#LiveatFive with Andrew Polec of BAT OUT OF HELL

(upbeat music) – Hello everybody. Welcome to’s LIVE at FIVE. It is Wednesday, August 14th,
and I am Ryan Lee Gilbert. – It’s matinee day. – It’s matinee day. – I’m Paul Wontorek. – And we are joined here in the studio as always by the wonderful
Caitlin Moynihan. – Hello! – [Paul] Good adjective. Thank you.
– Thank you. – Who’s our guest today? – A bat right out of hell, my friends, Andrew Polec is here
with us this afternoon. Very excited to chat with him. He is involved in the show since he was just a child.
– Singing his face-off. – Yes, absolutely. – Your face-off kind of show, right? – It absolutely is. We’re really excited to chat with him, but first let’s talk
about today’s top five. (upbeat retro music) – This group is going from
the road back to Broadway. – [Paul] So, the national
tour of “Dear Evan Hansen” has been on the road. – [Ryan] It has, about over a year. – [Caitlin] Almost a year. – Making audiences cry
from coast-to-coast. Bawl their eyes.
– And, now, some of the stars of
the tour will be joining the Broadway Company, so let’s see. Some really good people, too. Christiane Noll who has
been playing Cynthia on the road, the mom. And Jessica Phillips playing
the other mom, Heidi. They will be joining
the Broadway Production on October 22nd, along
with Jared Goldsmith who plays Jared Kleinman on the road. That’s a good catch for his name. I’m sure, and a talent. – He is super talented as well. – And Phoebe Koyabe as Alana Beck. They’re all joining the Broadway Company. They’ll be replacing current cast members, Ann Sanders, Sky Lakota-Lynch,
Samantha Williams. They’re all playing
their final performance on October 20th, and Lisa Brescia. So, Jessica Phillips replaces the fantastic Lisa Brescia, who is leaving November 24th. And then Jessica will join on November 26. Fun fact, Jessica previously
played a mom dealing with stuff when she covered the
role in “Next to Normal.” Diana in “Next to Normal,” remember? – Yes, of course, oh my goodness. Fun fact.
– It’ll be great. – Just throwing it out there. (Ryan laughing) – This Olivier-winning
actress is returning to the stage at the West End. – We are talking about Patricia Hodge, who won her Olivier in 2000 for “Money” at the National Theater. She is joining “A Day in
the Death of Joe Egg,” Peter Nichols’s 1967 play. It’ll be performing at the Trafalgar Studios on the West End. Here’s what we know. She is, of course, best
known for playing Penny on the television series Miranda. And she joins a company
that already includes Toby Stephens and Claire
Skinner in the show. It’ll be directed by Simon Evans. It follows a couple who
have been struggling with caring for their 10-year-old daughter who has learning disabilities, and they nickname her Joe Eg. And they lose themselves in fantasy games and dark humor to help her cope with their struggle of
their daily reality. So, very deep. – It says here that Toby
Stephens and Claire Skinner were in a TV show called
Perfect Strangers, together. – Yes, but not– Not Balki in Cousin Larry.
– The Perfect Strangers, Balki. – Now, which I loved. Thank you.
– Yes, I loved that show. – You probably didn’t bring it up. You didn’t wanna confuse people. – I didn’t wanna confuse anyone, if you were a real
Perfect Strangers, Stan, or anything like that. The show will begin
previews on the West End on September 21st, and it
will open on October 2nd. – And this lady will always be improving. – [Paul] So, that’s cute. – [Caitlin] Thank you. – Broadway’s been without Beth
Leavel for three days now. Too long.
– It’s been horrible. Horrible! Three days since “The Prom” closed. But now we found out something
that, of course, she’s doing. We talked about before this. Reading of this new
play by Matthew Lombardo called “Conversations with Mother.” And, now, she will do a new cabaret act at Feinstein’s/54 Below. It’s called 13 Shows and Counting. It’s not really hard to figure
out what that title means. You’ve been in 13 Broadway shows. And, unfortunately, we do have to wait a little while for this. This is happening in January. – Yes. – January 14th to the 20th, 2020. But it’s a nice week-long
run, so book your tickets and figure out what you’re gonna order. You have a lot of time. Anyway, it’s a celebration
of her amazing career. We don’t have to say anything else. She, of course, was Tony-nominated for playing Dee Dee Allen in “The Prom”. And she previously won a Tony Award for playing the drowsy chaperone
in the “Drowsy Chaperone”. It was the drunk lady
who sang the break song. Anyway, she’s fantastic, and we will definitely– Can’t wait.
