528 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)
Sources of artistic inspiration don't get more unlikely than The Weekly World News. Yet the notoriously outlandish tabloid assured its dubious legacy through the creation of Bat Boy. Debuted in 1992, the half human and half bat creature—allegedly discovered deep in a West Virginia cave—proved an immediate cult sensation. Bat Boy articles soon became a reliable staple of the publication, detailing gloriously implausible exploits involving secret celebrity intimates, clandestine military missions, occasional political activism, and a rumored hereditary link to noted pundit James Carville. Celebrating the pulp appeal of the lovably feral figure, playwrights Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming teamed up with composer/lyricist Laurence O'Keefe to adapt the Bat Boy saga for the stage. When premiered by the experimental Actors' Gang Theatre on Halloween in 1997, Bat Boy: The Musical's clever subversion of "tamed heathen" expectations won over skeptical critics and audiences alike. Bat Boy's storyline examines how well-intended efforts to civilize the titular figure are undone through the prejudice of paranoid townsfolk. Minneapolis Musical Theatre's regional premiere in 2004 was an unqualified success, giving the group one of its most popular shows in company history. Known for spoofing the conventions of such respectable Broadway musicals as The Lion King and My Fair Lady, this return production should prove no less refreshing for the passing years. Welcome back, Bat Boy. You've been missed. (Image by Laurie Etchen)
Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Mondays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 28. Continues through Nov. 13, 2011