Theatre: Bat Boy The Musical
— Hold Me, Bat Boy, (1997)
Bat Boy: The Musical is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin
. It's an Off-Broadway musical loosely based on the exploits of the Weekly World News regular, "Bat Boy". Three kids, Rick, Ron, and Ruthie,
are spelunking when they discover a deformed kid in the cave. When they try to approach it, it jumps at Ruthie and bites her. They managed to subdue the creature and bring it to The Sheriff
, who brings the Bat Boy to the Parker house. He hands Bat Boy over to Meredith and Shelley (Rick's Girlfriend), who agree to keep him until Dr. Parker can get home. Meredith names the Bat Boy Edgar, and leaves to make him something to eat. Rick visits and abuses Edgar, causing Shelley to break up with him and Meredith to kick him out. Meredith then tries to get Edgar to eat, but he refuses to eat either the chicken or stew she gives him.
Later that night, a town meeting is being held. The townspeople discuss the revival that is going to be held in the spring and the unusual deaths of the local cattle. After tossing blame around
the townspeople come to the conclusion that the Bat Boy is the cause of a plague, and start calling for it to be killed. Dr. Parker, the town veterinarian, arrives home to find Edgar passed out in the cage. He is about to inject him with a serum to put him down when Meredith runs in to stop him
. He uses the needle to blackmail Meredith into having sex with him to try to rekindle their marriage. She agrees, and Dr. Parker promises to bring Edgar back to health. In the hospital, Ms. Taylor
is sitting over Ruthie's sick body, and threatens to get the Sheriff fired if he doesn't have the Bat Boy killed.
Over the next eight weeks, the Parker family teaches Edgar to speak
, and he reaches a high level of culture and literacy, and becomes a devout Christian. He wishes to attend the revival that weekend, but the townspeople are scared he will attack them and kill all the cattle, and force Dr. Parker to promise that Edgar will not attend. He agrees, but when he breaks the news to Meredith they get in a fight, and he secretly vows to kill the Bat Boy. Everyone declares their hopes for the revival.
Dr. Parker sneaks into the hospital and murders Ruthie Taylor, saying he is going to blame the Bat Boy for her death.
Not to be confused with Batman
Tropes associated with Bat Boy include:
- Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: Meredith is cleaning a chair rather suggestively while talking to Shelley about romantic relationships.
- Acting for Two: The original production was done with a cast of eleven people necessitating lots of character doubling.
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: They turned a tabloid from the Weekly World News into a musical.
- And That Would Be Wrong: Dr. Parker screams to the town that he will kill again, only to deflect his statement on to the Bat Boy.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Subverted, when Ron dies people at first are relieved because they think the Bat Boy is dead, but quickly turns to horror when they find it was Ron
- Asshole Victim: Rick
- Angry Mob Song: "Another Dead Cow," "Christian Charity (Reprise)," parts of "Comfort and Joy," "Find/Kill the Bat Boy," and "I Imagine You're Upset."
- Back from the Dead: Durring the final number the Parkers and Bat Boy come back to sing.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Every townsperson in the show. Highlighted in "Christian Charity."
- Big "YES!": Shelley when her father asks if she had sex with Bat Boy.
- Big "NO!": When Meredith tells the Bat Boy that she is his mother, as well as when Shelley tries to run away from Meredith, thinking that she has become like the angry mob who declares the Bat Boy an abomination.
- Black Comedy:
- Black Sheep: Bat Boy
- Broken Record: The ensemble in act II, "Find him, Kill him"
- Brother-Sister Incest: the Bat Boy and Shelley, also Twincest
- Burn the Witch!: the townspeople do this to Bat Boy because he's different.
- Child Of Rape: Shelley and Batboy (different rapists, same night, really awkward fraternal twins)
- Comically Missing the Point: The Ranchers were trying to raise cows on the side of a mountain.
- Coming and Going:
- Cringe Comedy:
- Crosscast Role: Many of the characters crossdress due to the small cast and need to differentiate characters played by the same actor from one another, but the most obvious crossdressing character is Mrs. Taylor, which is always a drag role Played for Laughs.
- Dark Reprise: "Dance With Me, Darling" (already a fairly dark song) gets two: one when Dr. Parker realizes that Meredith will never love him and only cares for the Bat Boy, and another when Dr. Parker rapes Meredith.
- Also done with the melody of "Let Me Walk Among You", which is first the Bat Boy's "I Want" Song, but reappears when he's daring Parker to kill him, and again when Parker and Meredith reconcile.
- "Christian Charity" gets a moderately dark reprise (the first version is about not killing the Bat Boy or turning him over to the FBI, but the reprise is a warning against his attending a big town meeting ("Don't go testing our Christian Charity").
