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Theater Pick:

BAT BOY: The Musical

by Jeanne M. Allgood

Co-writers Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming have created a fantastical world where a mutant boy might find his rightful place - if only the ignorant masses would let him. Their fictional story is based on a series of articles that appeared in the Weekly World News. Under Farley's deft direction, Deven May is grotesque yet charming as a 14-year-old half boy/half bat anomaly who is discovered in a cave near a small West Virginia town. After Bat Boy attacks three local kids (Gary Kelley, John Michael Morgan and Julie Ann Taylor), the sheriff (Don Luce) rushes him to the home of veterinarian Thomas Parker (Chris Wells). And while Parker's wife, Meredith (Kaitlin Hopkins), takes him in, names him Edgar and treats him like a son, the townspeople become ever-so-suspicious because all of their animals are mysteriously dying. Laurence O'Keefe's music and lyrics are hysterical and memorable - I've been humming the songs since I walked out of the theater - while the two big dance numbers are brilliantly choreographed by Derick LaSalla to use every inch of the Actors' Gang's small second space. Actors' Gang El Centro, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd.,Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Dec. 7. (213) 660-8587

We also recommend: An American Romance, Ardele, Are You Happy?, The Baby Dance, Bamberwood, Bat Boy, Bravo Company: Curiously Strong, Breaking Legs, Butt Pirates of the Caribbean, The Collected Works of Justin Tanner, The Dumb Waiter, Festival of Horror: The Descent, The Flipside of L.A., Folie a Deux, From the Mississippi Delta, Groundlings Next Five Exits, Haunted Cabaret, He Who Gets Slapped, Hedda Gabler (at Hudson Guild), The Importance of Being Earnest, The Inspector, The Instigators: Superhighway Comedy, It's Me! Dad!, Johnny Wants To Be a Playwright. Kill Him., Jungle Bells, Jungle of Cities, King Richard III, The Learned Ladies, Margot's Bush, Morphic Resonance, Nebraska, Nijinsky Speaks, Onstage Tonight, The Phantom of the Opera, The Prince, Private Eyes, The Reading Group, Repeat W/Madeline, Scotland Road, Terra Nova, Three Guys Naked From the Waist Down, The Trees Don't Bleed in Tuskegee, A Weekend With Samuel Beckett, Women Speak.


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