Laugh-a-minute "Spoof-ical" takes the stage March 29 — April 17
VILLANOVA, PA - Villanova Theatre concludes its 10/11 Season with the "outrageously silly and totally charming" cult-classic, Bat Boy: The Musical. Ripped from the hilarious headlines of the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News, this off-Broadway Musical of the Year details the discovery of a curious creature — half-human, half-vampire bat — found deep within a West Virginia cave. The Parker family decides to adopt and civilize the well-meaning Bat Boy; but soon, all hell breaks loose as jealousy, betrayal, murder, and other hysterical happenings turn the small town of Hope Fall completely upside down.
With story & book by Keythe Farley & Brian Flemming and music & lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe, this tongue-in-cheek tale boasts an exuberant score that integrates the best of rock, pop, Broadway, gospel, and country music. In between howls of laughter, Bat Boy wrestles with the notion of American prejudice, the fierceness of modern religion, the idea of genetic engineering, and loads more. Part Little Shop of Horrors, part Les MisÃ©rables, part Dracula, Bat Boy: The Musical is a masterpiece of issue-strewn, big-hearted, comic horror.
According to director Valerie Joyce, "The script and storyline are brilliantly funny; the music is intense and witty; and best of all, this is a show that is able to laugh at itself while warming your heart. Directing a musical that can achieve all of those things at once is a rare joy." Joyce directs a cast of 13 powerhouse actors who sing, dance, and act their way through 20 gender-bending roles and 30 musical numbers in their madcap race to the finish. The award-winning creative team behind Villanova Theatre's production includes Peter Hilliard (Musical Direction), Shannon Murphy (Choreography), Janus Stefanowicz (Costume Design), Jerold Forsyth (Lighting Design), John Stovicek (Scenic Design), and Bill Hayward (Sound Design).
The title role of Bat Boy (or "Edgar" as he is re-named by his adoptive family) is played by an up-and-coming young actor from Virginia named Michael Libonati, who was last seen as Tommy Keeler in Annie Get Your Gun. Playing opposite Michael as Edgar's star-crossed love interest/adoptive sister is the wide-eyed Sarah Moya as Shelley Parker. Second-year acting scholar Tim Rinehart plays Shelley's father Dr. Parker, the menacing, maniacal town veterinarian, and first-year acting scholar Jessica O'Brien plays his loving wife, Meredith. First-year acting scholar Michael Jansen plays the wildly eccentric Reverend Billy Hightower, Mrs. Taylor, and Roy. Jennifer Huth plays Maggie, and the cast is rounded out by Greg Bell as the Sheriff, Chris Serpentine as Rick/Daisy, Vandy Scoates-Kahn as Ron/Lorraine, Emily Walsh as Ruthie/Ned, Kimberly S. Fairbanks as Pan/Bud, Gigi McGraw as Clem/Tina/Institute Man, and Dan Ciba as Mr. Dillon/Doctor #1 & #2.
Bat Boy: The Musical takes the stage at Villanova Theatre from March 29-April 17, 2011 with press opening on Weds. March 30th. Villanova Theatre is located on the Villanova University campus in Vasey Hall (at Lancaster & Ithan Ave.). Performances will be held Tuesdays — Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets run $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-F, 12 -5 p.m.) in person, by phone: (610) 519-7474, or online at www.theatre.villanova.edu.
The final dress rehearsal of Bat Boy: The Musical will be open to the public on Sunday, March 27th, at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $10, and all contributions will go towards Rodrigues Fruit Bat Conservation. In the 1970's, the entire world population of Rodrigues fruit bats had dropped to less than 100. Today, the species is in rebound, thanks in part to The Rodrigues Environmental Educator Project, which works with school, community, government and business groups to encourage and support Rodrigues' unique plants and animals. The Educator Project was initiated in 1998 by The Philadelphia Zoo, and today is supported by a consortium of U.S. zoos, bat conservation organizations, and private donors.
Valerie Joyce (Director) has been performing, directing, or designing on stage at Villanova Theatre for more than 15 years. Valerie directed Annie Get Your Gun last season at Villanova Theatre. Other directing credits include Cabaret and Tally's Folly at Villanova, and The Meat Opera and Up Your Ante for the New York and Philadelphia International Fringe Festivals, and Thank You for Sharing with Amaryllis Theatre Company. Valerie has also worked as a professional costume designer for local and regional productions including Six Story Building (Off Broadway), The Real Thing (Arden Theatre Company), Moon for the Misbegotten (Venture Theatre), True West and Waiting for Godot (Lantern Theatre Company), Billy and Zelda (Opera Delaware), and The Comedy of Errors (Princeton Repertory), as well as many university productions.
"Big laughsâ€¦It's remarkable what intelligent wit can accomplishâ€”a jaggedly imaginative mix of skewering humor and energetic glee." â€”NY Times. "Smart, playful and funny" â€”NY Magazine. "Outrageously silly and totally charming." â€”NY Daily News. "At the end of the show, you've been gleefully, outlandishly entertained." â€”NY Newsday. "Composed with smarts, staged with savvy and performed with gusto, Bat Boy: The Musical is a winner. You'd be batty to miss it." â€”Star Ledger.
