To say BAT has been busy, is well. . . and understatement.
You may have heard there was a fire at the theater. Well, baring anything crazy, BAT will be back and open “End Days” in its newly repaired theater space. The construction crew leaves on April 30, and “End Days opens May 9. Get your tickets HERE. As you can see there is no time to spare.
The theater is wonderfully clean and mostly freshly painted. Oh my, it is nice. The stage is just a little bigger (a needed and less costly change). To say BAT is excited is. . . again. . . an understatement. Thanks to the City of Burien, BAT’s landlord, who with the help of an even 100 emails from BAT-fans, decided to rebuild, and to Belfor Property Restoration for doing the work! It has taken so many people to make all of this come together, there is no way to thank everyone. One person does, however, stand out, that is BAT’s managing director, Maggie Larrick, who bird-dogged BAT’s rise from the flames and kept everyone working and on schedule, while keeping the rest of BAT going and producing better live theater.
Not that doing the last two weeks of “Coney Island Christmas” in a pop-up museum (thanks Highline Historical Society) and then doing “Noises Off” in an emptied storefront, was not an adventure, but it is so nice to be coming back home. BAT could not have survived the wild ride without its many donors and wonderful volunteers. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless them, everyone.”
Now it’s time for “End Days.” A fitting end to BAT’s 34th season, a season to remember. “End Days” is a great play, with a great cast, director, designers and crew. A very funny show to come back home with.
When BAT picked this season, it had no idea that it take the season on the road. Yet, in retrospect, every show was perfect for its place in the season. “Young Frankenstein the Musical” stretched BAT’s technical skills, and used its space ever so well.
“Coney Island Christmas” was one of the few shows, thanks in large part to an amazing cast, directors, designers and crew (all of whom will always be in BAT’s heart), that could have a fire on Tuesday after the 2nd weekend, and be re-staged and back up running by that Friday, in a new space, without ever missing a performance. That was the art of theater at its finest.
Then, of all shows to stage in an empty retail space, “Noises Off.” A two story revolving set with 7 doors. The cast, director and crew tell me they did not know how close BAT was to not finding a space. Literally, BAT signed the rental agreement, to a empty dirty storefront, 2 weeks before “Noises Off” opened. BAT got its permit from the City of Burien to be in the space at 4:30 pm on opening night, with the curtain at 8 pm. Whew.
And there there was the set. Designed to be in BAT’s theater space. Then the fire. The set was build in a special build space that was two stories high. When BAT locked down the storefront, well into the set-build, it became clear the set would have to rotate on and off carpet. Something that was not in anyone’s plans, and way to late into construction to redesign for. During the course of the run, the set killed over 20 wheels, a few being replaced after every weekend. A very special hat tip to set designer and chief builder, Albie Clementi, who not only designed and built a great set, but kept it alive for a 5 week run
And now, “End Days” brings BAT home again. Thank goodness we all get to laugh during this show. As the title may suggest “End Days” is a charming and comedic look at the characters’ brush with the end of the world, all with a little help from Jesus and Stephen Hawking. Add a goth girl, an Elvis impersonator and a couple with their own unique charm and you have the perfect show to end this season with a laugh and a smile. Sitting through rehearsals I am convinced that, once again, BAT is blessed with a great cast, director and designers.
“End Days” opens May 9, 2014, (tickets) and it will be the first show back in the rebuilt theater space. Just don’t be surprised if on opening night, somewhere in the theater, there is still paint drying. And yes, there will be a party after the show to which everyone is invited. Come help BAT celebrate another great show, because your support is what brought BAT back.