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Review Roundup: BAT OUT OF HELL Opens At City Center - Read The Reviews!

Bat Out of Hell

Like a bat out of hell, Bat Out of Hell is taking flight at New York City Center, where the Jim Steinman musical officially opens tonight!

Under the direction of Jay Scheib, the New York engagement for Bat Out of Hell - The Musical stars Andrew Polec who thrilled London and Toronto critics with his powerhouse performance as Strat.

Joining him are Christina Bennington who originated the role of Raven in London, Lena Hall as Sloane, Bradley Dean as Falco,Avionce Hoyles as Tink, Danielle Steers as Zahara, and Tyrick Wiltez Jones as Jagwire. The ensemble for Bat Out of Hell- The Musical includes Will Branner, Lincoln Clauss, Kayla Cyphers, Jessica Jaunich, Paulina Jurzec, Adam Kemmerer, Nick Martinez, Harper Miles, Erin Mosher, Aramie Payton, Andres Quintero, Tiernan Tunnicliffe, and Kaleb Wells.

Let's see what the critics are saying!

Alexis Soloski, The New York Times: Vroom into New York City Center. Jim Steinman's "Bat Out of Hell: The Musical," directed by Jay Scheib, which premiered at the Manchester Opera House in 2017 and then reopened in London's West End, will meet you there with its engine gunned, its wheels mostly spinning, its tailpipe jammed with whatever passes for a plot. Extravagant, absurd, compulsively hummable, "Bat Out of Hell" is, like its score, good-bad. Or bad-good. Having read the script - the morning after, auditory nerves still jangled - I now know that the supporting characters have names.

Matt Windman, amNY: Bits and pieces of "Peter Pan" and "Romeo and Juliet" are mixed uneasily with hard rock hits and post-apocalyptic sci-fi in "Bat Out of Hell," a bombastic, over-the-top jukebox musical that is just as bewildering as it is strangely entertaining.

Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast: Even if you leave New York City Center after this piece of theatrical madness like a bat out of hell gulping at the night air, you may do so with a smile on your face-a baffled, stunned one, but still a smile.

Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Post:"Bat Out of Hell: The Musical" takes songwriter Jim Steinman's operatic lyrics to heart. The sirens are constantly screaming, and the fires are endlessly howling. The strobe lights nearly gave me a seizure. This theatrical assault on the senses, which opened its monthlong run off-Broadway Thursday, is just plain overwhelming, even if the epic tunes that made Meat Loaf famous in the '70s are thrilling to hear again.

Robert Hofler, TheWrap: Say what you will about Broadway, the absolute worst musicals don't play there. This year, the completely vacuous "Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise" opened and closed at The Shed at Hudson Yards. And now comes Jim Steinman's long-touring "Bat Out of Hell," which opened Thursday at the New York City Center for a brief summer run. Let's give thanks to Broadway's producers for not sullying the sacred pantheon of artistic expression that's the Great White Way with such unadulterated junk. In comparison, "Beetlejuice" is the "Ulysses" of musicals.

Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: It would be a pleasure to report that the show was worth the wait, but this overblown, laborious exercise, which makes Wagnerian operas look subtle by comparison, proves far less interesting than its backstory.

Adam Feldman, Time Out NY: A jaw-dropping combination of horniness, corniness, portent and camp, Bat Out of Hell veers crazily in tone. Employing strategies from his experimental downtown-theater past, director Jay Scheib mostly enrobes the show in seriousness-there is a lot of projected live video, and scenes are sometimes briefly played in two locations at once-but sometimes strips it down to Rocky Horror Show-ish silliness. Like Steinman's last venture into musical theatre, the infamous 2002 flop Dance of the Vampires, the musical can't seem to decide whether it is in on itself as a joke; it reels around with its tongue out, looking for a cheek.

A.D. Amorosi, Variety: "Bat Out of Hell - The Musical" lands Off Broadway at New York City Center with more questions than answers, as many negatives as there are positives, and more awkward choreography than "Footloose" performed by a pack of drunken hippos.

Michael Sommers, New York Stage Review: Jay Scheib, who directed the musical's London production that ran ten months during 2018, stages this incarnation as a frenetic spectacle that appears visually cramped at City Center. The company is talented, but the emotional tone they express is neither sincere nor tongue-in-cheek. It is rather a gung-ho spiritedness aimed to rocket the audience into enthusiasm.

Elysa Gardner, New York Stage Review: Already a hit in London-where despite the supposed national distaste for excess, West End audiences flock to bombastic jukebox musicals like bees to honeyed tea-the show features songs from the titular album, along with others Steinman crafted for subsequent Meat Loaf recordings (among them Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell), as well as tunes featured on Steinman's own albums and made famous by other artists, with a couple of previously unreleased songs thrown in. In an act of suitably epic hubris, Steinman also wrote the musical's book, if you can call it that, a contrived, ham-fisted account of oppressed young love that hardly justifies a running time of two hours and 40 minutes (including, mercifully, an intermission). The setting is Obsidian, a city formed after some apocalyptic event caused Manhattan to split and drift out to sea.

Joe Dziemianowicz, Theater News Online: For crying out loud, Bat Out of Hell, you took the words right out of my mouth. When somebody belts, "There ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you," it echoes exactly my take on this eardrum-beating, hard-driving head-scratcher of a rock-tacle now at City Center. Yes, musical hot messes can be silly fun, but this one by Jim Steinman, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, soon wears out its welcome.

David Cote, Observer: Did you hear about the author accused of insulting the audience's intelligence? "That's impossible," she sniffed. "They haven't got any." I could make the same snide remark about crowds at the proudly idiotic, maniacally staged jukebox musical Bat Out of Hell, scored to bombastic, big-haired spam rock by Jim Steinman and first wailed into immortality by Meat Loaf. But then, I was one of those nostalgia-triggered morons at New York City Center, bobbing my head and bouncing in my seat to a string of enduring, if embarrassing, FM classics.

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