Bat Out of Hell The Musical

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Bat Out of Hell
The Musical
BatOutOfHellMusical.jpg
Music Jim Steinman
Lyrics Jim Steinman
Book Jim Steinman
Basis Bat Out of Hell
Premiere February 17, 2017: Manchester Opera House
Productions

Bat Out of Hell is a rock musical written by Jim Steinman based on the album of the same name. Steinman wrote all of the songs, most of which are songs from the Bat Out of Hell trilogy of albums by Meat Loaf including Bat Out of Hell, II: Back into Hell and III: The Monster is Loose. The musical is a loose retelling of Peter Pan and Wendy, set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan (now named "Obsidian"), and follows Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost who has fallen in love with Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.[1]

Bat Out of Hell has book, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, direction by Jay Scheib and choreography by Emma Portner. It is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox and Tony Smith. The show stars Andrew Polec as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven, with Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane.[2]

The musical premiered at the Manchester Opera House in Manchester, England, on February 17, 2017 and ran there until April 29, 2017. It opened in London on June 5, 2017 and ran there until August 22, 2017 before moving to Toronto, Canada, from October 14, to January 7, 2018. The musical returned to London at the Dominion Theatre in April 2018. [3]

The musical was released on audio CD as an original cast recording album.

Productions[edit]

Manchester[edit]

Bat Out of Hell began previews at the Manchester Opera House on February 17, 2017 ahead of an official opening on March 14. It closed on April 29.[4]

Dianne Bourne of the Manchester Evening News gave the show a 5-star review, calling it "a truly staggering piece of musical theatre, which breaks new boundaries in its staging, choreography and concept on an epic scale."[5] Paul Downham of North West End said, "this show has literally changed the way musicals are staged forever."[6]

London[edit]

Bat Out of Hell began previews at the London Coliseum on June 5, 2017 ahead of an official opening on June 20, 2017 and ran until August 22, 2017.[1] On its final performance, the cast announced a return to London at the Dominion Theatre in 2018.[7]

After the production completed its run in Toronto, Bat Out Of Hell's return engagement in London began previews on April 2, 2018, before opening at the Dominion Theatre on April 19, 2018. After originally being scheduled to run until July 28, 2018, the Dominion production was first extended until October 27, 2018, and subsequently extended again so that it is currently booking until January 5, 2019.[8][9]

The London Coliseum production was nominated for a 2018 Olivier Award for Best Sound Design, by Gareth Owen (sound designer).

Toronto[edit]

Bat Out of Hell made its North American premiere at the Ed Mirvish Theatre on October 14, 2017 and ran until January 7, 2018.[10][11]

US Tour[edit]

Bat Out of Hell will embark upon a US tour in October 2018, beginning with a return engagement at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre from October 16, 2018 until November 4, 2018. From there, it will move to the Fox Theater in Detroit, MI from November 6, 2018 to November 17, 2018, before taking in a further 12 cities and concluding with a run at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas from June 26, 2019 until July 6, 2019. More dates are expected to be added.[12]

Oberhausen[edit]

Bat Out of Hell will make its German premiere at Oberhausen's Metronom Theater in fall 2018.

Major Characters[edit]

Strat: The forever eighteen-year-old eccentric leader of 'The Lost', a group of teenagers whose DNA froze at eighteen causing them to remain young forever. He falls in love with Falco's only teenage daughter, Raven. He and 'The Lost' live in abandoned subway tunnels below the city of Obsidian.

Raven: Falco's only daughter, who turns eighteen during the course of the show. She lives with her parents in a skyscraper in Obsidian called Falco Towers. She is an heiress to Falco's fortune but resents her family, particularly her father for forbidding her from ever going outside. She falls in love with Strat. However, since her DNA is not frozen, she will age normally.

Falco: A powerful tyrant and CEO of Falco Industries, and the father of Raven. He has his own private militia, which he often sends out to battle 'The Lost'. He is very protective of Raven to the extent where he forbids her from ever going outside. He particularly despises Strat, seeing him as a threat for wanting to approach his daughter.

Sloane: Falco's wife and the mother of Raven. She is a hilarious drunk, but also harbors a lot of regret in her life and spends much of the show pushing herself to break free from Falco as he becomes increasingly tyrannical and violent. Projecting her feelings about her own situation towards her daughter, she wants Raven to be free and to be able to fall in love.

Tink: Strat's best friend and a fellow member of 'The Lost'. He is romantically in love with Strat, but cannot act upon this because his DNA is frozen at a younger developmental age than the rest of 'The Lost' and as such is considered a child by his peers. He resents Raven; the romance between Strat and Raven is interpreted by Tink as Raven taking Strat away from himself and 'The Lost', rather than as Strat taking Raven from her family.

