A PUBLIC SERVICE FOR CONFUSED THEATREGOERS

So we’re sitting in a Monday afternoon rehearsal and tomorrow is our (eagerly-awaited) day off! There’s no performance and no rehearsal on Tuesday, so the actors will get to rest their bodies and voices, and the crew and the creative staff will get to chill. I’ll be hangin’ with the dog and oversleeping and things like that. Oh yeah, and I’m happy to report that Sunday night’s performance went terrifically — another packed house of Toxaholics who clearly didn’t want the weekend to end.

By the way, the other night we had our furthest-travelled audience member — a lovely young woman named Keiko — who is obviously a huge Joe DiPietro David Bryan fan. Keiko flew all the way from Japan (!) just to see our show. Fortunately, she loved it (and thank goodness ’cause it would be terrible to fly that far and go, ‘eh.’) So many thanks, Keiko, for making the journey! (Note: As for true Joe DiPietro fans, I do have some relatives who may be willing to travel to the show all the way from mid-New Jersey but only if “they feel confident of the parking situation.”)

And to celebrate our first terrific week in New York, I have decided to answer an often-asked question. You see, each day I receive thousands of hand-written letters asking — –

“Joe, there are so many shows that are opening this season and I have a hunch that they’re all probably better than yours. Why should I go see “The Toxic Avenger” instead of them? Sincerely, Confused Theatregoer.”

Well, these people’s confusion is totally understandable. So as a public service to the non-Toxaholic, theatre-going public, I am going to analyze the current season honestly and without prejudice, thus helping you — the confused theatregoer — figure out if you should see The Toxic Avenger or another show which probably sucks.

Please note: I have not seen most of the shows! But like most people on the internet, I don’t feel as if I need to have actually seen an show to comment on it.

BILLY ELLIOT — Okay, I saw Billy Elliot in London and it was pretty fantastic. But it’s also a hard ticket to get to it so why waste time trying to score tickets and not being able to get them and thus feeling like a loser. You can easily buy a seat for The Toxic Avenger right now and you’ll feel like a winner!! Go winner!

WAITING FOR GODOT and EXIT THE KING — These two plays are by Ionesco and Beckett, two masters of ‘absurdist comedy.” Now for all of you non-theatre majors out there, “absurdist comedy” means “has no plot.” This usually is not “a good thing.”

IRENA’S VOW — All I know about this play is that it’s a worthy drama about the Holocaust, which means it will probably win an Oscar even though it’s a play. And though it does sound “worthy,” wouldn’t you rather see something “not worthy,” and The Toxic Avenger certainly qualifies as that.

IMPRESSIONISM — I know nohing about this play except for the title. And I don’t really like the title so I don’t think you should go.

GOD OF CARNAGE — I saw this in London and I really liked it and it has a terrific cast on Broadway. So now that I said that I bet you’re thinkin’ — “Aha! This one I’m gonna go see!” Well not so fast, Mr or Ms Easily Persuadable. This play stars Jame Gandolfini who starred in the one of the greatest TV series of all time that also happened to have one of the worst, WTF endings of all time. I mean, c’mon — cutting to black in the middle of a scene is not a freakin’ ending — it’s a creative black hole. So if you go see God of Carnage, in some way you’re saying, “Hey, it’s okay if you don’t give us an ending after I’ve watched your show for SIX FREAKIN’ YEARS.” So I firmly recommend that you do not go see this play as not to encourage such behavior.

WEST SIDE STORY — Okay, it’s a great show but haven’t we all seen the movie like 800 times? And if you haven’t seen the movie, Maria’s jilted-boyfriend Chino winds up killing Tony in the end just as Tony’s running into Maria’s arms. Whoops! I should’ve written SPOILER ALERT before that sentence. Oh well I didn’t, so now even if you’ve never seen the movie you know how it ends so there’s no reason for you to go see the show. Oh yeah, and Riff gets killed in the rumble.

HAIR — Actually, I, uh, really want to see Hair ’cause I heard it was really good. So just forget I ever mentioned it.

NINE TO FIVE — Well, everyone loves Dolly Parton. But she’s not in the play! So the whole night you’ll be going, “Gee, I wish I was staring at Dolly Parton right now.” So I’ve just saved you that trouble.

BLITHE SPIRIT — Okay, the main attraction here is obviously Angela Lansbury. And sure, she’s a brilliant actress, but look at it this way — most Broadway shows have a softball team in the Broadway show league. And I bet every other show in town can kick the Blithe Spirit softball team’s ass. Plus, Angela Lansbury may be a brilliant actress, but I bet she’s a lousy shortstop. So why go see a show with such a loser softball team?

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – It’s been running for 73 years, so if you haven’t seen it by now you’re probably never going to go see it so don’t even think about it.

And there are plenty of other shows that are part of this theatrical season, but I can’t remember what they are right now so I would definitely recommend Toxic over them.

Well, there you have it, theatregoer. I hope this cleared things up for you. Obviously, the only show you should go see is THE TOXIC AVENGER!*

(except if you can get into Billy Elliot or Hair.)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to our day off! As a matter of fact, I’m so looking forward to it I strongly suggest that all you Toxaholics take Tuesday off, too. Just call your boss and tell them that I suggested … actually, don’t mention me. Just tell them you’re sick of taking all their crap and then go back on Wednesday and profusely apologize. That should do it.

See ya here on Wednesday for the start of Week Two!

Hugs with an inappropriate squeeze,
Joe