| Saturday Night DJ
Next Magazine, September 24, 1999
"All right, my funk-a-licious
freek-a-zoids - this is beautiful Monty, your delicious DJ here at 2001.
It's Saturday night, the hottest night of the week. So get on up on the
floor and boogie down to the ground!" exults actor Bryan Batt as
vinyl-loving DJ Monty in Robert Stigwood's new Broadway musical, Saturday
Night Fever. Batt has garnered much
praise for his performances in a multitude of Off-Broadway productions
and in memorable stage and celluloid turns as Darius the chorus boy in
Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey.
How did a nice boy from New Orleans get involved in the tawdry,
polyester world of a 70s discotheque?
I would often see my older cousins dressing up and going out dancing,
but I was too young to be a part of it. In Saturday Night Fever I
get to sing "Disco Inferno" - just a really great song. [Laughs]
It's rare to see a white boy do it.
What are you wearing when you sing it?
Some very tight polyester pants. I'm like a five-pound sausage in a four-pound
casing. And those platforms - the costume designer asked me how high
I wanted the platforms to go and I said, "As high as you want,
You play a DJ who sings. When does Monty have time to spin records
in the 2001 Odyssey disco?
Whenever the director tells me to! I've a lot of time behind the
DJ booth. I put on a record, come down and sing, then go back up.
Monty is very much a pig. My favorite description of him in the show
is the "snatch-hound
of Bay Ridge." Isn't that attractive? Monty is just sleaze personified.
You're 6'1" tall. Did you ever think
you would get to play Darius in Jeffrey?
I almost didn't go to the Jeffrey audition because in the script
he's an innocent, cute, blond chorus boy. Look at me - I am a
big guy. But I went and they saw that I could play the character.
Why are so many people fascinated by the music and exaggerated
clothing styles of the 70s?
The generation growing up remembers their parents or the people that
they looked up to wearing all of that ugly clothing. And now they're
old enough, they're adults and they want to emulate that. [Laughs]
I'm going to be really scared when the 80s come back in style. - Jay