Zahara: Strat's friend and Jagwire's love interest who leads a double life; working as a nurse at Falco Towers and being part of 'The Lost'. She resents Falco but feels protective towards Raven and Sloane. In the song Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, it is revealed that Zahara cannot forget her first boyfriend who left her years ago before her DNA froze. It is implied at the end that she finally gets together with Jagwire.

Jagwire: Strat's friend and a fellow member of 'The Lost' who is in love with Zahara. In the song Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are, it is revealed that he once had a best friend named Kenny who died in a car accident before his DNA froze. It is implied at the end that he finally gets together with Zahara.

Ledoux: Strat's friend and a fellow member of 'The Lost' who is a close friend of Tink. He also appears to be in a relationship with a female Lost member named Liebeswoosh. In the song Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are, it is revealed that before his DNA froze, he once had a sexual relationship with a girl which ended with her disappearance.

Blake: Strat's friend and a fellow member of 'The Lost' who is a close friend of Ledoux. He is also in a relationship with a female Lost member named Valkyrie[13]. In the song Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are, it is revealed that he grew up with his alcoholic and abusive father before his DNA froze.

Principal cast and characters[edit]

Character NYC Developmental Lab
(2015)
Manchester
(2017)
London
(2017)
Toronto
(2017-18)
London
(2018-19)
US Tour
(2018-19)
Oberhausen

(2018)

Strat Andrew Polec Robin Reitsma
Raven Sheridan Mouawad Christina Bennington Emily Schultheis Sarah Kornfeld
Falco Bradley Dean Rob Fowler Bradley Dean Alex Melcher
Sloane Julia Murney Sharon Sexton Lulu Lloyd Willemijn Verkaik
Tink Charlie Franklin Aran MacRae Alex Thomas-Smith Avionce Hoyles Tom van der Ven
Zahara Christina Sajous Danielle Steers Harper Miles Aisata Blackman
Jagwire Billy Lewis Jr Dom Hartley-Harris Billy Lewis Jr Wayne Robinson Tyrick Wiltez Jones Benet Monteiro
Ledoux Justin Sargent Giovanni Spanó Will Branner Michael Moore
Blake Lance Bordelon Patrick Sullivan TBC Lorenzo Di Girolamo

Notable Replacements[edit]

Dominion Theatre, London (2018-19)

  • Strat: Jordan Luke Gage will take over the role from Andrew Polec on September 4, 2018, after previously covering it as Polec's alternate along with Simon Gordon while also appearing in the ensemble as 'Hoffman'. Gage will be replaced in the ensemble by Barney Wilkinson.
  • Blake: Ryan Anderson joined the production on August 31st, 2018, replacing Patrick Sullivan.

Original Creative Team[edit]

Role Name
Music, Book and Lyrics Jim Steinman
Director Jay Scheib
Set Design Jon Bausor
Choreographer Emma Portner
Lighting Design Patrick Woodroffe
Video Design Finn Ross
Sound Design Gareth Owen

Plot[edit]

Act One

Strat recalls his first encounter with rock and roll ('Love and Death and an American Guitar (Strat's Soliloquy)') before his DNA froze causing him to remain eighteen forever. The story is set in the dystopian city of Obsidian, once known as Manhattan. Strat and his friends who are also frozen like him: Tink, Blake, Ledoux, Jagwire, Zahara and other teens call themselves 'The Lost' protest in Falco Square outside Falco Towers ('All Revved Up with No Place to Go / Wasted Youth'), the residence of the tyrannical leader of Obsidian, Falco. During the scuffle, Strat's shirt is torn from his back and thrown to the ground. Falco's only teenage daughter, Raven sneaks outside and is drawn to the discarded shirt. Picking it up, her eyes meet with Strat, but she is immediately rushed back inside by her mother and Falco's wife, Sloane. Falco himself joins the fight, throwing Tink to the ground as he was spraying graffiti on the wall of Falco Towers, so Ledoux breaks a bottle over Falco's head, giving him a facial injury.

