So last night was our Invited Dress Rehearsal! Let me explain for all you non-theatre professionals — we had a dress rehearsal and we invited people to see it. (Note: I thought I had to explain what it was but now that I think about it, it’s pretty clearly named. Sorry.)

Anyway, we had about 300 invited folks in the audience. Who the hell were these invited few, you ask? Well, here’s an idea of some of the luminaries in the audience —

1 – 30 or so people from the theatre where Toxic originated — The George Street Playhouse — THE GREATEST THEATRE IN THE WOLRD! Run by the handsome and brilliant David Saint, who was also there, looking handsome and brilliant. (Question: Joe, do you think he’s handsome and brilliant because A) he is handsome and brilliant or because B) he was the first to premiere Toxic? Answer: A with a dash of B.

2 – About 30 cast members from Memphis, my and David’s next musical, scheduled to reach BROADWAY THIS FALL. AND IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!!! Sorry for that shameless self-promotion. BUT IT”S GONNA BE AWESOME!!

3 – A bunch of David’s friends from New Jersey, including his childhood buddy, Sal the Cop, who is the spiritual inspiration for the character of Sal the Cop in The Toxic Avenger (sparkingly played by Matthew Saldivar.)

4 – About 4 friends who had to rush out right after the show to pay their babysitters.

5 – Other actors and writers and producers and people like that.

6 – The college-age nephew of Sue Frost, a producer of Memphis (IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!), and six college buddies of his. I didn’t know them but they seemd very nice and said “dude” a lot.

Okay, enough about the audience (though they were all terrific and attractive.) How’d the damn dress rehearsal go?!

Well, keeping in mind that the audience consisted mainly of friends (though many are grumpy friends,) — it went great. Our cast and band and crew shook off any oh-my-god-we-have-to-perform-this-show-in-NY nerves they might have had, and they delivered the best performance of the show I have yet to see. And the crowd response was tremendous! (And thank goodness for that, otherwise there would’ve been A LOT of awkward moments when they were leaving and saying goodbye.)

But they laughed, they cheered, they stood and applauded — and I didn’t even have to sleep with any of them to get them to do it. It was a terrific night, and a great way to start.

And tomorrow is our first actual preview performance, meaning we perform the show for the first time in NY in front of a paying audience. Yes, these are theatregoers who have seen their 401K’s plummet to the depths of hell yet still they’ve plunked down what little money they have left to see what the hell we’ve been up to down in New World Stages. And I am nothing but terrifiednauseous excited about it!

In fact, I’m so excited, I’m posting an extra dog picture from the other day’s rehearsal! Here’s the pug being petted by a green mutant hand and kinda enjoying it —

Hopefully, tomorrow night’s audience will be feeling just as good after the show.

By the way, if you are a Toxaholic blog reader (and God bless you if you are,) and you come see the show, feel free to say ‘hi’ afterwards. I will normally be pacing in the back, clutching a non-fat latte, hopefully looking calm and relaxed.

Love me, love me, love me,