– Be there. – Mm-hmm. Casting has been announced
for Joe Iconis’s next project. – The new musical from
Joe Iconis is called “Love in Hate Nation.” And he has written the music, the lyrics, and the book for this. It will make its world premiere at Red Bank, New Jersey’s
Two River Theater this fall. – That where “Be More Chill” started. – That is where “Be More
Chill” started, yes. And speaking of, the two cast members that are leading the
show are Lauren Marcus, who was just in “Be
More Chill,” of course. She will be playing Miss Asp. And Ryan Vona of, Fresh Face, will be playing the Guy, that’s his name. – Once a fresh face, always a fresh face. Absolutely.
– Forever fresh. (Ryan laughing) – Also, joining the
cast are Sydney Farley, Amina Faye, Jasmine Forsberg, Kelly McIntyre, Lena Skeele, Emerson Smith, and Tatiana Wechsler are
also joining the cast. – When is this? – This is happening beginning previews November 9th, and it will open on November 15th. It is described as a rock romance that takes place in 1960s, a juvenile detention hall, and uses classic bad girl movies, I don’t quite know what that means, as inspiration for the
story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. What’s a bad girl movie? – Movies like, there are all these movies about bad girls in prison and kind of sexy, maybe, some lesbian undertones, sometimes. The jail warden and all of that. – All right, directed by
John Simpkins, I can’t wait. – Yes, and this Tony winner is getting a very special honor. – The American Civil
Liberties Union announced that Celia Keenan-Bolger, who, of course, just won a
Tony Award not that long ago, for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Tony-winning producers,
Level Forward, they’re honored at the 17th annual Broadway
Stands Up for Freedom Concert. This is happening at Town Hall, October 28th at 7:30. Tony-winner Rachel Chavkin
will direct the special evening which is called My Body, My Business. And by the way, there’s a great song from Cy Coleman’s The Life you might wanna include in
that show, Rachel Chavkin, called My Body, check it out. (Ryan laughing) – What good advice,
check out my. (laughing) – I’m just helping out. No, absolutely, I love it.
– Not that Rachel Chavkin needs my advice. But it will celebrate
the power and courage of people fighting for
the reproductive rights and bodily integrity of
women and trans people. The event will feature performances and appearances from Broadway performers. And just a great opportunity to celebrate Celia Keenan-Bolger, which we like doing whenever
we have the chance to do that. – Absolutely, yes, absolutely. – It happens every night at
the Shubert Theatre as well. – Yes, and we’ll do it
wherever we can get it. – What else is on the site? – What else is on the site? – I don’t know, go look. – Go look, there’s lots of things on the site, yeah.
– There’s news and stuff. – Yeah, we do all sorts of
things here at Paul, thank you so much. – Let’s get to today’s guest, ’cause he has great hair. – Absolutely, yes. Caitlin, would you tell us about today’s very special guest. – Gladly. Yes, and you probably can hear with us in the studio today. He is currently starring
in “Bat Out of Hell” at New York City Center. He has been with “Bat Out of Hell” for an extremely long time. And Ryan Lee Gilbert will
talk to him all about that. He also was in “The Fantasticks”, off-Broadway, but he’s been busy playing Strat in “Bat Out of Hell”
for quite some time now. But, now, the musical is
here in New York City. And we’re super excited about it. Be sure to follow Andrew on social media, at @AndrewPolec, and leave
all of your questions in the comments below. Please welcome Andrew and Ryan! – [Ryan] Andrew in the studio! – Oh wow, what a studio applause. – Thank you so much for coming by. You, sir, we’ve been hearing you’re somebody we’ve been hearing about for a long time. Right.