Falco eventually drives 'The Lost' away, and returns home to Falco Towers, where Raven expresses her resentment towards him for forbidding her from ever going outside. After sending Raven to bed, Falco discusses with Sloane about teenagers today while lamenting their long gone youths ('Who Needs the Young?'). In her room, Raven is trying on Strat's shirt which she picked up during the scuffle when Strat briefly climbs in and he quickly steals a magazine with her image on it. His presence startles her, but he disappears quickly just as Sloane arrives. Raven eagerly asks Sloane about 'The Lost', so her mother tells her: an earthquake occurred in this city 25 years ago. Those teenagers were trapped in a tunnel filled with poison which didn't kill them, but froze their genes and making them forever eighteen. Raven is fascinated by the story until Sloane notices that she is wearing Strat's shirt. She then gives her an early eighteenth birthday present; Falco's old biker jacket. Sloane also encourages Raven to not make the mistakes she made and that she wants her to be free and to be able to fall in love.

The following day, 'The Lost' are gathered in an area of Obsidian which they call the Deep End. It is their hideaway, which is located in a disused subway tunnel nearby the 81st Street–Museum of Natural History station. Strat's best friend, Tink crashes his bicycle, then acts aggressively towards Jagwire - but the fight is stopped from escalating by Strat, who takes Tink aside, tends his wounds and tussles with him. Tink expresses that he is constantly teased by the other Lost members due to his DNA freezing developmentally below the age of eighteen, and as such, he is treated by the others as a child, which is very frustrating for him. Unbeknownst to Strat, Tink secretly has a crush on him and attempts to kiss him, but Strat pulls back. Zahara discusses Falco's house project and she also attempts to make a move on Strat which he pulls back on as well. He asks Zahara: "on a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?", but this falls flat, and both Zahara and Strat are a little alienated by each other.

Zahara tells Strat that he needs to give up and forget about Raven because it will only make things worse if he tries to approach her. Strat refuses, and as he expresses his desire to see Raven; Blake, Ledoux, Tink and 'The Lost' briefly discuss kidnapping her in exchange for ransom. They then encourage Strat, who is worked up to a frenzy about Raven to pursue her romantically ('Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)').

Meanwhile, Jagwire pulls up on his motorbike outside of Falco Towers, after seeing Zahara there. It is briefly established that they have an ongoing unromantic relationship which is going sour. Zahara accuses Jagwire of following her and attempts to drive him away, but Jagwire persists to get his feelings through to her. Although she is aware of Jagwire's love for her, Zahara gently rejects him as she still cannot get over her first love ('Two Out of Three Ain't Bad').

Within Falco Towers, Falco and Sloane throw a birthday party for Raven to celebrate her eighteenth birthday, much to her chagrin. Raven once again asks her father to let her explore the subways and to hang out with 'The Lost' which he bluntly and firmly refuses. Sloane attempts to brighten up the atmosphere by reminding everyone that it is Raven's birthday, but it quickly devolves into Falco and Sloane making out while reminiscing about how they got together in their wild-and-free youth ('Paradise by the Dashboard Light'), causing Raven to leave in frustration and disgust.

In her room, Raven tearfully rips up her family photos until Falco and Sloane enter. They apologize for embarrassing her on her birthday and Zahara appears in a nurse outfit. Zahara gives Raven "dream suppressant" medication, while Falco and Sloane tuck her into bed. While Raven goes to sleep, Falco and Sloane quietly wish that the thought of losing her someday will never come. Once they leave the room, Strat sneaks in through the window and watches her sleep while slowly approaching her. His presence soon awakens Raven who is initially startled, and Strat asks her: "on a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?", but she's too busy expressing other feelings to notice the question, which disappoints Strat - who begins to leave, but she stops him. They have a heart-to-heart talk which leads them to serenade each other and Strat invites her to go out with him for one night ('Making Love Out of Nothing at All'). Raven agrees to go with him and just as they are about to make love, a frantic Zahara interrupts by entering the bedroom to warn them that Falco is coming, and has already invaded the Deep End. Strat then grabs Raven and they escape via her bedroom window. Outside, they are met up with Jagwire who appears with Strat's motorbike and he urges them to go just as he gets apprehended by Falco's militia. Strat takes Raven on his motorbike and they begin their escape, but Raven has second thoughts about going with him ('Bat Out of Hell'). Halfway through the ride, Raven starts fearing about what her father would do to Strat, prompting her to jump off his motorbike and run away, leaving Strat to grab the handlebars, brake and stop. Devastated and hurt, he gets back on his motorbike and zooms ahead. Strat ends up driving his motorbike at full speed, off the Atlantic Ocean cliffs when he "misses" a sudden curve. His motorbike shatters and crushes him, severely injuring and seemingly killing him. Act One ends with Zahara and Tink discovering his body. Zahara climbs down from the top of the cliffs and calls the paramedics who arrive to help her carry Strat away.


