Toxic Avenger Musical Likely to Glow Off-Broadway

News   Toxic Avenger Musical Likely to Glow Off-Broadway
A casting notice indicates that a commercial Off-Broadway move is likely for the campy and gory new rock musical The Toxic Avenger.

The New Jersey-set musical, with songs by Joe DiPietro and Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan and book by DiPietro, is currently having its world premiere at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. Tony Award winner John Rando directs, and would remain attached to the musical for its expected run at New World Stages in midtown Manhattan.

Tom Polum & Jean Cheever are listed as producers on a casting notice. Casting is by McCorkle Casting.

First rehearsal is on or about Nov. 17 toward a tentative opening Dec. 4. The current New Jersey cast includes Tony Award nominee Nancy Opel (Urinetown) as Mayor of Tromaville, NJ, and newcomer Nick Cordero (seen in his native Canada in roles such as Jamie in The Last Five Years and Che in Evita) as Melvin Ferd the Third, who becomes the radioactive title character.

Only understudies are being sought, indicating that the Jersey cast and production will arrive intact in Manhattan.

* Rando (Urinetown) directs The Toxic Avenger, set in the Garden State. Jersey is the butt of jokes in the musical comedy based on the cult classic film.

According to GSP, "Tromaville is one exit you don't want to take off the New Jersey Turnpike — but Melvin Ferd the Third is determined to change all that. Tossed into a big vat of radioactive goo, he is transformed into The Toxic Avenger — New Jersey's own superhero — righting wrongs, beating bullies and seducing his ladylove, Sarah the blind librarian. The Toxic Avenger takes the terrific characters from the 1980s cult classic film by Lloyd Kaufman and creates a smart, clever and extremely entertaining new rock musical and love story."

Performances play to Nov. 2.

The cast also includes Audra Blaser (seen in the television series "Suburban Girl" and "Lovebites") as Sarah, the blind librarian; David Josefsberg (Broadway's The Wedding Singer and Grease) and Demond Green (The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse, Midsummer Night's Dream at Paper Mill Playhouse and McCarter Theatre), playing a number of roles.

The creative team includes musical director-orchestrator Christopher Jahnke (Aida musical director, orchestrations for Cry Baby and Legally Blonde), choreographer Wendy Seyb (Walmartopia, Trey Parker's Cannibal the Musical), scenic designer Beowulf Boritt (Falsettos at George Street Playhouse, Broadway's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), lighting designer Ken Posner (Hairspray, Grease) and costume designer David C. Woolard (a Tony nominee for The Rocky Horror Show and The Who's Tommy).

Plainfield, NJ native John Dods (Beauty and the Beast and Young Frankenstein) designed the prosthetics that "facilitate the transformation of Melvin Ferd the Third into The Toxic Avenger."

For information, call the Playhouse box office (732) 246-7717, or purchase online at

George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue, "in the heart of New Brunswick's dining and entertainment district."

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