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Bat Boy: The Musical 

When: Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Nov. 1 2008
Price: $15-$20

The late Weekly World News supermarket tabloid was always chock full of space alien conspiracies, Satan sightings, and implausible freaks of nature, but probably the most memorable of its journalistic fabrications was the continuing saga of Bat Boy, born half boy, half bat, who periodically was implicated in maulings, car chases, and even the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election. The chiropteran juvenile delinquent so captured the country's imagination that he even inspired the off-Broadway and West End hit Bat Boy: The Musical by songwriter Laurence O'Keefe and scriptersKeythe Farley and Brian Flemming, which debuted at Tim Robbins' Actors Gang Theatre on Halloween 1997. Now Altarena Playhouse (1409 High St., Alameda) sinks its teeth into the hilarious and heart-draining tale of fearful townsfolk and a misfit boy who just needs a little understanding -- and a whole lot of blood. September 26 through October 18. or 510-523-1553.

— Sam Hurwitt


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