In the years before the European discovery of Australia, America is where the outcasts, the nutballs and the whackjobs were shuffled by the powers that be (those Pilgrims weren't all buckles and hats, you know they were freaks). You'd think this would make us sympathetic to the plight of the loony, but it doesn't. Instead of accepting the different or the warped, we exalt the perfect and the flawless. We bypassed the turkey as our national symbol and chose the noble bald eagle, but if we were honest with ourselves, we would have gone with the turkey.
But we can embrace a new national symbol: the Bat Boy. Born into poverty in West Virginia and captured by scientists, the mutant bat-human hybrid with the heart of gold is known to bite strangers, and he is prone to escaping at inopportune moments, but goddammit, Bat Boy is the new American Dream! He rooted out terrorists in Afghanistan, he helped capture Saddam Hussein, and he taught us all to accept those flaws that make us...us. Join in the love when New Line Theatre presents the musical hagiography of our (should-be) patron saint, Bat Boy, the Musical, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday (February 23 through March 18; 314-534-1111 or www.newlinetheatre.com; tickets are $10 to $15) at the Art Loft Theatre (1529 Washington Avenue). His saliva may transmit rabies, but his songs transmit patriotism and love. God bless you, Bat Boy.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 23. Continues through March 18