But since the songs were a collection of unoriginal show specific pop/rock, hip-hop and copy-cat Broadway tunes,  it didn’t matter. This uneven and tedious cliche-ridden show was much too long.  If Village Players wants to mount ambitious musicals, they should go see how their Forest Park neighbor, Circle Theatre, produces them since  Circle Theatre continues to find young talents and grooms them into worthy musical comedy performers.  Bat Boy: The Musical is as bad as the name sounds.  Village Players needs to cast stronger performers and pick better plays. Skip this one for Circle’s The Who’s Tommy.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

At Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 Madison, Oak Park, IL, tickets $2- – $25, www.village-players.org, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission, through June 28, 2009