JOE DIPIETRO – Book & Lyrics
Joe’s current Broadway hit Memphis won the Tony Award for Best Musical and two additional Tony Awards (Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) Written for the Theatre (with David Bryan). For more information go to www.memphisthemusical.com.
Joe was born and raised off Exit 166 in New Jersey and thus has been a Toxic Avenger fan for the last twenty years. Joe wrote the book & lyrics to “I LoveYou, You’re Perfect, Now Change”, the longest running musical revue in New York history which has had hundreds of productions across the country and around the world. He also wrote the book and lyrics to the Broadway musical All Shook Up, and the award-winning musical, “The Thing About Men,” which has played internationally.
His plays include the Edgar Award-winning mystery, “The Art of Murder,” as well as the long-running hit comedy “Over the River and through the Woods,” which has had over a hundred productions around the world and is currently being developed into a feature film. He lives in Manhattan and Connecticut, but his heart will always be in New Jersey.
DAVID BRYAN – Music & Lyrics
Keyboard Player and Founding Member, Bon Jovi (Currently on Bon Jovi’s CIRCLE TOUR www.bonjovi.com/tour). Singer/Songwriter Composer, Lyricist and Programmer.
David Bryan lives near Exit 109 off the Garden State Parkway. He was conceived, born and raised in New Jersey. As a young man, he saw The Toxic Avenger at a midnight showing in Newark, and from that day on, he dreamed of writing a musical about the first mutant superhero from his home state. This show is a fulfillment of that dream.
David has accomplished some other stuff, too. He is the keyboard player, songwriter and a founding member of Bon Jovi one of the most successful bands in music history. They’ve sold over 130 million records worldwide, performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans, and were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. They’ve survived and thrived the rock and roll years, the grunge years, the rap years and everything in between. On the band’s award-winning CD “Have A Nice Day”, David and Jon wrote the song Last Cigarette.
David has also written and released a solo record, Lunar Eclipse (Rounder/Universal) an instrumental collection with a single vocal bonus track highlighting all of the aspects of his training and influences blues, classical, jazz and of course, rock & roll.
In his time off from recording and touring with Jon, Richie and Tico, David began a career as a composer and lyricist of musicals. The song, Memphis Lives In Me, which he performs on Bon Jovi’s recent box set, is actually from his musical, MEMPHIS which recently won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. David also won a Tony for Best Orchestrations (with Daryl Waters) and Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) Written for the Theatre (with Joe DiPietro).
In addition to his musical theatre compositions and writing with bandmates Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, with whom he co-wrote the band’s hit, “In These Arms,” David continues to write with and for other artists. The most successful cover of a Bryan song may be Curtis Steiger’s rendition of “This Time,” which was a major International hit for him.
David has also dedicated his time to become a National Spokesperson for VH1’s Save The Music Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of music education in America’s schools. For more on David, visit www.DavidBryan.com.
LLOYD KAUFMAN – Creator of the Toxic Avenger
“Without Lloyd Kaufman,” writes film critic Michael H. Klienschrodt in the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, “there probably never would have been There’s Something About Mary, or Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo.” Whether or not he would accept the credit (or blame) for these raunchy, mainstream blockbusters, there can be no doubt that what Kaufman has achieved is enormous. In 30 years, Kaufman, along with partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up to legendary status as a bastion of true independence, the world’s greatest concentration of camp.
In the late 1960s, Kaufman was enrolled at Yale University, diligently working on a respectable degree in Chinese Studies. When he was placed in a dormitory room with two film fanatics, however, Kaufman was infected with a love of movies from which he never recovered. In 1971, Kaufman met his future partner Michael Herz. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, sexy comedies such as Squeeze Play!, Waitress!, and other titles ending with an exclamation point. These movies, independent precursors to such later smash hits as National Lampoon’s Animal House and Porky’s, did well financially, although Kaufman continued to work on such outside productions as Rocky and Saturday Night Fever. Kaufman’s relationship with mainstream Hollywood would not last long.
Kaufman achieved new levels of success with his 1984 breakthrough movie, The Toxic Avenger. The Toxic Avenger led to an animated spin-off series, Toxic Crusaders, several different comic book titles (published by Marvel and, most recently, Troma’s own independent comic book imprint), and three sequels. Its success was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs that blended fantasy, heavy action, comedy, and eroticism in a style that the Cinemateque Francais described as “Tromatic,” including the Class of Nuke-Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma’s War. These films created an entire generation of young fans who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80s, some of whom, such as Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker, went on to become filmmakers themselves. Thanks to these admirers, Kaufman has been asked to make cameo appearances in films like Trey Parker’s Orgazmo and Richard Martini’s Cannes Man.
Lately, Kaufman and the Troma Team have begun to win respect from even their harshest critics. Tromeo and Juliet became a surprise theatrical and critical hit, earning the grand prize at the Fanta Festival in Rome. Kaufman’s opus, Terror Firmer, inspired by the book All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger, played for six months in Los Angeles alone. In addition, Kaufman has been an honored guest at various international film festivals and Troma retrospectives around the world. The San Sebastian Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, the American Cinemetheque, the Chicago International Film Festival, the UCLA Film Archives, the Tokyo Film Festival, and the Shanghai International Film Festival are just a few of the venues to have showered Kaufman with praise, lifetime achievement awards, and lots of free booze.
In January 2000, Kaufman founded the TromaDance Film Festival, which gives filmmakers and audiences alike the opportunity to enjoy a broad spectrum of independent films for free. He has released a feature length documentary about the Cannes Film Festival, entitled All the Love You Cannes: An Indie’s Guide to the Cannes Film Festival. His second book, Make Your Own Damn Movie, is in its second printing and has inspired him to teach a series of filmmaking Master Classes at colleges and institutions across the country. He is also the co-author of the The Toxic Avenger novel, published in June 2006. Kaufman most recently went behind the camera again for a chicken-zombie filled satire about the fast-food industry called Poultrygeist.
