Hello, Toxaholics!

Yes, the acceptance of that name has been joyous and widespread — so it’s stickin’! Support groups now forming.

Of the many comments this delightful blog has receveiced, perhaps the most demanding have been for David Bryan to ‘guest blog’. As Toxic luck would have it, David happens to be sitting right next to me in Writer’s Hell Week Tech rehearsal, so I’m going to ask him if he’d like to dive into the blogging pool. I hope the answer is printable. Hang on —

Hello All, this is David.. I just want to say that the success of The Toxic Avenger and, for that matter, any show I ever write, is entirely due to Joe DIPietro. His talent and his passion and his inner beauty inspire me and all who work with him every day. If I could package him into a pill, I would sell him so we all could be internally medicated by his Joeness..

Okay, okay, I, uh, guess David didn’t write that, I, uh, sorta did. But here’s David now FOR REAL —


Hey hey. This is my first blogging experience (more of a music guy, ya know … gimme a song and I know how to write it. So this isn’t quite my thing but I’m trying for you Toxaholics — and yeah, I dig that name.) Let me start out by saying that The Toxic Avenger js going to rock the house! I’m working on the sound design now so the show will be a theatrical rock ‘n roll experience. It’s funny because with Bon Jovi, we play to stadiums that seat at least 50,000 or so. But here at New World Stages (which is a great theatre) there are only 350 seats. So no matter where you sit, you’ll feel like you’re practically on stage. You’re also going to laugh a lot. And rock out. And I just read the beginning of this blog and I definitely didn’t write the paragraph about hoping to make Joe into a pill that we can all swallow him. I don’t feel that way at all.

Let me also say that we have a really kick ass band. Our drummer, Alan Childs, played with Bowie on the Glass Spiders Tour, and our Musical Director, Doug Katsaros was in the band Balance (and he wrote the three notes that make up the “By Mennon” theme — how cool is that?.) And our guitarist, Chris Cicchino, and our bass player, Dan Grennes, are real rock guys. They’re all killer players. So come see the show! If our premiere at George Street Playhouse was any indication, you’re going to have a great time.

All right, that was David. He actually doesn’t shut up is quite chatty in person, but he had to get back to working on the sound design of the show. Yes, the composer has a role during Tech, unlike me, the resident scribe, who has no function now except to blog and make annoying suggestions, like —

“Hey Mr. Director, could we see more light on Sara’s face in that scene?”
“We were about to do that, Joe.”
“Oh, never mind,” Joe says, slinking away.

Hey, but here’s a wonderful piece of news — Tech is beginning to move a bit faster now as everyone gets into a groove. It’s still slow but no longer I-want-to-slit-my-throat slow. Yeah, baby!

Amidst the slowness, my favorite scene so far today has been a number called “Choose Me, Oprah,” which Sara, the blind librarian, sings in hopes that the Queen of All Media chooses her memoir for her book club. Sara is backed up by her two best friends in the whole world, Shinequa and Diane, played sparkingly by Demond Green and Matthew Saldivar. And a quick word about those two sparkingly performers — originally David and I wrote the show with three lead roles and then forty-five supporting ones. But the producers refused to hire 45 other actors (as producers tend to refuse to do) so we decided to just hire two guys to play all the forty-five parts (thereby saving us TONS OF MONEY!)

Which brings me to Demond and Matthew. Bot only do these guys display amazing versitality on stage, but they display amazing costume-changing abilities off-stage. As Shinequa and Diane, they wear sparkly mini-dresses and shake their booties like two insane Tina Turner back-up dancers. Then, Demond quicly changes into a pot-bellied police chief while Matthew changes into a folk singer who won’t shut up and then Demond changes into an ethical scientist and Matthew changes into a panicked hairdresser and then… well, you get the picture. It’s exhausting. And they’re brilliant. And they’ve put 43 other actors out of work.

All right, Toxaholics, Tech is continuing on so it’s time to get back to napping work.

With stunning affection,