Lead with that. Then, when someone asks how on earth music composed by Jim Steinman and made famous by Meat Loaf could possibly be shoe-horned into a musical, you can inform them that the album Bat Out Of Hell was originally developed from a musical – a futuristic, rock version of Peter Pan (okay, it sounds strange but it just kind of works).
And the soundtrack fits perfectly into a musical, where epic staging and compelling acting can be added into the mix to create a hugely impactful performance. Each song reverberates long after it has finished – in fact, even after the whole show has ended, the songs will be in your head for weeks.
For me, Bat Out of Hell is the perfect example of a musical that is interesting and different, gripping its audience with music that is lyrically substantial and impossible to resist. A lot of people see musical theatre as decidedly “not cool”, but I'm convinced that, when I went to see Bat Out Of Hell, everyone in the London Coliseum wanted to have the presence and power of those on stage.
It certainly says something that 40 years after Bat Out Of Hell was released as an album, the musical is filling the Coliseum night after night. Rock musicals are not just different and exciting; they're timeless, because the things that make them great are, in themselves, timeless. The songs are masterpieces (marathons, in some cases), the backdrop and atmospheric is epic, and the impact is high.
So, how to convince somebody that not all musicals are the same? Take them to see Bat Out Of Hell.
(Then spend a few weeks obsessing over the album with them and ranting about how awesome the show was.)
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