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ISSUE 119 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/2/2005

'Bat Boy' sighting

By April Wright
Staff Writer

Friday, December 2, 2005

The tabloids have spawned a musical. No, it isn’t “Nick and Jessica’s Divorce Adventure,” it is a spectacle far more unlikely: “Bat Boy the Musical.” Originating in London and based on a World News Weekly headline, “Bat Boy” has arrived at St. Olaf, courtesy of seniors Max Wojtanowicz and Kathryn Skare.

“Bat Boy” tells the story of a pointy-eared bat/human hybrid who was, according to the checkout line tabloid World News Weekly, found in a cave in West Virginia by three kids. Bat Boy is brought to the home of a local veterinarian, who raises him. Bat Boy cleans up and learns perfect English; he earns a mail-order diploma.

Like all those destined for greatness, Bat Boy yearns to go out and see the world. As expected, the townspeople are not very receptive to a vampiric bat boy on the loose, and a tale of betrayal, love and loss unfolds.

“Bat Boy” is a controversial musical due to its adult themes. Various sexual situations are depicted throughout the show, and there are moments that are not for the faint of stomach. While a California high school dismissed the play as unfit for teenagers, a college setting should provide a more receptive, mature audience.

Despite admonishments from parent groups and Focus on the Family, “Bat Boy” has grown in popularity.

The St. Olaf directors fell in love with it after hearing the soundtrack and seeing a production in Minneapolis. They are optimistic that the student body will become just as attached to the pointy-eared protagonist as they are.

Coincidentally, “Bat Boy” has come to Northfield twice this year. Carleton staged the musical this fall as well. Both colleges applied for rights to do the play this summer.

Wojtanowicz described the coincidence as “kind of fun.” Most of the cast got a chance to see Carleton’s production, he said.

Putting the play together has been “really challenging but very rewarding,” Wojtanowicz said. Assembling a musical ensemble and finding a conductor is a daunting task, but Wojtanowicz found a conductor and four “amazing” musicians to perform the “Bat Boy” score.

The play, which features 17 actors, originally auditioned 53 hopefuls. Of the students who were selected, “everyone is an amazing performer,” Wojtanowicz said. His faith is encouraging, as “Bat Boy” is a challenging show to act because of its variety and unusual nature.

“Bat Boy the Musical” runs Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Pause. The play, which is free and requires no ticket, runs approximately two hours.

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