BWW Review: Signalling Old School Batman with UCF's Flying Horse Big Band
Our coverage of UCF Celebrates the Arts concludes with THE BAT SWINGS. Did you know that UCF has their own big band jazz program called The Flying Horse Band? Neither did I. The Flying Horse Band lead by professor Jeff Rupert, performs nationally and has their own record label. On Friday, The Flying Horse Band along with students from UCF's acting program presented THE BAT SWINGS, which was a jazz tribute to the 1960s favorite superhero, Batman.
Jeff Rupert conducted his way through many of the musical themes from the show with more energy than I'm used to seeing from conductors. Clearly Rupert was a fan of the Batman series as he provided fun facts and memories from watching the show. The band itself consists of talented jazz musicians from different stages of their college careers. At this performance, faculty and also joined the band on a few numbers.
Between songs, student actors performed skits from the Batman series. It was interesting to hear the original script's views about citizenship and classic crime. The students who played Batman and Robin appeared to truly enjoy their roles. Batman had a great tone on voice worthy of a superhero. He also had an air of superiority that would make Adam West proud.
His sidekick, the comedic Robin, was a sorely needed break from the do-gooding script. The student playing Robin had great comedic timing and acted without an ounce of sarcasm. For every hero there is a villain and for Batman it's Catwoman. The student playing Catwoman was sly and alluring. She ensured that there was just enough lustful tension between herself and the hero.
As someone who did not grow up in that era, it was interesting to see and hear the program. I miss TV shows having theme songs (I'm not talking about the Law and Order kind of theme song), but real music to accompany their program. The Flying Horse Band is a really talented group of students who have enough energy and enthusiasm for jazz to keep it alive for future generations. I also enjoyed the collaboration with the acting program. I think it added depth that could only be experienced through actors.
UCF Celebrates the Arts ended on April 14, so mark your calendars for next year's event. For more information about the event visit http://arts.cah.ucf.edu. For more information about The Flying Horse Big Band visit http://www.flyinghorserecords.com.
Photo credit: UCF