Act Two

As Zahara briefly mentioned before Strat and Raven escaped, Falco was invading the Deep End. At the start of Act Two, Falco has captured many members of 'The Lost' and has confined them in "The Vaults Of Punishment"; a cage barely big enough to hold them all, in the prison basement of Falco Towers. Falco gleefully tortures Jagwire by electrocution and Zahara appears in her nurse outfit while holding Strat's bloodied shirt. She grimly informs 'The Lost' that Strat has died just as Raven and Sloane arrive. Raven breaks down upon hearing this and is dragged away by Zahara and Sloane, leaving Falco and his militia to torture 'The Lost' ('In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher Is King'). Up in her room, Raven mourns over Strat's death while constantly blaming herself for running away from him ('Heaven Can Wait'). Below, 'The Lost' are still shocked to have lost their leader and they all admit that their lives are a mess - but then, their lives have always been a mess - prompting Jagwire, Blake and Ledoux to share their pasts ('Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are'). Sloane, having had enough of Falco's tyrannical behavior enters the basement accompanied by several Lost members who evaded getting captured, and with their assistance, she frees 'The Lost' from the cage, allowing them to escape. Meanwhile, Zahara takes a pint of blood from Raven and wakes her up. She tells Raven to come with her and they leave. Unbeknownst to them, Tink has been hiding in the room behind the door, and in a fit of jealousy, he violently rips into the pillows on Raven's bed - sending feathers flying everywhere - before throwing his knife at her photo. Zahara takes Raven to the safe area (script says: the attic of the Natural History Museum, but this is depicted on stage as an area filled with rocks), where she and Tink have been secretly looking after Strat who had miraculously survived his accident. She transfuses Raven's blood into Strat, enabling him to become mobile again, and he stumbles down from the rocks reciting poetry ('Teenager In Love'). Raven is shocked and overjoyed to see Strat and attempts to thank Tink for helping him recover, but he rudely rebuffs her. Zahara forcibly makes Tink leave with her while Strat and Raven have a heartfelt reunion ('For Crying Out Loud').

The following day, Zahara returns to Falco Towers to prepare a bag for Raven and is confronted by Falco who violently demands her to reveal Raven's location. She denies knowing where Raven is and Falco reveals that he knows that she is actually part of 'The Lost'. Sloane enters the room and she defends Zahara from Falco. She attempts to talk some sense into Falco, but he pushes her away prompting her to yell that she is leaving him and she rushes to attack him. Falco is about to strike Sloane until Zahara fires a warning shot with her gun before leaving while beckoning Sloane to come with her - so they can both leave in safety.

At the museum, Strat once again asks Raven: "on a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?". Raven responds to his words and happily agrees to become his, just as 'The Lost' show up. 'The Lost' become shocked and overwhelmed to see Strat alive as they joyously welcome him "back from the dead" while serenading and uniting him with Raven ('You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)'). They hold a "wedding" - 'The Lost' dress Strat in a ruffled shirt with a sparkly silver jacket, and they dress Raven in a white dress, accompanied by a bouquet. Sloane joins in the celebration and she accepts Strat as Raven's partner. Raven throws the bouquet over her shoulder - this is caught by Zahara, who is simultaneously overjoyed and freaked out to catch it, so she throws it again - where it is caught by a female Lost member - Scherzzo - who gets down on one knee and proposes to Sloane.

After the "wedding", Raven and Strat go to the Dunes where they talk - Raven reveals she is now able to dream for the first time - and they attempt to consummate their relationship, only to be interrupted by a jealous Tink who urges Strat to send Raven back to Falco. Strat refuses, leading into a heated argument and Tink vows to get rid of Raven while lamenting his unrequited love for Strat ('Not Allowed to Love'). At Falco Towers, Falco unsuccessfully tries to dissuade Sloane from leaving him after losing Raven ('What Part of My Body Hurts the Most'), and he is left all alone to reflect on his actions. He is later visited by Tink who offers him a deal: he will take him to where Raven is, in exchange that no one gets hurt and that he will leave 'The Lost' alone after he gets Raven back. Falco becomes convinced and he agrees to the deal while amused by Tink's betrayal.