– Really? – Well, yeah, of course, you’ve been involved
with “Bat Out of Hell,” since, what, you said 2015. You were in the original sort of workshop. – Workshop, yeah. – Absolutely. And it was a huge hit over in Britain. It won awards, what,
you sold out audiences. So, yeah, there has been. People have been wanting
this to come over here for a little while. It’s here, you’re starring in it. People wanted you to come with it. And it’s all happening, so tell me how does it feel to be performing this show that must mean so much to you here in New York City? – Gosh, it’s just like a dream come true. I mean, it’s wild, wildly amazing, because I guess, I don’t know. I came into this really, really ignorant. I was like, oh yeah, you do a workshop, and then, of course, we’re
gonna find a theater right away. And everything’s gonna
become roses or daises or whatever that phrase is. (Ryan and Caitlin laughing) And you do that three-week workshop. All the producers are
like, yeah, thumbs up. This is great. And then it’s like radio silence. And you go, oh geez, did I do something. Oh geez, I gotta rethink,
like what did I do wrong? Why isn’t anything moving forward? And I think, also, I was naive to believe that they would be like, oh yeah, this guy, a complete nobody, just fresh talent. – [Ryan] We’re holding on to him. – Let’s hold on to him. We’re not gonna get some major rock star to do this lead part. So, at that point, I was like, oh geez, I better go find another job. So, at that time, I went and tried out at “The Fantasticks” and
got the role of Matt. And then was doing that for 10 months, which was wonderful, and it
was such a 180 degree turn of a character.
– Yeah, no kidding. – It was conservative kid who was in love, and then there’s liberal, crazy revolutionist who’s also in love, so I don’t know. Maybe, that’s the type. The type of vibe.
– Yeah, the type. (Ryan laughing) – So, tell us, for people that are completely unfamiliar
with Bat Out of Hell. Tell us, so of course,
Jim Steinman has taken the trilogy of Meat Loaf albums, sort of. But there’s this whole
original story involved. Tell us a little bit briefly about what “Bat Out of Hell” is. – I mean, “Bat Out of Hell”
is an absolutely crazy, operatic, rock-and-roll love story. And it’s almost as if Peter Pan, that story, and Romeo and Juliet got together, and had this rock-and-roll love child, and that’s what’s been
birthed onto this stage. But I mean, it’s a beautiful birth. – [Ryan] It’s gorgeous. – I think all births are beautiful. (Ryan laughing) But Jim Steinman has had this idea for 40-plus years. – [Ryan] Right, exactly. – He wanted this to be a musical. And, apparently, he sent the story with all the music to
the J.M. Barrie Estate, ’cause J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan. But he was obviously deceased by then. And the laureate at the J.M. Barrie Estate looked at the script and was
like, man, I really love it, but you lost me at this part where there are nuns
flying on motorcycles. And I just don’t know if can give you guys the rights to use this story for your, I don’t know, enjoyment. So, I mean, it kind of went, I don’t know. – [Ryan] So, it’s had some
different machinations. – Yeah, it kind of went
the way of the dinosaurs, and then all of the sudden, Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf are like, well, we might as well
just make these songs into an album, and then that became another arduous process of going to every single record label and getting rejected all the time until– – [Ryan] It’s been a labor of love. – Yeah, it’s been an
absolute labor of love for their whole lives. So, to see it culminate
finally in this version is just it’s absolutely amazing. And I think Jim Steinman
is thrilled beyond belief. Meatloaf is thrilled. He came to see the show and he loved every bit of it so much, that he was like, man, could he’s fun to see at the Wednesday
matinee, and he’s like, man, could I see it again in the evening? And they’re like, no, no, Meat. You have a schedule.
– You can see it whenever. (Ryan laughing) – You can see it anytime. I mean, you’re Mr. Loaf, but, of course, when you call him that, he’s like, no, no, just call me Meat. – So, he prefers to just go by Meat. – He does. – Okay, well, you respect a man’s choices. Yeah, absolutely. Speaking of Mr. Meatloaf, when did you first when did young Andrew
first discover Meat Loaf and the music of Meat Loaf? – Oh man, young Andrew
first discovered the music of Meatloaf after a series
of tumultuous events. Really?
– Yeah, ’cause I was a sports kid. I was a lacrosse player.