Bat Boy premiered at Actors Gang Theatre in 1997 and has since been produced off-Broadway, in London's West End, at the Edinburgh Festival and in scores of productions throughout the world. This tongue-in-cheek gothic morality tale about a feral creature with Vulcan ears and fangs might be the first-ever musical comedy to be inspired by a dubious tabloid story. Composer Laurence O'Keefe's clever "spoof-ical" is a roaring crowd-pleaser that affectionately and imaginatively sends up decades of Broadway clichÃ©s while delighting in wordplay and parody. This gleefully quirky musical has rightfully earned its reputation as "a giggling cult hit." (New York Magazine).
Villanova Theatre is a community of artist-scholars committed to transforming hearts and minds through the visionary production of classical, modern, and contemporary dramatic literature. Our work is fueled by the imaginative striving common to Villanova' s accomplished faculty, versatile staff, and energetic graduate students. Together, we are devoted to creating a vibrant theatre enriched by and overflowing with the ideas explored in our classrooms. In all of our endeavors, we aim to share the dynamic experience of collaborative learning with our audiences in order to engage the intellect and stir the soul. As a facet of Villanova University, Villanova Theatre serves the campus community as well as thousands of theatre-goers from the Main Line and the Greater Philadelphia area.
The Villanova University Theatre Department came into being in 1958 under the leadership of Dr. Dick Duprey. Today, Villanova's Department of Theatre offers both a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Certificate in Practical Theatre. Students enrolled in the theatre program undergo a course of study that combines both scholarly and practical approaches to theatre. Guided by award-winning faculty and staff who are actively involved in the region's professional theatre industry, students gain knowledge and experience through hands-on production work and in-depth academic study in the areas of dramaturgy, script analysis, dramatic literature, playwriting, acting, and directing.
STORY & BOOK BY: Keythe Farley & Brian Flemming
MUSIC & LYRICS BY: Laurence O'Keefe
WHERE: Villanova Theatre, Vasey Hall, Villanova University 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085 ***Free parking available in VU's Main Lot (Lancaster & Ithan Avenues)
WHEN: March 29 — April 17, 2011; Press Opening: Wednesday, March 30 at 8pm
Tue 3/29, 8pm (Preview)
*Wed 3/30, 8pm (OPENING)
Thu 3/31, 8pm
Fri 4/1, 8pm
Sat 4/2, 8pm
Sun 4/3, 2pm
Tue 4/5, 8pm
Wed 4/6, 8pm
Thu 4/7, 8pm (Speaker's Night)
Fri 4/8, 8pm
Sat 4/9, 8pm
Sun 4/10, 2pm
Tue 4/12, 8pm
Wed 4/13, 8pm
Thu 4/14, 8pm (Sue Winge Night)
Fri 4/15, 8pm
Sat 4/16, 8pm
Sun 4/17, 2pm
Speaker's Night, 4/7: Please join us for a post- show discussion with Director Valerie Joyce, Dramaturg Cassandra Lovering and guest speaker Neil McGinnis, CEO of Weekly World News.
Sue Winge Night, 4/14: All single-ticket proceeds of this evening's performance will support the Sue Winge Memorial Internship, a joint effort of the Villanova University Theatre Department and the Arden Theatre Company.
TICKET PRICES: $21.00 Preview; $23.00 Weekday (Tue/Wed/Thu); $25.00 Weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) ***Discounts Available for Seniors, Students, Groups
TICKET INFORMATION: Buy online at www.theatre.villanova.edu; Call 610-519-7454; Purchase in person at our box office in Vasey Hall (open M-F, 12-5 p.m.)
Bat Boy: Michael Libonati
Dr. Parker: Tim Rinehart
Meredith: Jessica O'Brien
Shelley: Sarah Moya
Maggie: Jennifer Huth
Rev. Hightower/ Mrs. Taylor/Roy: Michael Jansen*
Sheriff: Greg Bell
Rick/Daisy: Chris Serpentine
Ron/ Lorraine: Vandy Scoates-Kahn
Ruthie/Ned: Emily Walsh
Pan/ Bud: Kimberly S. Fairbanks*
Clem/ Tina/Institute Man: Gigi McGraw
Mr. Dillon/ Doctor #1 & 2: Dan Ciba
Directed By: Valerie Joyce
Assistant Director: Heather Lucas
Musical Director: Peter Hilliard
Choreographer: Shannon Murphy
Scenic Design: John Stovicek
Costume Design: Janus Stefanowicz
Lighting Design: Jerry Forsyth
Sound Design: Bill Hayward
Fight Choreography: Charles Illingworth IV
Voice & Speech Coach: Neill Hartley
Dramaturgy: Cassandra Lovering
*denotes member, Actor's Equity Association
CALENDAR LISTING (+/- 100 WORDS): Ripped from the hilarious headlines of the supermarket tabloid WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, this off-Broadway Musical of the Year details the discovery of a curious creature — half-human, half-vampire bat — found deep within a West Virginia cave. This tongue-in-cheek tale will leave your toes tapping to a score that weaves together rock, pop, Broadway, gospel, and country music. In between howls of laughter, BAT BOY wrestles with the notion of American prejudice, the fierceness of modern religion, the idea of genetic engineering, and loads more. Part LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, part LES MISERABLES, part DRACULA, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL is a masterpiece of issue-strewn, big-hearted comic horror. You'd be batty to miss it.