Well, it was Toronto’s theatre critics, rather than the city’s theatrical performers, who were in the spotlight last week when Bat Boy: The Musical announced that the show was going to close a month ahead of schedule on March 19. Publicist Carrie Sager spelt out the reason for the early end in a press release:
Toronto audiences have embraced the half-bat half-boy creature who leapt from the pages of Weekly World News to the stage of the Bathurst Street Theatre. Even during its short run in Toronto, many audience members have returned to see the show multiple times. While audiences are having a ‘bloody good time’, members of the media are out for blood.
Torontoist has not yet seen Bat Boy, mainly because of lousy reviews by the Toronto Star’s Bob Crew (1 star), The Globe and Mail’s Kamal Al-Solaylee (0 stars) and The Toronto Sun’s John Coulbourn (2 stars). Eye’s Paul Isaacs also panned the play, but that didn’t play a role in keeping us away – Torontoist doesn’t trust any of that weekly’s reviewers.
Of the major critics, only Now’s Glenn Sumi published what could be unequivocably called a positive review. Interestingly enough, Sumi was also the only critic who went to a performance other than opening night.
According to folks working on the show, a good chunk of the cast was sick with the flu the night that most critics attended. In fact, the second night of the show had to be cancelled because certain lead cast members were too sick to perform.
Here’s are the questions for the inquest: Did the avian flu fell Bat Boy? Or was it overly-harsh critics in the conservatory with the candlestick? Or was it just a bad show?
Speaking of theatre, here are a couple of rumours making the rounds:
1) Apparently, a couple of local theatre companies are so mad at critic Kamal Al-Solaylee that they have been discussing making him pay for his tickets or banning him from their productions.
2) Mirvish productions is holding a press conference tomorrow to announce something big. Could Toronto be the first city to host the long-anticipated $30-million Lord of the Rings musical?