– You played lacrosse. – Yeah, why, you know me. – [Ryan] A little bit. (laughing) I did my research, yeah. – And I was like, well,
I’ll just play lacrosse, and have, I don’t know, a life where you just hopefully
get a scholarship. But I don’t know if it’s
professional lacrosse. I mean, that’s tough to break into, but yeah, yeah. But I was going to lacrosse
camps during the summer and stuff like that. And that all changed one summer when I was riding a bicycle,
kind of like the song Bat Out of Hell, going down a hill really, really fast, and
then all of the sudden just seeing a car at the
end of the blind turn, and, I don’t know, hitting the brakes. Only the front brake worked, and I just flew off the
bicycle and blacked out. And then after being in the
head trauma unit for five days, the doctor said, “Can you get up and walk “in a straight line?” And I tried to, and I couldn’t. And they said, “You
can’t do contact sports.” And I went, oh what do I do with all this energy that I have? So, around that time, my parents, seeing that I was down, they started to, I don’t know, push me into other areas of interest. And, my dad, he played me Paradise by the Dashboard Light. And I just went, oh my gosh!
– That’s all it takes. – What is this? What is this, yeah, that’s all it takes. That’s the dose of medicine that’ll carry you through all the way to doing this kind of musical. – How interesting, though, and, now, to come full circle with this, how Meatloaf was there for you. – Yeah, he was there for me. And then meeting him the first time. – Please. – They, I don’t know. They warned me that he’s a really, really cool guy. And he’s either gonna like you right away, or, maybe, he won’t. And I was like, oh jeez,
and getting really nervous. And I have no idea whether
this is true or not, but they put that in my head. And I was like, I need
to absolutely make sure that he likes me. (Ryan laughing) What, I got into a limo with him. It was him and his bodyguard
and his personal assistant, and he had a cane like
the godfather of rock. And you (laughing) you step into the car and
it immediately feels like, if you say something
wrong, they’re gonna, what? Put cinder blocks on your shoes and– – [Ryan] And toss you into the Hudson. – Toss you into the Hudson. (Ryan laughing) So, I don’t know. – Poor Meatloaf is gonna be like, what did he say about–
– No, no, clearly, this is just my imagination, but. – Oh, that’s fantastic. – So, of course, as soon as
I got into the car with him, I was like, you are such a big inspiration in my life, you’re my rock-and-roll hero. You’re a legend. And he kind of just he put up his hand, and as
if to just calm me down, and stop me from talking. And he’s like, I’m just
a regular, ordinary guy. I’m just an everyday guy, like everyone else who just
loves performing these songs, and giving them as gifts to the audience. And I just from hearing that come to him, or come from him, because having seen him, what, on YouTube at every
concert he’s ever done, and just listening to him all my life, you just kind of go, wow, you’re even cooler than I thought! – The true measure of an artist. Maybe, that’s just really a man of the people, Meatloaf. – A man of the people, yeah. Hashtag that! – (laughing) That’s right. There was something I was reading an interview you had given, where you had said something like, you believe that you can
be an athlete of art. And I just thought that
that was such a fascinating I hadn’t heard it quite
phrased that way before. What do you mean by that, being an athlete of art? – Oh geez, I mean, what’s so crazy about this industry, and, maybe, I don’t know. Maybe, it’s not focused on as much as it should be. But you have people in
every single company on every single stage in this city, and really in the world, who
are working their tuchuses off. And really, really going for it, and really dancing and singing, and, basically, pouring
their hearts out on stage with their sweat, with their blood, with their tears, filling their whole body with
the passion of the stories that they wanna tell. And a lot of people, they
have to go to physios during performances. They have to get taken care of. And, I mean, you look at Meat Loaf, and he is a vocal olympian. He is the one who sang
all of these songs first that are in this musical. And I told him that he landed on the moon. And he was like, no, no. I landed on Pluto first, and you guys are just following in my footsteps. (Ryan laughing) And essentially, you’re going
out there like an athlete to sing these Jim Steinman songs that should probably,
technically be just impossible, because they’re just Wagnerian rock songs that just go and go. And you feel like, oh yeah, three minutes. I think we’re just about finished. And they’re like, no, no, no, you have about eight
minutes left of this song. Go for it! Put on your efforts to the wall, and push that wall over, and just keep running and keep going. So, I think what’s so
beautiful about this cast is I say that everyone is basically like a major league baseball
player, with the voice. I mean, I don’t know if
they actually play baseball, but they are (Ryan laughing) – [Ryan] Who knows? – [Caitlin] They might. (chuckling) – But they are hitting
home runs out of the park with these songs every single night. And–
– It’s a rock show, yeah. – And even more than one home run. And it’s almost like
we’re passing the baton to ourself each time, and
just running another lap with songs like Bat Out of Hell, or Paradise by the Dashboard Light, or Heaven Can Wait, or, I mean, the monster right at the end, I Would Do Anything for
Love, But I Won’t Do That. – Right, yeah, no, it’s phenomenal. And so, tell me also a little
bit about the look here. Paul, you got compliments on the hair. Has this always been Andrew Polec, or is this Strat? Where is this coming from? Take us through.
