Bryan Batt Press - Playbill
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."

Bryan Batt
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