Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Musical Adventure at the Phoenix Theatre: "The Toxic Avenger Musical"

What's a monster kid to do when stuck out in Arizona on business? Easy!!! Seek out other friendly and talented monster kids! Every town has its nerds and when you get amazing theatre nerds and combine them with horror nerd concepts like Lloyd Kaufman's 1984 cult classic The Toxic Avenger, beautiful things can happen. My wife Ruby caught wind that this production was taking place 10 minutes away from our hotel so of course Lord Battle and I ran to the nearest computer and bought whatever tickets we could find for the performance that night.

The Phoenix Theatre web site had this to say -"Our Unlikely hero, Toxie, a mutant freak with superhero strength and a heart bigger than Newark, will battle for the cleanup of the Turnpike. Add in a charming love story, a dash of corruption and stiletto-wearing back up singers and you will have an uproarious, R-rated rock musical that will have you falling in 'Hot Toxic Love.' For mature audiences only."

I can honestly say that the Phoenix Theatre went all out with this production. With an insanely small cast of 5 and an incredible set design, Toxic Avenger never looked or sounded better. The music was funny, well sung, amazingly un P.C., and backed by a shredding band who took every chance to show off their metal skills. I was blown away by the entire cast and their ability to change so quickly from one character to the next in seconds, sometimes even changing into little old white ladies, even though they are full grown black male actors. The practical stage effects were fun and well designed with limbs being torn off and spines being removed. The most shocking part was that the sold out crowd that night, who mostly consisted of older theatre goers, clapped to the music and laughed along with everyone else, proving yet again there's a little monster kid in all of us. If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area you should take every chance you can to support this theatre and its amazing productions. If I had more time I would have seen it again!


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