The opening show at Company Theatre is the British comic horror musical, "Bat Boy". It is based on the "Weekly World News'' tabloid story about a half-boy, half-bat found living in a cave. Bat Boy learns to speak from his adoptive family and he yearns for acceptance and tries to join society, only to face hatred and violence from a town that fears him The show is set in Hope Falls, West Virginia. The adoptive family is a veterinarian, his wife and their daughter who falls in love with Bat Boy. Directors Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman do a fantastic job with their direction and campy staging while musical director Michael Joseph does his usual excellent job with the orchestra and vocals from the cast. Sally Ashton Forrest supplies the numerous dances for the 15 member cast in this rousing unusual musical treat.
The fun musical contains many different types of musical styles including rock, pop and gospel songs. Diminutive Dee Crawford who has a huge voice sells the gospel song "A Joyful Noise" perfectly. Another scene stealer is James A. Valentin who dresses up in drag to portray the worried mother, Mrs. Taylor whose children keep getting attacked under mysterious circumstances. The vet, Dr. Parker is well played by Aaron Velthouse who has a powerful voice. Is he evil or is he not? It will keep you guessing all night long. His long suffering wife, Meredith is beautifully played by Kendra Kachadoorian. Her secret from years back will also mystify the audience. An outstanding acting and singing role as the Bat Boy is handled by 17 year old Michael Iemma. He bounds about the stage during Act 1 and finally shows off his strong voice by Act 2. The show ends with the words "Don't deny your beast inside", which means try to find the good in all kinds of difficult situations. So for a different kind of musical which is not "Annie", catch "Bat Boy" and it's professional presentation at Company Theatre. (Also a word of praise for the phenomenal lighting job by Matt Guminski who makes you feel like you are at a Broadway performance.)