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The saga of Batt-Man and Boy Blunder

The legend begins at Jubilations

Theatre Review by Jason Clevett (From GayCalgary® Magazine, August 2005, page 33)
The saga of Batt-Man and Boy Blunder: The legend begins at Jubilations
The saga of Batt-Man and Boy Blunder: The legend begins at Jubilations
The saga of Batt-Man and Boy Blunder: The legend begins at Jubilations
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Whether through comics, cartoons, the movies or the 60’s television series, everyone knows who Batman is. While many of the gags, characters and costuming in Jubilations Dinner Theatre’s summer production are based on the TV show, the influence of everything is evident.

Batt-Man and Boy Blunder has lots of jokes, fight scenes, evil villains, gaping plot holes, narrative voices from above, and layers upon layers of cheese - it’s so much fun and has so much going on, it would be a good idea to see it twice just so you can catch everything.

Jubilations is an interactive experience, and we were served by our gracious host for the evening, Bruce Dwayne, who was holding a fundraising gala for his Aunt Harriet’s favorite charity cat houses. Evil is afoot however, as the Joker and The Riddler invaded the event and it all goes in typical Batt-style from there. The show runs the gamut of some of the most reveled villains – Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Penguin, The Minstrel and Popsy Cicle all appear and put our heroes in various compromising positions. One of the absolute highlights is the hysterical rendition of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

GayCalgary.com took on the task of sitting down with the entire cast of eight people (who effortlessly create the 19 characters in the show) who have a noticeable chemistry on stage and off. Calgary is the final run of the touring production, which started in January and ran in Winnipeg and Edmonton. While some actors get tired of roles, this group has had a lot of fun and feel there is a great deal of freedom in repetition.

“We have all slowly descended into insanity. We started off normal, as accountants and selling real estate and we gradually started committing minor crimes outside of the theatre. I have a hostage at home right now,” quipped Brad Duffy, who plays The Riddler, Chief O’Hara and the Penguin. “We are all fairly outgoing, silly people anyway so getting the chance to exploit that is an opportunity. Being in a show like this gives you real freedom with the characters. We can train a young villain by taking a child from one of the tables and teach them the ways of villainy. Or we can take hostages. Or we can be afraid of bees.”

“It is fun watching the characters and plot develop over time. There are gags I did in Winnipeg that I have forgotten about until someone from Winnipeg reminds me I did them,” added Chris Monroe, who plays Alfred, The Joker and Commissioner Gordon. Katie Fullerton, who plays Aunt Harriet, Poison Ivy and Popsy Cicle agrees.

“In the pre-show, Chris and I play Alfred and Aunt Harriet, but one night in Edmonton we hated each other and it was so much fun. Your relationships are always changing. It’s great to play with these characters; Poison Ivy was never in the 60’s show, just the terrible movie. So it just had to have the feel of that campy villain.”

Recent high school grad Shawn Newman who plays the Henchman, The Minstrel and False Face had his own take on how the show changes.

“Doing a show like this for so long is like making Macaroni and Cheese. You have the basic ingredients that you put into it. If you want to change something it won’t ruin it, it will just be different every time you make it. When we do the show every night, once you do it a lot you don’t measure how much milk or butter, you just put it in.”

While it’s a great opportunity for a character actor to bring these people to life, at the same time there can be pressure of living up to expectations.

“You don’t have to be the character from the show, but there has to be the idea of the character behind what you are doing, which is what the audience looks for. It doesn’t need to be 100% Adam West or Burt Ward,” said Peter Bass, who plays Bruce Dwayne and Batt-man. His sidekick Michael Kovac, who plays Dickie Grayson and The Boy Blunder agrees.

“There are so many jokes that haven’t even been tapped when it comes to the campy vibe of the old Batman series that it is a wonderful opportunity to work those out.”

Jubilations presently has a summer seat sale on, so hop in your Batt-car and make a Batt-line to see this show. It runs Wednesday through Sunday until August 28th. Check with the box office for Batt-times at the Batt-theatre.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre Presents
The Saga of Batt-Man & Boy Blunder… The Legend Begins!
July 16 – August 28
1002 - 37th Street SW (Westbrook Mall)
Phone: (403) 249-7799

(GC)

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