Escape the (finals) cave with Bat Boy

At one moment or another we’ve all told ourselves the following: I’m an outcast.  No one likes me. I feel ugly.  I feel weird.  If you’re looking for a little Schadenfreude this weekend, come check out Bat Boy at PW.  This funny and touching musical, directed by Alex Ostroff ’14, follows the journey of a boy (half bat, half human) as he tries to become an accepted member of society. The show is fast-paced with catchy songs and more costume changes then one person can fathom.

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Be warned that what seems like a silly story about a bat boy finding his way in a misguided rancher town on a mountain is actually loaded with serious messages. However, these are easily passed with a tall glass of fake blood with a side of humor and absurdity. When asked what he wants the audience to walk away with, Ostroff said, “There are a lot of ‘morals’ in the show, and we’ve talked about some of them as a cast, but I’d have a hard time choosing one that is most important.”  Set in West Virginia, this show questions Christianity, modern science, and how much freedom you should give children. The black cage-like set, designed by Becca Balton ’14, allows the actors to amazingly transform it: Whether it’s a living room, slaughterhouse, cave, or a forest filled with talking animals, the energy and dedication of the actors fills the space and transports you.

Ostroff has cast a strong group of actors – many of whom play three or four characters throughout the course of the play.  The collective comedic chops of the ensemble members keep the show light-hearted.  You can’t help smiling alongside the actors as they wildly switch costumes and put on wigs. Elias Spector-Zabusky ’14 plays the bat boy and is exceptional.  His dedication to his character and his superb vocal talents really guide the show. I swear at one point I caught him using his fangs to nibble on his cage. On the whole, the cast is musically very strong. Musical Director Natalie McDonald ’15 has done a wonderful job bringing out is strengths. McDonald keeps the pit grooving so hard that you may just find yourself wondering if you’re at a rock concert.

Spend a little time away from your exams this weekend and go see Bat Boy. You may get sprayed with some powerful belting by the talented cast and some fake blood if you’re lucky.  The show opens tonight and runs through Monday with a show 8 p.m. every day except for Saturday when there are shows at 6 and 10 p.m.  Tickets are free so arrive an hour before the show to get one.  Check out the Facebook event for all the deets.

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