Interview with Meat Loaf: Back to Broadway for 1 Night Only!
A creature of the stage, who's career began on Broadway and included appearing in shows like Hair and in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Meat Loaf then starred Off-Broadway in More Than You Deserve, by composer Jim Steinman. That fortuitous pairing then led to the Steinman-penned first Bat Out of Hell album. 30 years in Rock and Roll later, Meat Loaf returns to Broadway on November 2nd in Bat Out of Hell on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. Combined, the first two Bat albums sold nearly 50 million copies worldwide, establishing Bat Out of Hell as a one of rock's most successful musical franchises and launching Meat Loaf into a career as a rock star. With the October 31 release of Bat Out of Hell III Meat Loaf sat down with BroadwayWorld.com to reflect on the new CD, theatrical ghosts, future stage possibilities and much more.
Given your history on the stage, does that make your upcoming concert at Broadway's Palace Theater more special to you?
The Palace is a haunted theatre so that's why we're going there. I worked in the Belasco which was also haunted. That place really is haunted! Things got moved around there all the time. They had a fire there one night...we were leaving the theatre from a tech rehearsal and I think it was Tim Curry, myself and the director and the choreographer and we walked out the back door, and we were walking past the front door towards some restaurant and we looked and the curtain was on fire! The ghost light was placed on the stage, I sat there and watched them do it. From the time we walked out the back door, to the time we had walked by the front, it had been moved, the ghost light had been moved!
Was that David Belasco's way of expressing his opinion of the production?
Things were always being moved, all the time in the dressing rooms. They always said that with David Belasco, these kinds of things happened when he didn't like the productions in the theatre. But apparently, there's over 100 ghosts in the Palace Theater, because that building was one of the oldest vaudeville houses in New York.
There's a cellist in the pit that people have seen, there's a little girl in the balcony and Judy Garland supposedly haunts the Palace Theater. She goes in and out a door that was made for her.
The one up the little staircase so she could look out at the audience?
Exactly! Now, the one ghost that you don't want to see is an acrobat who fell and broke his neck, because the rumor is that if you see the acrobat, you're going to die very soon yourself.
So, the Palace Theatre is cool and that's why we're going there...
Before you launched into a career of Rock n' Roll, you made many appearances on stage. How do you look back at your time in the theatre?
I love theatre, and I want to get back to it. There's a play that was Off Broadway called The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas, obviously based on Shakespeare, and they've asked me to do the lead in that on Broadway. I think that they wanted to put it up this year and I told them no way. The soonest that I could get there would be late in 2007 or in 2008. I don't know if they'll wait on me, I haven't heard from them. I would love to do that though.
Have you been getting offers for musicals too?
They've asked me to do Chicago a bunch of times, but I've always said no to that. They've asked me to do it in the West End in London, and I tell them that I have to say no. Also Phantom, they've asked me to do that, but I'm not a big fan of that one, so no.
What would convince you to step into one of those show?
Back in the days when I was doing theatre, I was younger and you'd just do things. Nowadays, you have to love something to go do it. Chicago's a great piece, and Billy Flynn is a great character so he'd be fun to do - I'd be the biggest Billy Flynn though! I'm just not sure if I want to go and do something that 18,000 other people did. I think if you're going to do it, create it. I wouldn't mind doing something. It scares me though, it's a frightening concept because it's a lot of work. It didn't scare me as much as when I was a kid cause it was easier.