So for this evening’s rockin’ Saturday night performance, my Mom & Dad drove in from New Jersey’s own Enchanted Active Adult Community (Exit 7A) to see a delightful show.

But as soon as we entered the New World Stages Theatrical Shrine, my mom disappeared! Where did she go, I wondered, somewhat concerned. But then I realized — Of course! The Merchandise Kiosk! And there she was, having wedged her way in front of a gaggle of teenage girls, all mesmerized by the glittering display of Toxic mugs and tee shirts and key chains!

This should not have surprised me, because one of the first questions a true Toxaholic asks me is, “Will there be merchandise to buy at you show?” I, of course, respond — “Who cares about the stupid merchandise! Aren’t you more excited about seeing the actual show?” The true Toxaholic, of course, states, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. But as any serious student of theatre knows, any show is only as good as the tee shirts it sells. So what you got?”

And they do have a point. I mean, can you imagine if you had one of the original souvenier tee shirts from the original Greek production of Oedipus Rex? That thing would be worth millions! Even if you accidently washed it with bleach once.

So here is a glimpse of the Toxic Merchandise stand that greets audience members as they enter and leave the theatre, and subliminally whispers — “why see a show unless you can wear the logo on your chest tomorrow…buy me!” I have to start with Toxaholic merchandise maven Matthew enthusiastically displaying the latest and greatest Toxic stuff —

And here is our dazzling display of tee shirts, mugs and key chains that Matthew sells to true theatregoers every night —

And here is a close up (and weird angle) on my fav Toxie tee — Totally Toxic.

And here is my mother taking a break from shopping at the merchandise center to pose with cardboard Toxie and my Dad —

All right, Joe, enough blatant marketing! How the hell did your parents like the show, you ask? I’m happy to report that they loved the show, except for the obscenity, violence and sexual content (meaning, they loved about 5 minutes of it.) Still, they loved it, and that’s what counts! My mother also brought me a large bag of M&M’s which I left backstage after the show for the cast and crew, who somehow managed to suck down the entire bag in about 3 minutes, proving that either A) performing this show is quite the workout that leaves everyone ravenous, or B) we’re not paying them enough to buy actual food. Hopefully, the answer is A).

By the way, my favorite part of tonight’s rockin’ great show was during the penultimate scene in which the entire town of Tromaville (all four of them) try to save the withering Toxie. Well tonight, someone from the audience shouted out, “Cmon, Toxie!” during this dramatic, hushed moment, causing the entire audience to laugh uproariously. Remarkably, the actors stayed in character and never started laughing themselves. But the folks are rooting for Toxie, which is a good sign.

We’ve had such a good second week of previews, I’ve decided to reward you easily-rewarded Toxaholics and post a couple more rehearsal pics rom early this week —

Here is our directorman, John Rando, directing Nancy Opel and Sarah Chase to stand somewhere and say something. Please note: though Nancy is dressed as Ma, she is in Sarah’s apartment but Ma doesn’t have a scene in Sarah’s apartment, so I have no idea what she’s doing there. Also, notice that Nancy is wearing a pair of jeans underneath Ma’s costume. This is all very curious …

And here is our entire cast, seemingly wandering aimlessly around the stage during rehearsals though they are actually rehearsing their bows (that’s right, even bows have to be rehearsed.) And notice that Nick is wearing his Toxie mask (hopefully because he had to and not because he’s grown overly fond of it.)

Toxicrifically yours,