– Yeah, you think? – [Ryan] Yeah, take us through. – You really wanna know the whole– I do, yeah.
– Oh geez. – [Ryan] Absolutely. – I mean, when you’ve lived with a character for, I don’t know, a while. Almost five years.
– Yeah, almost five years. You seem to, I don’t know, start to mix together, because when I was doing
Matt in “The Fantasticks,” it was really short and
combed down and very– Conservative.
– Conservative, yeah. And I guess one thing leads to another, and all of the sudden they
put all of these hair products in front of you, and you’re like, oh man, I kind of wanna use all of them and see what happens. (Ryan laughing) – [Ryan] It’s exquisite. – Yeah, I don’t know. And then a lot of love
and magic goes into it. And then all of the sudden, you’re like, well, I can’t
live without this look now. – [Ryan] Right, it’s
your signature look, now. – I guess it is the
signature look for now. But I don’t know. I know at times, people are just like, no, you should just
shave all your hair off and be that kind of rock
and roller on stage. And I was like, what, no, I– – My baby! (Caitlin laughing) No, I think it works. Also, we’ve been very amused. Caitlin will mention it again at the end. But you’re on Twitter,
and you’re on Instagram. And we just want your Instagram story. You have a bit going on, Broadway Poetry. – Yeah, I do Broadway Poetry Time. – [Caitlin] It’s so funny. – If you haven’t watched it yet, you should absolutely check it out. – But I think it expires by
like seven tonight or something. – You have, get on it. – [Caitlin] You have two hours. – Right, and I wanna open up to take some questions from the
people that are watching for you right now. What would they like to know? – We got a whole lot
of questions, actually. So, Aaron wants to know, do you have a favorite classic rock song that you would want to
add a musical twist to? – Oh, interesting. – That’s a fascinating tale! (Caitlin and Ryan laughing) – Geez. That really opens it up.
– What a question. – Geez, what is it, classic rock? – [Caitlin] Yeah, rock, you can interpret it however you want. – Geez, okay, well, I
would have two answers. One would be sorry, if, maybe, I have more than that. – [Ryan] No, this is your LIVE at FIVE. – [Caitlin] You can do
whatever you want, it’s fine. – Okay, then. (Caitlin and Ryan laughing) Geez, I love another album from the ’70s that I really, really love is the Yes, Roundabout album. And I just feel like that would be such a I don’t know. Take some things and experience a musical with things flying in
the air or something, as they’re going on a
roundabout on a highway. But (Ryan laughing) I, also I absolutely love the album by Say Anything Is a Real Boy. And that apparently was
supposed to be a whole musical. And I feel like that would be amazing to be seeing that on the
stage or even doing that. – Certainly. When you were growing
up, who were your idols? Did you idolize rockstars, or performers? – Gosh, I idolized a lot
of 1970s rock groups, because those are the groups
that my dad introduced me to. I mean, even before that he
introduced me to The Doors. He introduced me to Jethro Tull. He introduced me to Yes. He introduced me to, what,
Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. And I just fell in love with that stuff. And then I don’t know. I don’t know if this group
will probably love me for much seeing them. But I loved the Mars Volta. I thought they were
just the coolest group. But there was nobody
else at that time doing that progressive rock, feel, in, what, the early 2000s. So, you kind of just have to keep delving back into the 1970s. – Your dad gave you a
really nice rock education. – Yeah, yeah, he really did. – And he’s a TV personality, right? – He is, yeah. – You’re a Bucks County native. – I’m a Bucks County native,
outside of Philadelphia. He was on Channel Six in Philadelphia. And, I don’t know, he would do he would do the strangest stories about stuff, I don’t
know, goats that faint when they get scared, they
stiffen up and fall over. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t know, he’d do– – [Ryan] The Showman Show! – Yeah, he’d do all the it did come from him and
it came from my mom, too. – That’s fantastic. – Okay, yes, next question. So, Elyse wants to know how do you keep the show fresh, since you’ve been doing it for so long? How do you keep it fresh?
