New Jersey’s first superhero premieres for the first time in Southern California at the Maverick Theater in Fullerton. This fun small theater, across from the Fullerton train depot, is know for their super funny and campy productions and “The Toxic Avenger Musical” does not disappoint with the laughs. The musical is based on the 80’s cult classic movie “The Toxic Avenger”, in which a wimpy, bullied guy is transformed into a muscle-bound, but hideously deformed super hero, after falling into a huge container of radioactive waste. The book and lyrics were written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) and the music and lyrics are brought to us by Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan. It also features hundreds of jokes at the expense of New Jersey and the blind. The Maverick Theater has brought us other similar shows like “The Rocky Horror Show”, “Reefer Madness”, and “Little Shop of Horrors”, just to name a few, but this one is just a little more green and radioactive. “The Toxic Avenger Musical”, directed by Anthony Galleran, is a fast-past raucous ride, and the ensemble cast of 5 have to be quick on their feet, because some of them have over 13 characters to play, male and female, and super crazy costume changes, that leave the audience laughing,and them sweating!
So here is the plot: When Melvin Ferd the Third (Enrique Munoz Jr) is dropped into a vat of toxic waste by two local bullies, (Korey Gene Mitchell and Steven Joseph Alcantar in the first of their many characters), he emerges as a crime-fighting, waste-avenging monster, covered in green slime and oozing with strength. Named “Toxie” by his blind girlfriend, Sarah (Tara Pitt), he struggles to free Tromaville, a New Jersey town and toxic-waste dumping area, from the evil clutches of Mayor Babs Belgoody (Dahna Lane). The other residents of Tromaville include Melvin’s mother, the Nun (also played by Dahna), and probably at least 30 other friends and neighbors brought to life by the White Dude and Ethnically Ambiguous Dude (Korey Gene Mitchell and Steven Joseph Alcantar respectively) in a multitude of funny characterizations. My absolute favorite song of the night had to be ‘My Big French Boyfriend’, with Steven and Korey playing Sarah’s best friends, Shinequa and Diane. Although watching Dahna play two feuding characters (The Mayor and Melvin’s Mother) at the same time, during “Bitch/Slut/Liar/Whore” where she sings a duet with herself, had the audience laughing so loud you could tell how much fun they were having. “The Toxic Avenger Musical” is worth going to see. Our unsung hero Toxie (well not that unsung, it’s a musical) delivers a uplifting story of hope for there to really be super heroes out there to protect us. It’s a funny and campy tour through New Jersey or anytown USA.
The Toxic Avenger Musical runs through May 7th 2016 at The Maverick Theater in Fullerton, CA
For more info on The Maverick click here. To purchase tickets click here.