With Bat Out of Hell — The Musical coming to the New York stage, New York Times cultural reporter Dave Itzkoff wrote an extensive article tracing the journey of composer/lyricist Jim Steinman ’69, all the way back to his days as an Amherst student.
“The musical based on the grandiose Meat Loaf album shines a light on its songwriter, Jim Steinman, and the many twists and turns it took to get both projects made,” Itzkoff wrote. “Though its songs may be pure ear candy to fans, they encapsulate for him a lifetime’s worth of stops and starts, frustrating near-misses and occasional head-on collisions with Meat Loaf, his friend and collaborator.”
“From its inception, Bat Out of Hell has swerved all over the boundary between sincerity and absurdity,” Itzkoff wrote. “As an Amherst student, Mr. Steinman first conceived of and starred in The Dream Engine, a rock musical about a tribe of wild teens in a dystopian metropolis. Joseph Papp, the Public Theater founder, expressed interest in the project, and over the next several years, Mr. Steinman adapted it into a new work called Neverland, with characters and settings that more overtly referenced J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.”
An abridged version of the original musical shocker was staged at this year’s Reunion, starring Andrew Polec, who is headlining the New York production of Bat Out of Hell — The Musical.