Bat Boy bites back on opening night

David Gutman


On, Friday Bat Boy finally made his presence known to the outside world when Saddleback College’s fall musical theatre production of “Bat Boy: The Musical” opened in the Studio Theatre.


All the patrons, most family members of the performers waited outside, anxiously waiting for the door to swing open. 


Because the show was performed in the smaller theatre, all the seats offered an intimate perspective for the patrons. The performers seemed within arms’ reach, not by mistake since the audience was unaware of their pending interaction with the cast.


As the people packed into their seats, the sole musician warmed up for the first scene. 


Right before the curtain raised for the show the Director, Dan Travino, and Ellen Prince, choreographer, arrive and sat in their front row seats, softly commenting on their nervousness. 


Suddenly the house goes black and in the dark silence, the audience hears the sound of someone scurrying on the ground, too big to be a rat and too small to be anything else: It’s Bat Boy.


The story is about young Bat Boy, captured and forced to be rehabilitated into a world that doesn’t want him. The first scene consists of Bat Boy being captured and taken to the town Veterinarian who would decide on his fate of either putting him down or sparing him. Bat Boy has already injured one person and the town is frantic to be rid of this stain in their community. 


The show was very funny and entertaining, consisting of tongue-in-cheek dialogue, great costume designs and some unexpected scene-stealing performances by the various actors. 


Johnathan Gopen, who played the character of Doctor Parker, has a very dark intensity about him that unsettled some of the audience with his threats towards Bat Boy. Michael Groover, managed to grip the audience in the palm of his hand with his hilarious portrayals of several different characters in the show. 


Michael Mayo’s performance of Bat Boy elicited laugher from the audience, but more importantly, made them feel the plight of a boy desperate to find humanity in himself. Ironically some of his costumes were very reminiscent of Dracula.


“Overall it was great,” said Amanda Moore, 18, culinary arts “The vocals were fun, the set was small but very efficient, with the choreography complementing it all.”


The show was very entertaining but it should be cautioned that this play is not intended for young children. 


After Bat Boy finishes its run, the next shows in the semester will be Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs in November and A Christmas Carol in December.


Bat Boy is defiantly worth seeing at least once, and for some people a second time would not be out of the question. 

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