Call it what you may, the June 20 opening of the three-hour epic Wagnerian jukebox musical, Bat Out Of Hell, at London’s Coliseum rocked the staid music home of English National Opera and is sure to become the talk of the town.
Executive producers Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox and Tony Smith have made a calculated bet on this epic Mama Mia meets We Will Rock You spectacle that’s based on lyricist Jim Steinman’s fairy-tale story giving a full torque R&R adrenalin rush to trusty themes from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, and Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, gussied up for the stage with artistic flourishes right out of Mad Max’s storyboard.
Daisy Bowie-Sell, writing in WhatsOnStage, has her own pretty good description for this over-the-top musical: “Bat Out of Hell? Bat shi*t crazy more like.
“Jim Steinman's jukebox rock musical is like nothing you're going to see anywhere else right now. The story embodies everything Steinman's '70s and '80s mad, slightly camp rock music did with not a hint of shame. Everything that made Meat Loaf awful but also really great is wholeheartedly here, from the love-wracked crooning, the light-goth look, the rock, the roll to the uber sex appeal…”
The show has its North American premiere Oct. 14 at Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto.