For its tenth production, the QC Theatre Workshop is staging a creepy and hilarious off-Broadway hit just in time for Halloween - Bat Boy: The Musical. Running October 24 through November 9, this campy, critically-acclaimed title is only the second musical to be produced during the company's history, and among its 10-person cast, nine of Bat Boy's performers will be making their debuts on the Workshop stage.
Bat Boy: The Musical will be presented at the QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport, IA) Fridays through Sundays, October 24 through November 9. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 7 p.m., and the Sunday shows start at 3 p.m., with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. Due to its occasional violence and some mild language, the musical is recommended for patrons of middle-school age or older.
Winner of the "Best Off-Broadway Musical" citation at the 2001 Outer Critic Circle Awards, Bat Boy: The Musical found its origins in the famed, fabricated Weekly World News articles about a half-bat/half-boy who was found living in a cave in rural West Virginia. Using these stories as their inspiration, composer/lyricist Laurence O'Keefe (Legally Blonde: The Musical) and book writers Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming constructed a riotous, spooky, and surprisingly touching tale of a misunderstood creature, the family who takes him in, and the townsfolk who want him destroyed.
With The New Yorker describing the show as "a giggly cult hit," and with CurtainUp praising its "peppy and melodic pop-rock score," Bat Boy is a musical that the Workshop's Artistic Director Tyson Danner - who also serves as the production's music director - has long wanted to stage.
"I have adored this crazy show for years, and have been waiting for the chance to produce it on our stage. And after Last Call was such a hit last year, we know our audiences are eager for more musicals," says Danner.
James Fairchild serves as Bat Boy's director and has extensive experience in stage musicals, having appeared in the Workshop's Last Call: The Songs of Stephen Sondheim, the District Theatre's Avenue Q and Rent, and the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Fiddler on the Roof, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, and The Full Monty. His directing résumé, meanwhile, includes presentations ranging from the musical A New Brain to the comedy A Tuna Christmas to the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Doubt.
Portraying the title character is area actor Calvin Vo, who previously played Bay Boy in Augustana College's 2012 presentation of the show. With his other area credits including roles in Countryside Community Theatre's South Pacific and Genesius Guild's Twelfth Night and Coriolanus, Vo served as sound designer for the Workshop's How I Learned to Drive but is now making his acting debut on the Workshop stage - along with eight other members of the show's 10-person cast.
"The Quad Cities has a wealth of hilarious, talented actors - many of whom don't get enough opportunities to perform," says Danner. "We're thrilled to have so many new faces involved. Every show we've produced has had at least actor new to our stage, and this time we get nine!"
Included among Bat Boy's ensemble are: Jenny Winn (Quad City Music Guild's Les Misérables; the District Theatre's Company); Becca Meumann Johnson (Music Guild's Legally Blonde: The Musical; the Center for Living Arts' All Shook Up); Kailey Ackermann (Augustana's Bat Boy; the Center for Living Arts' Rent); Macy Hernandez (Augustana's The Secret Garden and The Arsonists); Aaron Lord (the Center for Living Arts' Spring Awakening and Bare); Brant Peitersen (Countryside's Shrek: The Musical); Keenen Wilson (Columbia College
Chicago's Guys & Dolls); and 16-year-old Ty Lane (Bettendorf High School's The Music Man; Davenport Junior Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream).
Bat Boy's cast is rounded out by Workshop veteran Mike Schulz, whose most recent credits include roles in 'Art' and True West, and the show's pianist is Marcia Renaud, the music director and organist at Salem Lutheran Church in Moline who also serves as accompanist for the Quad City Singers.
"It speaks to the quality of our work thus far that so many experienced artists are interested in working at the Workshop," says Danner. "It is very challenging to find staff locally, but show after show we wind up with fantastic artistic leadership - and this show is a real standout in that regard."
As with the Workshop's nine previous productions, Bat Boy: The Musical will be presented under the Workshop's "Pay What It's Worth" pricing policy in which guests see the play first and then pay on their way out, allowing viewers to determine what the experience was worth to them personally. This innovative strategy was designed to create a wholly accessible theatrical experience for patrons regardless of financial means, and the policy's great success - ever since the Workshop's 2012 debut presentation of Red - has allowed it to continue for Bat Boy.
For reservations and more information on Bat Boy: The Musical, please call (563)650-2396 or e-mail info@QCTheatreWorkshop.org, and visit QCTheatreWorkshop.org and Facebook.com/QCTheatreWorkshop.
Bat Boy: The Musical Performance Schedule
Friday, October 24, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 26, 3 p.m.
Friday, October 31, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 1, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 2, 3 p.m.
Friday, November 7, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 8, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 9, 3 p.m.
QC Theatre Workshop
1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport, Iowa, 52804