So last night was our fourth preview and our first full house (Yah!) It was also our first Saturday night performance.
And I bet ye Toxaholics are wondering how it went.

Well, here’s the thing about Saturday night audiences — they tend to be quieter than audiences on other nights of the week. That’s right, different audiences on different nights of the week have different personalities. And Saturday night audiences are notoriously known as dead sedate, generally because of the time-honored “Saturday Night Date” Theory of Theatregoing. Let me explain this complex theory to ye civilians —

Simply put, it is theorized that most Saturday night theatregoers have already been out enjoying a nice dinner (generally washed down with vino) so they enter the theatre full of food and slightly buzzed, so they’re already tired before the show even starts. And then one must also consider that many Saturday night theatregoers are on a date, which is very, very nice for them, but let’s face it — the guy on the date is probably just at the theatre biding time till the show’s over in hopes that they’ll go back to his place or her place and … well, you get the idea. (And yes, we theatrefolk really do come come up with these theories. And then we wind up discussing them till our brains hurt so we end up believing them as absolute truths.)

But I’m thrilled to report that last night “The Toxic Avenger” shot to hell the Saturday Night Date Theory of Theatregoing. Yes, our audience was just as rockin’ at ever! Much laughter, much applause, much happiness. Thank you, Saturday Nighters! So here’s hopin’ that all of you, uh, got what you wanted after the show ended.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d give you a little peek at some of our behind-the-scene folks today. You see, while our fantastic cast is busy entertaining you, backstage there is another show going on — props are being set up, costumes are being changed, and all sorts of backstage folks are making sure everything runs smoothly so the show doesn’t have to stop thereby giving the author an early heart attack.

The man in charge of it all is our stage manager, who sits in a glass-enclosed booth in the back of the theatre and
cues the various departments (lighting, music, sound, etc) when to do their thing. For all you stage management groupies, his name is Scott Rollison and he always wears a tie which makes him much classier than any else associated with this show.

And the person in charge of all the backstage mayhem is Kelly Hance. Considering she’s the one who ensures that the show moves at a breakneck speed, she is always (amazingly) smiling. Here, she is placing a prop podium on the set’s turntable, which is soon going to spin out onto the stage to set the scene for the show’s surprising and heartwarming conclusion.

Sitting above all the action like a crazed deity is our Musical Director Doug Katsaros, who recently grew new facial hair to celebrate Toxie’s launch (he calls it his “bass-player-from-Spinal-Tap look.”) As you can see by how he chose to pose when he saw my camera, he’s the perfect guy to conduct this show. (WARNING: YOUNG CHILDREN AND THOSE WITH WEAK CONSTITUTIONS SHOULD NOT VIEW THIS PICTURE!!)

Folks always call me up and ask, “Joe, there are so many quick changes in the show! Do the actors have a lot of room backstage to change their costumes?” I generally hang up on these people, but in answer to their question — No. There is barely any room. In fact, here is a pic (taken from above) of the area in which Nick Cordero has to transform himself from hapless Melvin into The Toxic Avenger. As you can see, it is about the size of a New York studio apartment.

Here’s the cast on stage rehearsing the finale while, pacing in front of them, is David, who is trying to figure out what musical note they should be singing. Yep, at this moment, David is hearing music in his head, a trait he shares with all other great composers. In fact, it is this ability to hear music in one’s head that makes a composer extra weird talented.

Here’s a picutre of David striking a Superman pose and trying to figure out a new musical entrance for the song “Big Green Freak.” Behind him, Nick Codero and Nancy Opel are patiently waiting for him to tell them what the new musical cue will be. P.S. Notice that Nancy is actually knitting while on-stage. Yes, as you faithful Toxaholic blog readers know, rehearsals can move a little sloooooow, so Nancy is able to get some serious knitting time in (while others get serious Suduko time in.) By the way, David finally figured out the cue, so the superman pose paid off.

Yes, not only is Nancy Opel an insanely talented performer, she’s also an expert knitter, and she can do both at the same time. In this particular scene, she’s playing Melvin’s guilt-throwing mother, and oddly, the knitting works well for the character.

I leave you now with my favorite pic of the day — here are Demond Green and Matthew Saldivar rehearing a tender moment between the two maniacal goons — Sluggo and Bozo. It is a moment of great love and passion broken only when someone walks by and they decide to beat the hell out of him instead. (Please note: the table that you see in the picture is what is known as a “Tech Table.” During rehearsals, tables like this are set up throughtout the theatre so the creative team can put all our crap important theatrical stuff on them.)

With rapture,