While Promoting Broadway Show, Meat Loaf Proves that Rock and Roll Dreams (Still) Come True
By Karina Lafayette
This article was first published for eBOSS Canada. To view the original, click here
Meat Loaf stepped onto the stage, still looking like the kind of guy you’d hang out with over a good conversation. The show, taking place just outside Mirvish Theatre in Downtown Toronto, opened with a gang of bikers rolling up. It’s like all the best parts of your childhood standing in front of you, within reach.
I’m a nineties kid, but I was lucky enough to grow up listening to Meat Loaf thanks to a family that loves music, and a collection of cassette tapes that sat in the storage below the living room stereo. I can still remember the smell of the tapes, and how frustrating it was to have to rewind each one before listening to them. If you weren’t careful, sometimes the film inside would pull out and you’d have to spin one of the circles backwards till the cassette tape would go back into place.
Do I exaggerate when I say I know all the lyrics on both Part One AND Two? Far from it.
What soon followed were the cast members performing in costume several of the songs, enough to give a taste of what’s expected from the. Broadway show. Catch a glimpse here to see the hype.
“I remember everything as if it happened only yesterday,” utters Andrew Polec in the role of Strat, in the “Wasted Youth” monologue. Forceful enough to make Papa Shakespeare proud.
And it does feel like yesterday, regardless of generation.
At the point when I started listening to this album I was barely just starting to write my first scripts, and yet I could already imagine the characters and costumes for “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights”; lip-syncing to “I’d Do Anything For Love” and “Good Girls Go to Heaven”; Fist-pumping to the rebellion-themed “Life is a Lemon”
Damn, what a gal would do to get a chance at adapting that into a film.
And that’s not something I’d “want my money back” from either.
Fast forward a decade since and now comes the Broadway production of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’. It might not be how I’ve imagined it, or how other fans imagined it, but it’s worth it. As someone still fresh in my own youth, it’s impossible for anyone to have waited for this as long as Jim Steinman has. Jim Steinman, the mastermind and songwriter behind it, first wrote the soundtrack when he was just in college.
By 1972 Jim met singer Meat Loaf (Michael Lee Aday), who at the time was a cast member on a musical he helped collaborate. As they say, the rest is history.
By the time ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ was officially released onto the music scene in October 1977, it received mixed reviews that eventually grew into a cult following. Since then, it’s sold 43 million albums worldwide. Considering that many of the songs reach an average eight to ten minutes, filled with operatic vocals and loud instruments, it was hard to classify which genre it belonged to. In an interview with CTV, Meat Loaf stated that “out of hundreds of reviews, we got one good review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”
For years there was speculation as to when it would finally be adapted on screen, or least of all, on stage.
Then we always hear about that one work that makes an artist’s career. Often it’s the one you’d least expect. The one where you’re sitting and you find yourself innocently strumming the guitar, or jotting ideas pen to paper, then suddenly… You’ve done this so many times before, till you realize, this one- this one is gonna be different.
Like any great art, Jim likely didn’t know the impact his work would have, but we’re thankful he brought it this far. ‘Bat Out Of Hell The Musical’ is the culmination of everything a writer works for. It’s enough to prove that in the end, “rock and roll dreams” really do come true.
‘Bat Out Of Hell’ is expected to make its North American debut in Toronto at the Mirvish Theatre on October 14th 2017, running till December 3. Tickets go on sale May 24th on the venue’s website.