THE TOXIC AVENGER REVIEW QUOTES
New York Post
The New York Times
” * * * *! A Rock &Roll Romp!”
Time Out NY
The New Yorker
“Loud and lovable! An astounding cast!”
“Infectious. The Toxic Avenger is hard to resist.”
Time Out NY
“If you want to have a good time and laugh until you cry, you have to go.”
“The laughs come fast and furious.”
“All the laughs you want!”
NY Daily News
“I wore myself out laughing so hard.”
This is precisely the breed of pop-culture mutant Off Broadway was made for: a winking rock & roll romp inspired by sci-fi schlock, crammed with a smorgasbord of showpieces for outsize comic talents to chew on. Audience appetites for such frothy runoff may vary according to age and degree of intoxication, but for most of its running time The Toxic Avenger is hard to resist on its own infectious terms. It’s Shrek for stoners.
Joe DiPietro’s script lifts only the barest premise from Lloyd Kaufman’s dorky 1985 film: Melvin (Nick Cordero), a nerd in the polluted Jersey burg of Tromaville, gets dumped in a barrel of toxic waste by town bullies, mutating into a hideous but righteous superhero. Indeed, the show succeeds roughly in inverse proportion to the stage time given to the flimsy plot. This leaves Cordero, covered in prosthetics and bright green tendrils, to flail earnestly through Toxie’s limb-severing heroics. But it also makes room for the formidable Nancy Opel to bring down the house as a corrupt mayor and her shrewish sister; for a gallery of billboard-broad caricatures sketched with relish by Demond Green and Matthew Saldivar; and for Sara Chase, as Toxie’s hot blind squeeze, to milk her character’s disability for all it’s worth.
Will the serviceable rock score by David Bryan (of Bon Jovi fame) stick in your head? Not likely. This is one of those musicals in which the fact that it’s a musical is one of the jokes, and luckily for The Toxic Avenger, the music isn’t the only—or even the best—joke in the barrel.—Rob Weinert-Kendt
“FUN, WORTH WATCHING CLOSELY AND REWARDING!”
“IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME AND LAUGH UNTIL YOU CRY, YOU HAVE TO GO!”
“I WORE MYSELF OUT LAUGHING SO HARD!” “YOU WILL HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!”
“Explosive applause and laughter.”
“A superlative production.”
“‘The Toxic Avenger’ is a scream.”
“You will surrender to the silliness.”
“Edgy and sweet.”
“From start to finish, ‘The Toxic Avenger’ is goofy and glorious.”
“An outrageous bit of escapism that provides a couple of hours of laughter.”
“The music has an irresistible driving quality.”
“You have to see it to believe it.”
“The writing is biting and witty.”
“A remarkable achievement in theater.”
“Fast, furious, fun.”
“Wild and wacky.”
“You have to see it to believe it.”
“‘Avenger oozes with Garden State talent.”
“Most of the major changes in plot actually make the story better.”
“There is good, there is great, and then there is Toxic Avenger the Musical.”
“By far the funniest play that I have ever seen.”
“The songs are exceptionally humorous and moving.”
“You are guaranteed to be humming all the way home.”
“The laughs are uproarious.”
“You won’t be disappointed!”
” I want the songs on my iPod already!”
“Expect your cheeks to hurt from laughing and your eyes to be glued to the stage.”
“The funniest, cleverest, new musical in years.”
“It is a sure-fire, foot-stomping, rip-roaring hit.”
North New Jersey Weeklies
At a time when the stock market has taken more dips than a 1929 Duncan Imperial and your 401K is mailed to you in black crepe; You probably need something major to lighten your mood. Take heart! The Toxic Avenger, the George Street Playhouse’s season opener, explodes with more laughter than a speakeasy during Prohibition! With a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by Bon Jovi founding member and keyboardist David Bryan, this world premiere is just the very first stop for a high energy, extremely off-beat musical that will be moving next to New York and then is destined for a shelf life just a little bit longer than a fifty-gallon drum of Plutonium.
So who is the Toxic Avenger and why does he glow bright green? The answer is Melvin Ferd the Third…rhymes with nerd, who lives in Tromaville, New Jersey, which as we all know is off of exit 13B. Ferd, played brilliantly by Nick Cordero is transformed into a superhero after being dipped into tub of radioactive waste, which is regularly deposited in Tromaville, thanks to the political support of the town’s mayor. Nancy Opel, does the honors in that role, and in doing so creates some of the most amazing and hysterical moments of the entire evening. Opel, who was Tony nominated for her role in Urinetown, plays more than one role; however, you’ll have to see that to believe it!
The cast also includes a beautiful and extremely funny Audra Blaser, as the town’s blind librarian. The resulting situations are nothing short of hysterical. Her performances of “Choose Me, Oprah” and “Hot Toxic Love” are painfully funny, but a pleasure to watch. The Cast is rounded out by Desmond Green and David Josefsberg who play the “Black Dude” and the “White Dude” (and Dudets), respectively. These two guys do it all. They sing, dance, and act equally well whether in motorcycle boots or four-inch heels. Along with the rest of this extremely talented cast, they will accompany the play to its upcoming opening in New York.
That is great news for everyone, especially the audience. John Rando, Tony Award-winner for Urinetown, directed The Toxic Avenger. His talents, combined with an amazing cast and a very funny play have created a theatrical experience that should not be missed. With no less than twenty-three musical numbers performed, an amazing set design and spectacular special effects, The Toxic Avenger is probably the best entertainment investment you’ll make all year. So, leave that financial statement unopened and turn off CNN. Enough bad news is enough! Get over to the George Street Playhouse and start laughing again. Your only problem then will be remembering when to stop.
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DAVID AND JOE ARE FEATURED ON THE RUTGERS ALUMNI WEBSITE!
Rutgers Talents Rock Off-Broadway By Diana Kelly RC’04, SCILS’04 Special offer for Rutgers alumni: Discounted tickets to The Toxic Avenger are available through July 31. Visit Ralumni.com/benefits and check out the seasonal Arts & Leisure listings to take advantage of this great deal. Jersey boys Joe DiPietro RC’84 and David Bryan (the Bon Jovi keyboardist who attended Livingston College) won an Outer Critics Circle award for Best New Off-Broadway Musical with their side-splitting musical comedy The Toxic Avenger, based on the 1984 movie of the same name. The musical also won the Broadway World 2009 Theater Fans’ Choice Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.
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See what the YELPERS are saying about Toxie!
In the ultimate Jersey musical, a corrupt politician with a taste for ‘Toxic’ sludge
A feature on Nancy “Babs Belgoody” Opel!
‘Toxic Avenger: The Musical,’ a haz-mat valentine to Jersey
Toxie in the LA Times!
Meet Andrew Lloyd Rocker
An interview with David Bryan in Asbury Park Press
So I went to see The Toxic Avenger musical tonight. Hilarious! A must see!