PREVIEW WEEK 3: THE CRITICS COMETH

Greetings Good Toxaholics,

Well, today starts the final week of my blog, “THE CREATION OF THE TOXIC AVENGER,” proving that all great good mildly amusing things must come to an end. Though,of course, this blog will live on for many years as high-level academic scholars use it to study, uh, uh, uh — important theatrical stuff.

But tune in everyday from now until OPENING NIGHT, APRIL 6TH for complete FINAL WEEK OF PREVIEW blogging.

Today, Tuesday, is our day off (yay!) and David and I relaxed by doing an interview on Playbill Radio, which will be available as a podcast starting next week (I think) on Playbill.com (I think.) I should know this information but it seems to be nowhere in my brain.

Anyhoo, my favorite part of the interview was when David started to sing Toxie & Sarah’s big love duet, “Hot Toxic Love,” and he completely forgot the words. Ha! He sang the first line perfectly, then he mumbled something for the second line, then for the third line he pretty much started singing “la la la,” unitl he finally stopped and wondered, “What the heck are the lyrics?” though he used much more colorful language than that. (important note to self: discourage David from reading today’s blog entry.) Anyway, after being reminded of THE LYRICS HE WROTE, he sang a great acoustic version of the song. And I think you can maybe hear it sometime soon on maybe Playbill.com! And I’m sure they’ll edit out the-composer-doesn’t-know-his-own-lyrics part, but it’d be REALLY FUNNY if they didn’t.

So tomorrow (Wednesday) starts our final week of previews, which is great because the show is rockin’ and ready to officially open (and I’m ready to take a long-needed nap.) Now, at each performance this week, there will be several critics in the audience. And just to set the record straight — I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ALL CRITICS. And to set the record even straighter –I WANT THEM ALL TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE ME. Yes, I’ll admit it. And you know how most playwrights claim they never read reviews? Not me, boy. Nope. I read’em. Then I reread’em. Then I obsess over every adjective. If they say something nice, I am elated and I overtip cabdrivers and Chinese food delivery men. And if they don’t say something nice, I dive into a depression that would make Zelda Fitzgerald look happy-go-lucky in comparison.

But I do hope that the critics say exactly what they feel about the show, for I would never, ever stoop so low as to reveal that I have a terrible playwright disease and this will probably be my last show. I would never make that fact known to anyone (actually, this is merely a silly rumor that I started read on the internet.) No, I want the critical community to love my work purely based on artistic merit alone (and really, when one is talking “art,” how can one deny “The Toxic Avenger?” It’s the show Michelangelo would’ve written if he had written shows and wasn’t brilliant.)

So if any of you critics who I ABSOLUTELY LOVE happen to be reading this, I ask that you only say nice things about the show if you enjoy it,and not for any other reason. After all, though most other playwrights would stoop really low to become a critical darling (I’m talking you, Moliere!) — I would NEVER stoop so low as to — oh, I don’t know — show you a picture of my adorable, easily depressed puppy who goes into a funk whenever I go into a funk —


No, I am bigger than that. Also, to prove that I am, indeed, “bigger than that,” I am not going to list THE TEN MOST DEGRADING THINGS I WILL DO TO GET A GOOD REVIEW (though seven of them are regularly performed on Cinemax Late Night. Check your local listings.)

Now I know what you’re silently asking me — “But Joe, what the hell are you nervous about? I mean, don’t you have faith in the show?! The actors?! Your writing partner even though he forgets the words to his own song?!”

Well, of course I do, Toxaholics, of course I do. Damn it, now you’ve got me misting up a bit. Okay, I’m better. And let me point out that normally, at this point I AM A COMPLETE NERVOUS WRECK — I can’t sleep, I lose the ability to fom complete sentences, I question my life choices, I start watching “Charles in Charge” reruns and find them compelling. But this time, I am much saner than I usual am on Critics Eve. So I guess that maybe, just maybe, I do have faith that it will all work out in the end. Thanks, Toxaholics, I feel better!

Oh by the way, Nancy Opel’s dog, Momo, also gets depressed if she gets a bad review. I’m just sayin —

Nervously but not excessively nervously and maybe even surprisingly calmly yours,
Joe