Batman Returns Returns is what it sounds like: a rock musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s second Batman film (which is also THE BEST BATMAN MOVIE. There! I said it!). This version—adapted by playwright and director Megan Tabaque—was Museum of Human Achievement (MoHA)’s holiday show in Austin, Texas last year and was so well received that Revolution Hall reached out to Zac Traeger (MoHA’s Director) about restaging it for Portlanders.
A couple members of the central cast remain the same. Chaotic, charismatic frontwoman Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit) takes on the cape and cowl once more as a “sulky” Batman who, according to Traeger, “epitomizes all of Batman’s the worst qualities.” The unforgettable Sean Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar!) reprises his place at the play’s emotional center—Penguin.
But when it came to casting the other roles, MoHA took a very local approach. The Portland version of Batman Returns Returns will include Toody Cole (Dead Moon/Pierced Arrows) as Alfred, Holland Andrews (Like a Villain) as Catwoman, And And And’s Bim Ditson as Gotham City’s mayor (Ditson ran for mayor of Portland in 2015), and Max Shreck played by Sallie Ford (Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside). A TWIST: the role of Shreck/Shrek calls for Ford to actually play a combination of Catwoman’s business mogul boss and Shrek from the eponymous animated film. The score for Batman Returns Returns is a mix of covers (the play opens with a cover of “Backstreet’s Back” called “Batman’s Back”) and original music, based on whoever’s playing the roles. So maybe you want to check that list above one more time because this sounds legitimately incredible.