Studio Theatre Closes the Season with Bat Boy

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Russell Malang as Bat Boy/Edgar. Photography by Michael Hardy

Russell Malang as Bat Boy/Edgar. Photography by Michael Hardy

In 1992, a tabloid newspaper ran an allegedly true story about a half-bat-half-human child found in a West Virginia cave. Later, of course, the story was debunked, but not before Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming, and Laurence O’Keefe turned it into a musical entitled Bat Boy. It opens on October 17 at the Long Beach Playhouse. It’s the closing production for the Studio Theater season.

“At its heart, it’s a story about love and acceptance. Edgar, the bat child, may be a monster, but he represents us all. The people of Hope Falls may be backwards thinking, but they too represent us all. And they all grow in the end,” said Andrew Vonderschmitt, Executive and Producing Artistic Director.

Bat Boy plays to the considerable strengths of the Long Beach Playhouse, starting with Vonderschmitt in the director’s chair. Sean Gray, Technical Director, steps capably into the role of Dr. Parker, the veterinarian whose life is thrust into turmoil with the arrival of the bat child.

Donna Fritsche, the Playhouse’s resident costumer and costume shop manager is one of the behind-the-scenes magicians who create the visuals that support the actors’ words and movements. With 22 characters, Donna has her hands full and her shop is a swirl of fabric and activity. On her cutting board lies the furry fabric for Pan’s costume. Platform boots are turned into a cloven hoof and a bit of padding turns the human form into the animalistic satyr of Greek mythology.

The choreographer is Kysa Cohen. She has directed Playhouse shows in the past as has her husband, Gregory Cohen. “Kysa has more than 40 years of experience in theater and it shows in her work on this production,” Vonderschmitt said.

Jonathan Kupper is the musical director. And Matt Franta, choreographed the fight scenes, as he did for Bengal Tiger and Shakespeare’s R&J, also part of this year’s Studio Season.

Bat Boy runs through November 14. Bat Boy contains adult language and content.

Pay what you can Thursday October 15
Two for One Preview Friday October 16- Tickets are $12.00
Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on October 17 – Tickets are $27.00

Adults are $24, seniors $21, and Students $14. Tickets are available at, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

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