- The London version's new tracks are an inversion: "Hey Freak," which contains a Dark Reprise of the poignant "Mine, All Mine," is over a dozen songs earlier in the play.
- "A Home For You" gets a dark reprise during the end of "Apology to a Cow".
- Pretty much every song in the show. "Hold Me, Bat Boy" is also sped up for "Find/Kill the Bat Boy," and as the closing of the show.
- Death By Flash Back: Mr. and Mrs. Parker and Bat Boy
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Meredith
- Death by Irony: Mrs. Taylor kills her own son while trying to protect him from Bat Boy.
- Downer Ending: Meredith reveals that the Bat Boy and Shelley are fraternal twins, a product of when Dr. Parker and a flock of bats raped her one night, Dr. Parker, overcome with hatred for the Bat Boy, slits his own throat so Bat Boy will kill him, and in his dying gasp stabs both Bat Boy and Meredith as the rest of the townspeople look on in horror.
- Dr. Jerk - Dr. Parker. Also a Deadly Doctor.
- The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Apology to a Cow"
- Exiled to the Couch: Dr. Parker, forever.
- Final Love Duet: "Inside Your Heart", sung by the Bat Boy and Shelley.
- Subverted with Parker and Meredith's duet in "I Imagine You're Upset"; Meredith is forgiving Parker for what he's done and telling him that they can renew their love and start over, while Parker is basically telling Meredith his rationale for killing the Bat Boy.
- Fond Memories That Could Have Been: "Three Bedroom House" and to some extent "Home For You".
- Gave Up Too Soon: The institute man arrives to take the Bat Boy moments after everyone dies
- Greek Chorus: "Hold Me Bat Boy", "Comfort and Joy", and "Hold Me Bat Boy Reprise"
- Half-Human Hybrid: Bat Boy himself.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Shelley
- Hospital Surprise: Ruthie
- I Just Want to Be Normal: A large part of Bat Boy's character conflict, especially shown in "Let Me Walk Among You" and his part of "Comfort and Joy". To be fair, he has the whole Vegetarian Vampire struggle without any of the traditional vampire powers. He does not win this conflict.
- Instant Expert: Bat Boy goes from crouching savage to cultured dandy with a high school equivalency diploma in eight weeks. The scene is also an Affectionate Parody of My Fair Lady.
- Intercourse with You: "Children, Children" is made of this trope.
- Interspecies Romance: The Bat Boy and Shelley, as well as the other participants in the interspecies orgy during "Children, Children".
- Imagine the Audience Naked: During Shelley and Meredith's verse of "Comfort and Joy".
- I'm Not Hungry: Bat Boy will not eat the chicken or stew Meredith prepares for him.
- I Want My Mommy: Meredith after she gets raped by bats and Ruthie after she gets bitten.
- "I Want" Song: "Let Me Walk Among You", sung by the Bat Boy when he wants the townspeople to accept him. Also, most of the solos in "Comfort and Joy."
- Last Words: Bat Boy to Shelley.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Played Straight and Inverted
- Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Comfort and Joy"
- Minor Character, Major Song: Pan gets one of these in act II when with "Children Children". He is never named and randomly shows up and sings a song that results in an interspecies orgy.
- Murder-Suicide: Parker slashes his own throat and then stabs Bat Boy and Meredith
- Phrase Catcher: "Sweet Wounded Jesus!" to Edgar.
- Please Dump Me:
- Plot Armor: Shelley. She need to sing the last number.
- Poor Communication Kills: Meredith and Dr. Parker don't reveal that Meredith is Edgar's biological mother until the climax of the story. Their motivations for keeping this secret are more sympathetic than most examples of the trope, but if that information had been revealed earlier, the ending Meredith fantasizes about in "Three Bedroom House" could have actually happened.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Faith healer Billy Hightower is actually one of the play's most levelheaded characters.
- There's also the Sheriff, who tries to protect Bat Boy, wants to avoid giving him in to an institute, and keeps telling the townsfolk not to shoot him.
- Second Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics:
- Serial Killer: Dr. Parker
- Shadow Discretion Shot: The "Revelations" scene is often performed behind a screen as a shadow play.
- Sniff Sniff Nom: Bat Boy attemps to eat chicken, stew, a couch, and a book.
- Thank Your Prey: "Apology to a Cow"
- The Hero Dies: Bat Boy
- The Song Before The Storm: "Comfort and Joy".
- Inverted at the end of the song when Ruthie Taylor is murdered.
- Training Montage: "Show You a Thing or Two" functions as this.
Don't deny your beast inside!