“Batt” You Know His Face: Bryan Batt Makes San Francisco Debut by Kevin M. Thomas


While he’s enjoyed a rewarding and exciting career in the arts, many don’t know the name Bryan Batt. But, while he’s a Broadway and stage veteran, thanks to television he is now very recognizable due to his role on TV’s “Mad Men.”

Mad Men

Mad Men

Batt is coming to San Francisco, making his Bay Area theatrical debut, in his concert entitled “Batt on a Hot Tin Roof,” playing at the exciting Cabaret Society starting Aug. 15.

“Television has such power,” Batt says, saying how many people now know his face due to “Mad Men.”  Before that, filmgoers remember him from the independent and well received film “Jeffrey,” which he says “even Brooke Shields knew who I was after that.”

Batt’s career is much like that of his “Jeffrey” character which he originated first off-Broadway before it came a 1995 film. His “Jeffrey” character is a Broadway hoofer in many stage shows including “Cats.”

Batt also sang and danced his way through “La Cage aux Folles,” “Sunset Blvd.,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” In seeing Batt in a show, you would definitely think he’s a true New Yorker. He’s got the New York accent and attitude. But in speaking with him in real life, he seems a bit more mellow with a New Orleans accent sneaking into the conversation as he’s actual from Louisiana. “When I am home and when I’m tired, the New Orleans accent does come out,” he says.

Patrick Stewart & Batt in "Jeffrey"

Patrick Steward & Batt in “Jeffrey”

Between singing, dancing and acting gigs, Batt has become an accomplished writer, including  a “mom-oir” about his life with his mother entitled, “She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother.” He’s also completed another book that showcases his design talents as well called “Big, Easy Style,” which is available at his Hazelnut shop in the Big Easy (www.hazelnutneworleans.com).

Regarding his San Francisco debut, Batt is no stranger to the City by the Bay, having visited here and having friends in the area. “I really love the architecture, the hills and the people,” he says. “It’s just gorgeous and unique.”

While he has an impressive resume, he didn’t really start doing concerts until he was asked to do a benefit for Hurricane Katrina. “Before that I would be in other benefits where you did one song here and there,” he said, “but the show I am doing now across the country is my first full scale concert.” Batt says the show is a “mixed bag of nuts” for song selection with some contemporary artists material mixed in with some Cole Porter, Jerry Herman and even Billy Joel.

“Batt on a Hot Tin Roof” plays at the Society Cabaret Aug. 15-17 at 8pm with a an Aug. 17 4pm matinee.  The Cabaret is located inside the Hotel Rex at 562 Sutter Street in San Francisco. Full full details and tickets, go to www.societycabaret.com. Learn more about Batt, at www.bryanbatt.com.