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Neil Patrick Harris lends his voice to 'Batman' musical*

July 20, 2009 |  7:25 am

Nph Our colleagues reporting about Comic-Con in San Diego have alerted Culture Monster to a tantalizing piece of news, to which we can only reply: Holy musical, Batman!

On Friday, the producers of Cartoon Network's “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” series will unveil a new musical episode, featuring the vocal talent of Tony and Emmy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris. “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” will premiere to fans at the international gathering of all things comic-book this week before airing when the series returns in the fall.

Harris is providing the voice of the villain, who is named the Music Meister. Apparently, one of the series' producers, James Tucker, had seen Harris at the Ahmanson Theatre in a production of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" and was suitably impressed.

In the episode, Batman, along with his fellow heroes, finds himself powerless to resist the voice of the Music Meister, who is planning to control the world. There will be five songs that occupy 18 of the show’s 22 minutes. The episode also includes a love-story subplot that may ring a bell with some DC comics fans.

Writing the show was not easy, since the producers wanted to remain true to the conventions of a theatrical musical, in which the songs move the plot forward. Among the templates that the series' composers used for inspiration were the songs of Sondheim and Frank Loesser. 

We'll have to wait until Friday for news of how the finished product turned out. In the meantime, Lolita Ritmanis, one of the series' composers, has provided a hint at future plans for NPH and his villain character: “I have an idea that maybe he could return on Broadway.”

Read the entire story at the Hero Complex blog.

-- David Ng

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris. Credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

* A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Harris had appeared at the Ahmanson in "Assassins." The correct production is "Sweeney Todd."

Related stories:

Julie Taymor reveals more about 'Spider-Man' musical

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