JOHN RANDO – Director
John is the Tony Award-winning director of Urinetown. Other Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer (nominated best musical), Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party and A Thousand Clowns. In 2005, he directed the Canadian premiere of Urinetown (winner of six Dora Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction). For City Center Encores! he directed Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing. In 2004, Rando directed the inaugural presentation of The Downtown Plays for Tribeca Theatre Festival. Other Off-Broadway credits include Bright Ideas (MCC), Polish Joke (MTC), Mere Mortals (Primary Stages), Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight (Promenade), Comedy of Errors (Acting Company), Venetian Twins (Pearl Theatre) and Pig Farm (Roundabout Theatre Company). He has directed regionally at the Alley Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House and Philadelphia Theatre Company, among others.
Christopher Jahnke (Orchestrations) orchestrated the Broadway productions of Legally Blonde, Les Miserables (2006 Revival), Grease (2007 Revival), Cry Baby. Other Orchestrations: A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose (Flaherty/Ahrens – Lincoln Center Theater), Tom Jones (George Stiles/Paul Leigh), Just So (George Stiles/Anthony Drewe), Chasing Nicolette, Rufus Wainwright at Carnegie Hall. Symphonic Arrangements for The Broadway Tenors, Laura Osnes/NY Pops. Dance Music Arranger: The Witches of Eastwick (London/West End). Music Producer/Supervisor for Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan: Memphis and The Toxic Avenger Musical. Conductor: Aida (Broadway). Assistant to Orchestrator William David Brohn: Ragtime, Sweet Smell of Success, The Three Musketeers, Mary Poppins and Wicked.
Kelly Devine (Choreography) Broadway: Rock of Ages, Memphis (Assoc. Choreographer), Jersey Boys (Assoc. Choreographer). Off-Broadway: Frankenstein, Ann E. Wrecksick. La Jolla Playhouse: Peter and the Starcatchers, Doctor Zhivago, Private Fittings, The Wiz (Assoc. Choreographer). Regional: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Sneaux!..
Beowulf Boritt (Set Design) Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys (2011 Tony® Nominee Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Sondheim on Sondheim, Rock of Ages, Lovemusik (Drama Desk Nominee Outstanding Set Design of a Musical), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Original Set Designer for The Toxic Avenger.
David C. Woolard (Costume Design) Broadway: West Side Story, Invention, All Shook Up, The Rocky Horror Show (Tony® Nominee Best Costume Design), The Who’s Tommy (Tony® Nominee Best Costume Design). OffBroadway: The Orphans’ Home Cycle (Drama Desk Award Special Award). Original Costume Designer for The Toxic Avenger.
Jason Lyons (Lighting Design) Broadway: Rock of Ages, The Three Penny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, Good Vibrations. Off Broadway: Clay (Drama Desk Nominee Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical, Henry Hewes Design Nominee Lighting Design), Mourning Becomes Electra (Lucille Lortel Nominee Outstanding Lighting Design).
Robert Kaplowitz (Sound Design) Broadway: Fela! (2010 Tony Winner Best Sound Design of a Musical), Golda’s Balcony, The Crucible, An Almost Holy Picture. Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design.
Louis Zakarian (Mask Design & Prosthetics) Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,Lestat, Little Shop of Horrors, Dance of the Vampires, Lion King. Over 20 years in film, stage, television. Emmy-winning head make-up designer for “Saturday Night Live”.
Fusion Special Effects (SFX & Fight Choreography) Over 47 years of combined talents and experiences of co-founders Waldo Warshaw, a Special Effects Designer & Choreographer, and Brian Schuley, an Effects, Stunt and Safety Coordinator.
Mark Adam Rampemeyer (Hair & Makeup Design) Broadway: West Side Story. Off Broadway: The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (Roundabout Theatre Company), Chasing Manet (Primary Stages), The Orphan’s Home Cycle Part I, II, III (Signature Theatre). Original Hair & Makeup Designer for The Toxic Avenger.
Doug Katsaros (Musical Director) has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Gloria Estefan, Sinéad O’Connor, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Elton John, Todd Rundgren and others. He’s written for Ringling Brothers, Macy’s 4th of July and Thanksgiving celebrations, and has conducted the Boston Pops. He’s composed several film and TV scores and his New York credits include Footloose (Conductor), Rocky Horror (Orchestrator), The Life (arranger) Laughing Room Only (Composer), Hair (Star), A…Alice (Composer), Altar Boyz (Orchestrator) and Just So (Composer). He lives with composer Elise Morris, his teenage daughters, and yes, he’s the guy who wrote “By Mennen!” www.themusicofyourdreams.com
Jean Cheever (Producer) was previously represented on Broadway as a producer of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nominated Best Musical) and All Shook Up. She is also a producer of “Last Call”, a musical documentary film by Broadway director Christopher Ashley and served as a juror for the 2006 Avignon Film Festival. Jean is founding member of the Directors Circle at the University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance and serves on the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council.
Tom Polum (Producer) was a co-producer of the first national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In addition to the slate of “huge fun” musicals (see above!), Jean and Tom are developing several films and plays. They own and manage Broadway Live Island, a popular online destination for theatre lovers worldwide, in the virtual Internet world called Second Life. Tom also works as a director, a writer (Heloise and Abelard, Finding Frida Kahlo) and can be heard on the cast recording of Phantom (Kopit/Yeston). Although not from New Jersey, he adamantly supports the motto: Jersey rocks!
Lyrics for The Toxic Avenger cast album can be found: http://www.allmusicals.com/t/toxicavengerthe.htm