In the Deep End, 'The Lost' are gathered at the bar continuing to celebrate the union between Strat and Raven while Jagwire serenades Zahara ('Dead Ringer For Love'). Their celebration is interrupted when Falco bursts in through the wall with his militia and Tink. He reveals the deal he and Tink made and orders 'The Lost' to return Raven to him if they want him to leave them alone. Everyone resists and a scuffle ensues, which abruptly ends when Falco accidentally and unintentionally shoots Tink. Tink collapses from the gunshot wound while Falco is dragged away. Overwhelmed with shock and anger, Strat orders Raven to get away from him, prompting her to run off - heartbroken. Weak from blood loss, Tink apologizes for what he did because he only wanted to remain as they always were and Strat forgives him, telling him that he will always be his best friend and his soulmate. Tink dies in Strat's arms and 'The Lost' hold a funeral for him ('Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through'). Meanwhile, Raven is left with no choice but to return to Falco Towers where she furiously blames her father for ruining everything.

Six months later, Sloane is still wandering through the city, delivering a beautiful monologue about how she's tried and failed to recapture her youth. In Falco Towers, Raven has become a recluse by secluding herself in her bedroom until Strat slips in through the window. He apologizes for spurning her six months ago when he knew it wasn't her fault Tink died and that he still loves her. Realizing she is still in love with Strat, Raven rekindles her feelings for him, and so does Sloane when she returns to Falco to rekindle their marriage ('It's All Coming Back to Me Now'). Raven suddenly has second thoughts about their relationship, because after being apart for so long, she's realized that they cannot be together. When Strat asks her why she reminds him that he is going to remain young forever while she is fated to age normally. Strat tells Raven that he doesn't care if she gets old, because she will always be eighteen in his eyes and he will always love her no matter what.

Finale: Strat and Raven, Falco and Sloane, and Zahara and Jagwire make vows to their respective partners ('I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)'). During this song, Falco is forced at gunpoint into a lake by Zahara, where he emerges several seconds later dressed in a different outfit (a baptism/redemption).

Musical Numbers[edit]

An excerpt from the Meat Loaf recording of "Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back" can be heard at the beginning of the scene in Raven's bedroom between "Who Needs the Young?" and "Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)". Lines from "Bad for Good"'s title track are used frequently in dialogue spoken by Raven, with one line also being sung as part of Sloane's monologue towards the end of act two.

"Teenager In Love" is the name of the monologue Strat recites immediately before he and Raven sing "For Crying Out Loud". Performed by Jim Steinman, a shorter version of this piece was first released as "Shadows On The Freeway" in 1979, then as "Nocturnal Pleasure" in 1981 on the album "Dead Ringer". This full length version - titled "Teenager In Love" - was initially only the prologue to the music video for It's All Coming Back to Me Now by Pandora's Box (1989), but was later released as a standalone audio track on the digital-only special 19-track version of the album which includes promotional tracks and single edits.

Changes[edit]

  • Versions of "Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back" and "Lost Boys and Golden Girls" were rehearsed, but never made it into a staged production.
  • "Good Girls Go to Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)" (sung by Zahara, Sloane, Raven and Company) was included in the first few nights of previews in Manchester, but was cut and replaced with "Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire). It was, however, included on the original cast recording.
  • "It Just Won't Quit" (sung by Raven, Strat and Company) was in the show until near the end of the London Coliseum run. As with "Good Girls Go to Heaven", it was still included on the original cast recording.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b O'Hanlon, Dom (May 31, 2017). "Bat Out of Hell the Musical extends booking at the London Coliseum". London Theatre. On the final night in London, August 22, it was told that the Musical is to make a return to the London stage in 2018.
  2. ^ "Review Roundup: BAT OUT OF HELL Opens at Manchester Opera House". Broadway World. March 15, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Longman, Will (December 1, 2017). "Bat Out of Hell to open at the Dominion Theatre in 2018". LondonTheatre.co.uk. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Bourne, Dianne (March 19, 2017). "Bat Out of Hell EXTENDS Manchester run after "overwhelming demand" from fans". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Bourne, Dianne (March 15, 2017). "Review: Bat Out of Hell The Musical at Manchester Opera House". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Downham, Paul (March 14, 2017). "Bat Out of Hell - Opera House, Manchester". North West End. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Longman, Will (August 22, 2017). "Bat Out of Hell to return to London in 2018". LondonTheatre.co.uk. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Longman, Will (April 4, 2018). "Bat Out of Hell extends booking at Dominion Theatre in London". LondonTheatre.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Bat Out of Hell extends at the Dominion Theatre". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  10. ^ "'Bat Out Of Hell' cast gets Yonge Street crowds all revved up". CBC News. May 15, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Bliss, Karen (May 16, 2017). "Meat Loaf Joins Cast of 'Bat Out of Hell - The Musical' at Toronto Event". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  12. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Andrew Polec Will Star in BAT OUT OF HELL On Tour - Full Casting and Cities Announced!". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTvBb_ha4-o