– Oh my gosh. That’s such a good question. Thank you, Elyse. (Ryan laughing) I think what’s so amazing about this show is that the audiences who
come to see this show, and come see this rock
and roll passion at music, they breathe life into it
every single time we do it. We are pushing out, I would say, 100%. And they are pushing back like 150%, even when the first line is spoken I remember everything. You have an audience
just going into an uproar about that line. And you just turn around,
and you’re like, wow! If this is the passion, and
this is the ferocious energy that’s coming at us,
just at the beginning. – [Ryan] I gotta meet that. – Yeah, it can’t even wait to see where else this is gonna go. – It’s gonna destroy the set! – It is all about the
fans who love this show, because that’s what makes
this a live and breathing and sexual and fun and full of love. – Yeah, and you’ve also you’ve had some new
people join the company. And you have Lena Hall. You guys are over at New
York City Center now. Incredible!
– Who is just phenomenal. What’s it been like getting to know her, and work with her on the show? – Oh my gosh, talk about a person who uses the voice as a muscle. She has that so toned that that like bicep is the most beautiful thing in the world. And, I mean, she is just such
a sweet and caring person. And she’s really just amazing to know. And she’s just raised the
level of this whole show to like another rock and roll height. – [Ryan] Fantastic. – Cool, I think we can
do one more question. And so, Georgia wants to know what has been your favorite part about creating this character
and making it your own. Love from Ireland. – Oh, well, hi, Ireland. (Ryan and Caitlin laughing) That’s so sweet to send your love. I think the most amazing part of creating this Strat character is that I’ve been able to I research all of my favorite rock idols, whether it be Jim Morrison, or whether it be Iggy Pop, or whether it be Chuck
Berry, or Jimi Hendrix, or even someone as crazy
as Cedric Bixler-Zavala. I mean, you just you take all the things that you love. And you just get to
mash them all together, and blend them up into a blender. And then drink it before
every single show, ’cause I don’t know, I’ve got
these rock and roll posters. But Jim Morrison is front and center, because Jim Steinman loved Jim Morrison. And that’s a lot of what his
poetic verses are based upon are based upon the musings of The Doors, and what that they would talk about. And and also I’m taking
elements from Jim Steinman back when he did his musical at Amherst where everyone got fully naked and the police shut it down. – [Ryan] Right. (laughing) – I don’t know, it’s crazy,
but you get to incorporate all your favorite elements of everything, and just combine them into one character. And just see how that character just kind of takes flight every night. And just being able to connect with the people who see the show. And just spread the love and share and celebrate the human experience is just a dream come true. – It sounds like. And all of that is there
in your performance. You can see everything
you’re talking about. It is up there on that stage, so congratulations.
– Thank you so much. – Of course, make sure you go see “Bat Out of Hell,” the musical. It is playing at New
York City Center Stage. It’s opened until September 8th. – September 8th. – So, go see it, go check it out. Andrew, thank you so much for coming by. – Oh my gosh, thank you
so much for having me. – You’re welcome any time you would like. Oh wow!
– Caitlin. (Ryan laughing) – [Caitlin] (laughing) Shows up tomorrow. (laughing) – Here I am again. (Ryan laughing) – Yes, thank you guys so
much for tuning in, today. We are live at five every
single weekday here on Facebook. You can listen to us
where we get your podcast by searching for hashtag LIVE at FIVE, and hitting that subscribe button. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when we talk to Oscar
nominee Marsha Mason. (upbeat music)

3 thoughts on “ #LiveatFive with Andrew Polec of BAT OUT OF HELL

  1. Andrew Polec you are such a sweet talented and incredible person I absolutely adore Bat Out Of Hell. I also died when you mentioned Round About by Yes, one of my fav albums EVER!

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