July 21, 2013 in Features

Spotlight: Playhouse’s ‘Bat Boy’ promises to be strangely intriguing

By The Spokesman-Review
 

It’s Friday, and Troy Nickerson is less than a week away from the opening of “Bat Boy: The Musical,” which he’s directing for Lake City Playhouse.

And he really can’t explain what the play is about.

“It’s kind of hard to explain,” he said. “It’s so strange.”

Ostensibly, the story is about Bat Boy, who – according the now-defunct tabloid the Weekly World News – was half-bat, half-boy and found living in a cave. The musical comedy, which has been staged Off Broadway and on London’s West End, has Bat Boy being adopted by the family that found him and yearning for acceptance from society.

“It’s bizarre and strange, but it’s really human and moving and touching at the same time,” Nickerson said. “There really is a lesson in how we treat people who are different.”

Nickerson said he’d heard of the play, but has never seen it. When Lake City’s artistic director George Green brought it to him, Nickerson was happy to take it on.

“I direct so much, that I end up doing a lot of stuff that I’d done before,” he said. “The thought of doing something I knew nothing about and had no preconceived ideas about was really kind of exciting.”

The music leans toward the rock side, with an opera feel in places, Nickerson said. Cody Bray, who played Bat Boy at Eastern this spring, is reprising the role.

“One of the greatest things about it is to come and see something you’ve never seen before and come along with the ride,” Nickerson said.

Lake City is presenting “Bat Boy” as a “Stage Left” pre-season special. It features adult content and language, and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

It opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 10. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15, available online at www.lakecityplayhouse.org or through the box office, (208) 667-1323. Lake City Playhouse is located at 1320 E. Garden Ave., in Coeur d’Alene.

Hosking at Stage Left

Local playwright Sandra Hosking has been named resident playwright and dramaturge at the new Spokane Stage Left.

In her new role, she will be helping Stage Left foster new works by local and international writers, according to a news release. She’ll also produce several events centering on new works, including a Hit and Run Comedy Festival.

Hosking’s plays have been produced in the U.S. and overseas, including the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, Chicago’s Gorilla Tango and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference.

She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, and is working toward her master’s in playwriting from the University of Idaho. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, is the former editor of InSight for Playwrights and founded Play-Makers Spokane. She was co-playwright in resident at Spokane Civic Theatre for four years, a post she left in June. She also is a freelance theater critic for The Spokesman-Review.

Stage Left, 108 W. Third Ave., seeks to present theater that provides “political, intellectual and social stimulation, and must be relevant to the daily lives of the audience and the players,” according to the company’s Facebook page.

For more information, visit www.spokane stageleft.org/.

‘Gay Camp’ preview

The New York-based cast of “Gay Camp” will host an event at a downtown Spokane nightclub in advance of their one-night-only show at Interplayers.

The “Gay Camp”-ers will be at nYne, 232 W. Sprague Ave., at 9 p.m. on Saturday, joining in the bar’s “July-o-Ween” event. The night will include an appearance from the “Gay Camp” go-go boy, “a staple in the show,” according to a news release. The cast will give presentations, and there will be a chance to win tickets to the show, at 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Interplayers, 174 S. Howard St.

“Gay Camp” features three actors playing multiple roles, and centers on young people sent to “gay camp” by their parents in order to be “fixed.”

The play originally was staged for the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival in SoHo, New York.


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