When I announced to my coworkers that I was reviewing a musical entitled Bat Boy, it raised a flurry of questions. What is Bat Boy? Is it about baseball? Is it a Batman prequel? After seeing this show performed by the Stillpointe Theatre Initiative, I can give them an answer: Bat Boy: The Musical is one of the greatest shows that I’ve seen in Baltimore.
With music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and a book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming, Bat Boy tells the story of a strange creature found in the depths of a West Virginia cave. When the Parker family takes in the misunderstood being, they must face the anger of the community as well as their own deep dark secrets.
Every actor and singer in this production is extraordinarily talented. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Playing the role of Bat Boy/Edgar is Corey Hennessey, whose acting, singing, and comedic talents are out of this world. He gave me chills during his performance of “I Imagine You’re Upset/I Am Not a Boy,” and he must have core muscles of steel from “hanging upside down” like a bat during the first act.
Nia Simone Smith, who plays Meredith Parker, has a voice that is incredibly powerful but also warm and comforting, especially during songs like “Mrs. Taylor’s Lullaby.” She and Meghan Taylor (who plays her daughter Shelley) expertly harmonize during “Three Bedroom House” in the second act.
Troy Koger does as wonderful job portraying Dr. Thomas Parker, seamlessly switching between the devoted town doctor and the jealous husband.
As I mentioned earlier, every member of the supporting cast blew me away just as much as the leading actors, although there are a few who deserve extra kudos:
Lawrence D. Bryant IV’s phenomenal voice grabs the audience’s attention at the start of the show’s iconic number “Hold Me, Batboy.”
Sarah “Flash” Gorman is hysterically funny as the overly-emotional, chain-smoking Mrs. Taylor.
Melissa LaMartina brings peals of laughter from the audience with her hilarious portrayal of Mayor Maggie, and the incredibly effervescent Cierra Monae earned an huge amount of cheers when she sang “Joyful Noise” as Reverend Hightower.
Danielle Robinette hit it out of the park with her directorial debut for Stillpointe. The direction of the actors made me feel as though I were a part of this religious West Virginia town, especially when the actors made their way into the audience.
Musical Director Joe Pipkin should be applauded for the beautiful and “joyful noise” that he brought about in both the cast and the live band.
Ryan Michael Haase’s set embodied the simplicity of life in small-town West Virginia while adding a sense of spookiness with twinkling candles behind sheer fabrics, and his costume designs perfectly suited each of the characters.
Janine Vreatt’s lighting designs were flawlessly executed, creating the appearance of a barn fire in one scene and expertly providing the light for Devin Martin and Michael Paradiso’s shadow puppets throughout the show.
Stillpointe Theatre Initiative never ceases to amaze me, and they will amaze you when you visit the Emmanuel Episcopal Church to see Bat Boy: The Musical.
Running Time: Approximately two hours, plus a 15-minute intermission.
Bat Boy plays through August 22, 2015 at Stillpointe Theatre Initiative performing at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church – 811 Cathedral Street in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, purchase them at the door, or buy them online.