Jay Schieb’s Bat Out of Hell

MIT Theater Arts professor Jay Schieb directs Bat Out of Hell, a new multimedia musical, which premiered at the Manchester Opera House in March 2017 and ran in Manchester through April 8, 2017. It moved on to the London Coliseum for a limited 56-performance season from June 5 to July 22, 2017 and started its open-ended run at the Dominion Theater in London in April 2018. It was in Toronto October 2017-January 2018 and will be at the New York City Center starting August 8, 2019.

“Mr. Scheib said he was attracted to “Bat Out of Hell” specifically because of its reputation as an unstageable work. “I’ve inherited a lot of impossible projects in my career, so that part made a lot of sense to me,” he said. He felt that the musical’s ‘ginormous’ book, about a pack of eternally youthful teens who live underneath a mythical city called Obsidian, needed some reshaping and paring down. But he felt a familiar connection between Mr. Steinman’s text and his music.”

 – Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times

“When’s the last time it felt as if an entire theater were about to levitate? That experience — electrifying and giddy and guaranteed to tap into every playgoer’s inner rock god — can be had through Aug. 22 at the capacious Coliseum, where the Jim Steinman musical “Bat Out of Hell” is all but blasting an adoring audience out of their seats. Count me among the adorers.”

 – Matth Wolf, The New York Times

“An extraordinary, high-octane, multimedia masterpiece, incredibly staged on a colossal scale, Bat Out of Hell is surely the must-see theatrical event of the year…….. Constantly challenging audience expectations and the possibilities of the theatre space, director Jay Scheib and choreographer Emma Portner’s flawless production is a sure-fire masterpiece, and one that has raised the musical theatre bar quite significantly.”

The Arts Shelf


“Sometimes when it is difficult for your eyes and ears to believe what you have just witnessed, then putting it into words becomes a whole lot trickier. (…) The one thing that makes this show stand out from all the rest is as I mentioned earlier the staging. This is not your typical musical, just when you think you have seen everything on stage, something else happens right up until the final beat of the show when the bats are finally released from Hell! (…) This show has literally changed the way musicals are staged forever. Set designer Jon Bausor has created the most incredible canvas on which this talented company perform. Add to this spectacular lighting from Patrick Woodroffe and video design from Finn Ross it is no less than a visual multi-media masterpiece.”

 – North West End

Posted on March 16, 2017 by H. Erickson