Review Round Up: Bat Out of Hell, New York City Center

The musical which brings to life the songs of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf is now playing in New York. But what have critics been saying about it? ” I’ve never seen a cast work so passionately on such silly material. Polec, as the often shirtless, mike-twirling rock Adonis, has a wild comic energy that goes a long way to mitigate Strat’s sexually predatory, Manson-ish impulses. Eyes agog, breaking into boyish giggles, Polec’s Strat seems like a bizarre but perfect combination of Peter Frampton and Rik Mayall of The Young Ones. Petite powerhouse Bennington makes Raven’s journey from spoiled brat to sexually confident rebel both credible and empowering—and she (plus woke directorial touches by Scheib) helps curb some of Steinman’s phallocentric excess.”

The New York Times: “The relevant question here is not whether you believe in fairies, but whether you believe in rock ’n’ roll and whether you want to see that rock ’n’ roll translated to the stage via shaky video and angular, libidinal choreography, adapted by Xena Gusthart from Emma Portner’s original steps. If you’re asking me: Yes. And kind of.”

Variety: “And the pleasures are there. You just have to wade through the maddeningly mawkish choreography (by Xena Gusthart) and the weirdly distracting decision to make Bennington wriggle and writhe like a jellyfish through every scene.”

Time Out: ** “Crashes like this one—the fun kind, the what?! kind—don’t come along very often. Bat Out of Hell may be a fail, but at least it’s an epic one.”

Exeunt New York City: “The emotions of this Bat Out of Hell are beyond heightened. Every song is pure release. All the rage, love, and horniness of a generation is wailing in your face. Honestly, it’s a beautiful thing.”

New York Theatre Guide: ***** “Inventively staged by experimental director Jay Scheib, there is a decidedly cinematic feel to the proceedings.”

Broadway World: “may not be high art, but it’s a fun high-energy show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, from it’s rebellious start to its somewhat unclear, but determinedly happy ending.”

Bat Out of Hell continues to play at the New York City Center. To book tickets click here.


%d bloggers like this: