Raleigh, N.C. — Based loosely on the tabloid character created by The Weekly World News, Bat Boy: The Musical “is an offbeat re-telling of the classic outsider trying to fit into a society that doesn’t accept them,” storyline. Sound familiar?
Even though it was written over 20 years ago, the satire seems to reflect a lot of what’s going on in society today in regards to why certain people/groups are not accepted. Bat Boy is discovered and after biting one of the teens that found him, and he is taken to the local veterinarian, Dr. Parker. At first he is treated like an animal, but he quickly becomes a member of the Parker family and is taught to speak, read and write. The town of Hope Mills is very religious, and even though they want Bat Boy out, their “Christian Charity” keeps them from killing him. The town rejects Bat Boy for the majority of the play.
"Anyone who comes to see this will have a lot to talk about afterwards,” said Charles Phaneuf, Executive Director at Raleigh Little Theatre. “The show is as much about the conversation after as it is about the great time people will have at the show."
A little awkward
Phaneuf shared that the teens in the program were wanting more challenging material. The content of this play is definitely mature, and the teenagers involved did a great job of handling such material. I have to admit, though, I was a little uncomfortable at times.
What made me uncomfortable was the mature content and the fact that I was sitting next to two older ladies. I wondered if these ladies were aware of the mature content before the fact. They were discussing a pound cake recipe before the show and didn’t seem concerned.
My favorite characters
All of these teenagers were beyond talented…onstage and backstage.
I want to mention a few of my favorite characters. Parker Perry had a very complex role as Bat Boy. He essentially played two characters and did a splendid job with both.
Noah Anderson slayed as Rev. Billy Hightower. Can he please host a game show already? The energy he brought to the revival scene was amazing.
Aubrey Clyburn as Meredith Parker was casting perfection. She has a very captivating way about her, and she played a very complicated and mature character with grace. Connor Gerney as Rick Taylor had me laughing in every scene that he was in…even the intense ones.
A lot to think about
Bat Boy: The Musical gave me a lot to think about:
“What the actual heck is happening right now?”
“These fictional religious people are giving Christians a bad name.”
“Why is Bat Boy the only one with an English accent?”
“Society is so messed up right now.”
“Is it okay to be laughing right now?”
“WOW that’s quite disturbing.”
“SOMEONE, HUG THE BAT BOY.”
“I wonder when those ladies are going to make that pound cake they were talking about before the show…”
If a satirical, tabloid-inspired musical sounds like your cup of tea, Bat Boy: The Musical runs through July 24 at the Raleigh Little Theatre! Tickets can be purchased online.