Jun 28, 2005
After its flights to Off-Broadway and to the West End, the Weekly World News-inspired tuner by Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming, and Laurence O'Keefe returns to its origins, more or less, in L.A. 99-seat theatre. That's right folks, let the round-the-block lines form now: The first L.A. revival of Bat Boy opens at the Valley's Whitefire Theatre July 22nd. The company is Staged Souls, youngsters who last staged Studs Terkels' Working at the Whitefire.
I have to clamp down on one small error before Don Shirley does, though: The press release I just received calls this "the L.A. premiere." Well, no—I was there opening night in 1997 at the Actors' Gang's El Centro Space, when the cast featured the indispensible Deven May, Kaitlin Hopkins, Chris Wells, Ann Closs (was she a Farley then?), Don Luce, Elizabeth Tobias, Gary Kelley, and Ken Elliott. Composer Larry O'Keefe was in the front row with his fiancee Nell Benjamin; he later reported to me that the critic from another paper sat next to the couple and "hit on" Nell. It was also the night I first met Polly Warfield, then still scribing for the late Drama-Logue, which would be swallowed up by Back Stage West within the year. Polly was the only D-L staffer we would take on. The play had a very short run and to my recollection won no awards (not true; see comments). But it did first hang its wings upside down in Hollywood and we happy few were glad to witness it.
I wish Staged Souls all the best with their revival. I think the "return to its 99-seat roots" is an even better angle than "premiere." Alas I'll be out of town for the opening, but I look forward to seeing how this Bat flies.
Posted by Rob Weinert-Kendt at 3:17 PM