Tomorrow will mark the final performance of Batz at 11:30pm in Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan). As noted by the release announcing the performances (Batz’s first 2012 performance was last Friday, June 13, at Joe’s Pub): “Batz takes the premise of Elevator Repair Service’s theatrical event Gatz and substitutes classic Batman stories for The Great Gatsby, resulting in a fast-paced, hilarious take on Batman, Robin, and their Rogues Gallery that celebrates the imaginative, social and transformative power of comics…Created, written and directed by downtown comedy and theater veterans Josh Mertz and Erik Bowie, Batz features an all-star cast of indie theater stalwarts and up-and-comers, including Lynn Berg, Melissa Delancey, Kathleen Foster, Matthew Foster, Matt Gray, Bob Laine, Dan Maccarone, Josh Mertz, and Harrison Unger.” To find out more about the project, Josh Mertz was kind enough to do an email interview. Interested in seeing the show? As noted in the release: “Tickets ($15) can be purchased online at joespub.com, where customers are able to select their seat from an interactive seat map when purchasing, by phone at 212-967-7555, or in person at The Public Theater Box Office (1 PM to 6 PM) located at 425 Lafayette Street, NYC.” my thanks to Mertz for his time. [Please note the above video clip is from the Summer 2011 Comic Book Theater Festival]
Tim O’Shea: For the uninformed like myself, what is Gatz (which served as the inspiration for Batz)?
Josh Mertz: Gatz is a show by NY Theater Company Elevator Repair Service, in which an office worker finds a copy of the The Great Gatsby and begins reading it aloud. His co-workers join him in acting out the characters from the novel, and every word of it is read over the course of a 6-hour theatrical experience. It’s one of the most inventive and engrossing things I’ve ever seen onstage, and has played two sold-out runs at the Public. It’s both an intense exploration of a great American novel and a metaphor for the experience getting lost in a book.