| a theatergoer's notebook
When Batt's at Bat, Playbill, November 1999
by Harry Haun
The fella at the Saturday Night
Fever audition in platform shoes and bell-bottom pants got
the part. "By night I'm a deejay at the 2001 Disco - by day
I'm a sleazy disco instructor," says BRYAN BATT, who revels
in his role's outrageousness. "When I saw the wig, I said, 'Now,
I know him.' His getups are brilliantly hideous, too."
Arlene Phillips, who's directing and choreographing this show, put
Batt on Broadway in the first place as the replacement for Rocky One
in Starlight Express. "I'm convinced I was cast because
I refused to fall down at the audition. I willed myself not to."
|Photo Credit: Tess Steinkolk
After trains, Batt did felines (Cats).
To get a human role, he went Off-Broadway to play the doomed Broadway
dancer in Jeffrey (he later
reprised that role on film.) He got that with four little words. When
Paul Rudnick asked, "Are you really in Cats?" Batt
shrugged, "Yeah, now and forever."
Since then, Batt seems to have taken up residence
at the Minskoff. The theatre's electricians call him "the house actor" because
of his consecutive runs there in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat, Sunset Boulevard, The
Scarlet Pimpernel, and now, Saturday
Night Fever. Punctuating these - if not puncturing them - are
his recurring stints in Forbidden Broadway.
His next goal is TV. "If one more of my friends tells me I
should be on a TV series, I'm going to buy a box, cut it out and stick
my head in it - just like Lucille Ball - and have everybody over to
the house." - Harry Haun