By Noah Michelson
This Friday the newest Batman
animated series, The Brave and the Bold, premieres its newest episode, "Mayhem of the
Music Meister," a musical starring Neil Patrick Harris. The Music
Meister (a new villain created for this episode) is a enemy who creates chaos
using his voice (much like Ashlee Simpson), and when he hits a certain note he
hypnotizes others into doing his bidding. Like the cast of Rent, he is almost constantly singing, and in this
particular episode he hijacks a communication satellite and casts the world
under his musical spell. With us devoting a post to NPH as Peter Parker, and
his recent starring role as Dr. Horrible, it looks as if The Music Meister is
just another addition to Neil Patrick's geektastic resume, and hopefully it
will not the be the last time we witness the Music Meister's range.
Surprisingly "Mayhem of the Music Meister" is not the first time Batman has dipped his batarang into the world of Broadway. In
the late-nineties, after Disney's success with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Warner Bros began planning a musical version of the
Caped Crusader. Jim Steinman, famous for his Bat Out of Hell series with Meat Loaf and the Bonnie Tyler
ballad "Total Eclipse of the Heart," was tapped to write the music and
lyrics, while everyone from Stephen Daldry to Tim Burton was rumored to
direct. Though it never made it past the planning stages, Steinman had already
written and recorded some of the songs in demo form for the show, which he
later released on his website.
Judging from the demos, Dark Knight of the Soul, as it has been dubbed by its cult of fans, is
exactly what one would think a Jim Steinman-Batman musical would sound like -- Bat
Out of Hell, but instead of Meat Loaf, it's
Batman singing while throwing the punches. With Catwoman and Batman singing tender duets and Joker's song "Wonderful Toys" where he rhymes the
title with the line "How did Abercrombie & Fitch come up with
all those boys?" it seems that Dark Knight of the Soul would be far gayer than the upcoming Spider-Man
musical, Turn off the Dark.
Hopefully the Batman musical will hit the stage in some form one day. If only it could include the true musical majesty we've been waiting for, a love
duet between Batman and Robin.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold airs tonight at 7:30 ET on Cartoon Network.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
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