Las Vegas Meat Loaf Musical ‘Bat Out of Hell’ Canceled Mid-Run
Posted on: December 22, 2022, 08:35h.
Last updated on: December 23, 2022, 03:04h.
Bat Out of Hell — The Musical is bat out of luck. It will close at the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas on Jan. 1, a mere 12 weeks after opening at the venue that was custom-designed for it.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company was notified of the closure Thursday via an e-mail from coproducers. It explained: “We have been trying to find a path forward, but the financial reality has left us with no other choice.”
Though the show – starring Travis Cloer, Anne Martinez, Travis Cormier, and Alize Cruz – received positive critical reviews, its lack of commercial success should come as no surprise to those who believe in “the Paris Theatre curse.”
Beginning in 1999, with the original musical Hunchback of Notre Dame, the theater has hosted a string of shows that struggled to fill its 1,400 seats. They included We Will Rock You, Jersey Boys, Circus 1903, Inferno, Marilyn – The New Musical, and I Love the ’90s.
The believers apparently include coproducer Michael Cohl, who, on Oct. 28, hired a Las Vegas shaman to perform a Native American healing ceremony ridding the stage of negative spirits.
It didn’t work.
The ambitious stage production is a rock musical composed by songwriter Jim Steinman – who went on to write hits for Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply, and Celine Dion. Steinman began writing the musical while attending Amherst College in the late ’60s, when he called it The Dream Engine, and it was about a tribe of wild teens in a post-apocalyptic metropolis. Joseph Papp, the Public Theater founder, helped Steinman polish its rough edges into a new work – a love story featuring a Peter Pan-like lead character – the work was called Neverland.
Neverland fizzled out when the Public Theater was unable to obtain the rights to its Peter Pan elements. But it was resurrected when Steinman met Meat Loaf, who successfully auditioned for a 1973 Public Theater production of a Vietnam War musical called More Than You Deserve, which Steinman cowrote.
After the pair began collaborating in earnest, Meat Loaf cherry-picked from Neverland’s songs, turning them into hit singles and tracks for his 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell.
“This was meant to be a musical,” Meat Loaf told the New York Times in 2019. “I made it a rock show. Jimmy turned it around and made a musical. That’s what he wanted it to be.”
Neither star survived to see it play Las Vegas. Steinman died April 19, 2021 at age 73. Meat Loaf died Jan. 20, 2022 at age 74.
Gone, Gone, Gone
Bat Out of Hell – The Musical has had its own history of short stints. It played the Manchester Opera House from Feb. 17 to April 29, 2017, followed by the London Coliseum from June 5 to Aug. 22, 2017, Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre from Oct. 14, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018, London’s Dominion Theatre from April 2, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019, and finally, the New York City Center from Aug. 8 to Sept. 8, 2019.
In 2019, just days before a 19-city North American tour of the musical was set to begin, nearly all the dates were postponed or canceled.
“I was built for disappointment,” Steinman told the New York Times at the time.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, Ticketmaster was still erroneously selling seats for the Paris Theatre show through March 31.
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