note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
Who knew camp could be so touching? Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that BATBOY is the musical “ripped” from the tabloid headlines about a half bat, half human creature who discovers that the world is a tough place for an innocent flyboy.
2008 is turning out to be a banner year for musicals. If you haven’t seen Company Theatre’s BATBOY, hurry. You have only two weekends left to see a sensational production. Directors Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman get raves for their ingenious staging: Spelunkers descend twenty feet down from the balcony to reach batboy’s cave …and even better: Wait a minute. It would be a shame to reveal the special effects which make this BATBOY the most inventive I’ve seen. But here’s another reason Company Theatre’s production is a cut above: The performances are lovely, and genuinely moving, even as they’re spoofing musicals like WEST SIDE STORY and MY FAIR LADY (and EVITA and SWEENEY TODD and LITTLE SHOP). You can have a grand time just relishing the send-ups.
What a cast! Musical director Michael Joseph gets gorgeous singing from everyone and the characterizations are spot on. Michael Iemma is the sweetest creature you’ll ever lay eyes on. (I predict big things for this teenaged dynamo). Kendra Kachadoorian (as mom) can do it all: sing, dance, act up a storm and she’s a deft comedienne, to boot.
Aaron Velthouse is hilarious, and plenty scary, as the villain and Erin Hannigan (as sis) gets plenty of laughs for her saucy attitude. A. John Pocaro is marvelous as the exceedingly slow moving sheriff. James A. Valentin brings down the house in several roles. My faves were his ethereal Pan and his outrageous grieving mother. Just when you think they can’t possibly top themselves, Dee Crawford stops the show with her fabulous “Joyful Noise” in the boisterous revival number. If you haven’t seen BATBOY, Company’s production is a must. If you have, you’ll be amazed at the surprises. Don’t miss this one.