Bat Boy: A few final thoughts

Wayne State musical finds its perch in the books


Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

If you like weird, twisted and slightly obscene musicals, then “Bat Boy: The Musical” is for you. This WSC show was presented in the Black Box Theatre in the past week.

The show starts out deep in a cave where three siblings encounter a creature that is half bat, half human. Scared, the creature bites Ruthie, played by WSC second-year student Sami Taylor.

This angers the small town they live in, whose residents all want to see the creature dead.

A kind and caring mother named Meredith, played by first-year Hannah Ramsgard, takes the bat boy, renamed Edgar, played by senior Joshua Schmidt, into her home.

She teaches Edgar how to talk, walk and act like a functioning human.

Her daughter, Shelley, played by first-year Victoria McNamara, and Edgar end up falling in love, which causes many issues for the townspeople.

First of all, the cast was superb. I have never seen such powerhouse singers who are as young as they are. Victoria McNamara can belt out the songs with what looks to be ease.

I would have predicted her voice to be tired and scratchy by the end of the musical, but she was just as powerful in the end as she was in the beginning.

McNamara was exemplary in her speaking role as well. She had perfected her comedic timing with the other characters.

She also developed the character from a naive, young girl who only looked at the surface of people, to a mature young woman who looked beyond the surface.

Zach Halsey, who played Parker, is also one of the members who stayed strong and consistent throughout the whole musical.

He was able to portray the beaten down and somewhat mad veterinarian, while at the same time being comedic.

If I hadn’t seen Halsey perform in “Wit,” I would have guessed he truly was a drunk veterinarian.

Schmidt was incredibly graceful and athletic. During the music sequences when he danced, Schmidt almost glided through the movements.

He also had to perform some small acrobatic routines that included hanging upside down from a bar. A very bat-like move.

The small venue of the Black Box must have been difficult for the cast, yet with the use of lighting, they pulled it off.

Brian Begley, the lighting and scenic designer, made the slaughterhouse, cave and home all in the little space provided.

I never questioned the settings because he made them believable.

The one issue I had with the show was the lack of microphones.

The songs provided context to the plot but it was sometimes difficult to hear the words clearly, especially when more than one person was singing at a time.

One person would overpower another, which made it hard to understand.

Overall, Dr. Gwen Jensen, director of the musical, did a wonderful job in picking and directing the cast and musical.

Anyone who did not go really missed out on a wonderful production.