Following Houston Run, Toxic Avenger May Spread Its Goo On Broadway
By Andrew Gans
The Toxic Avenger, the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical about an unlikely superhero in New Jersey that played over 300 performances at Off-Broadway's New World Stages, may be headed to Broadway.
A casting notice for the upcoming run at Houston's Alley Theater (Jan. 20-Feb. 12, 2012) says that Broadway rehearsals will begin in early March 2012 with an opening at the end of March/early April. The same cast, according to the notice, will be used for both the Houston and Broadway runs.
When asked about the possibility of a Broadway production of the musical, its Tony-winning co-creator, Joe DiPietro, told Playbill.com, "With New York being hit by hurricanes, earthquakes and heat waves worthy of subterranean Africa, The Toxic Avenger is feeling that the glittering theaters of Broadway may need him now more than ever. He is currently in preliminary talks with his people to explore a return to the city he loves -- to kill the polluters he hates."
The Toxic Avenger, based on the 1985 classic cult film from Lloyd Kaufman, features music and lyrics by David Bryan (keyboardist and founding member of Bon Jovi) and book and lyrics by DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change). Bryan and DiPietro are currently represented on Broadway by the Tony-winning musical Memphis at the Shubert Theatre.
The Toxic Avenger was directed Off-Broadway by Tony Award winner John Rando, who will also helm the Houston engagement.
The closing cast Off-Broadway included "American Idol" Season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo, Nick Cordero, Demond Green, Jonathan Root and Nancy Opel.
The show had its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, where it broke box-office records before transferring Off-Broadway, beginning previews on March 18, 2009, and officially opening on April 6, 2009. A cast album preserves the score.
The Toxic Avenger won the 2009 Best Off Broadway Musical Award by the Outer Critics Circle.
The Toxic Avenger is billed as "both a charming love story and laugh-out-loud musical — complete with an unlikely hero, his beautiful blind girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor and the most memorable and unbelievable duet you'll see on any New York stage!"
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