The Toxic Avenger
New Jersey's first Superhero takes the stage in this monster of a comedy based on the classic cult film.
Show Essentials
5
Roles
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

A toxic waste dump. Two men, one black and one white, emerge to setup the stage – we are in a place between heaven and hell, filled with filthy air and dark despair: Tromaville, New Jersey. The cast gradually enters to join the two dudes and everyone wonders who will save them from this hellhole ("Who Will Save New Jersey?"). Enter Melvin Ferd, III, a very nerdy scientist with environmental tendencies. Unfortunately, he's not exactly the savior type. The two dudes sum up the situation.

Melvin goes to visit the Tromaville Library, where he finds Sarah, a beautiful blind girl that he is in love with. Melvin has figured out that a corporation named The Good Earth is responsible for polluting Tromaville; if he could find the town records, he could save Tromaville. Luckily, the records are in the library. As Melvin goes to get them, two jocks, Bozo and Sluggo enter, and begin giving Sarah a hard time. In the course of trying to defend her, Melvin inadvertently reveals that he's in love with Sarah.

In the Mayor's office, Mayor Babs Belgoody is scheming with two waste management executives so that she can elevate her political career and become governor ("Jersey Girl"). Melvin enters and threatens the Mayor with his newfound knowledge: that she owns The Good Earth company. He says he'll go to the media, but she makes a deal with him and offers to hire him as his deputy ("Jersey Girl – Reprise"). Melvin is thrilled. After he leaves, the Mayor summons Sluggo and Bozo to stop Melvin ("Get the Geek"). The bullies find Melvin by the toxic waste dump, where he is trying to save Tromaville. They dump him into a vat of goo. As they're about to flee the scene, Sarah appears. The bullies intercept her and threaten her ("Get the Chick / Get the Geek – Reprise"). Just as they are about to have their way with her, Melvin transforms into a superhero,  the Toxic Avenger, and comes to her rescue. He rips the bullies to pieces ("Kick Your Ass"). Melvin promises Sarah (who is unaware that the person who saved her is Melvin) that the bullies will never bother her again, but she is concerned that he used violence. Melvin lies and says he did not use violence. The police arrive to clean up the crime scene ("Who Will Save New Jersey? – Reprise").

In Sarah's apartment, she wonders who her strange savior is. Afraid that she will discover he is a monster, Melvin treads lightly on the topic, and a misunderstanding occurs. Sarah believes that Melvin is a Frenchman named Toxie. Sarah is relieved that Toxie did not use violence on the bullies, and he promises her that he will never hurt a soul ("Promise"). Before leaving, he agrees to come back for brunch the next day. Sarah rejoices in her newfound love, calling her best friends to tell them all about it ("My Big French Boyfriend").

As Toxie walks home, he revels in the fact that Sarah is interested in him, despite his grotesque features ("Thank God She's Blind"). On the way, he sees a thug beating up a little old lady, but he refuses to intervene and use violence. Eventually, though, he can't resist helping her and he rips the mugger's arm off and beats him up with it. When he gets home, Melvin's mother has been waiting up for him. She is very disappointed in him for having turned into a monster ("Disappointment"). Nevertheless, she gives him the insurance card so he can go to the doctor.

Toxie sees the doctor, who cannot figure out what is wrong with him and sends him to Professor Ken, "the best scientific mind in Tromaville." Professor Ken doesn't have any method of reversing the transformation; he just warns Toxie to stay away from household bleach.

Back at her apartment, Sarah has an idea for a new novel she can write, one that's based on her romance with Toxie. When Toxie comes over for brunch, he deftly tries to keep her from discovering his true nature. He also admits his inexperience with love, and she admits her experience. As they bond over small things, Toxie professes his love for Sarah, and she responds in kind ("Hot Toxic Love"). Just as she is about to kiss him, a foghorn blows and he has to leave – he's afraid the next shipment is coming in.

At the Tromaville docks, more barrels of toxic waste are being unloaded. Toxie confronts the Mayor and promises to expose the evil she has done. The Mayor is enraged and accuses him of trying to become a folk hero. A folk singer enters and details how the citizenry has warmed up to this odd hero ("The Legend of the Toxic Avenger").

The Mayor visits Professor Ken in his laundry room and seduces him into helping her fight Toxie. Despite his reservations, they have been together before, and he finds her impossible to resist ("Evil Is Hot"). Professor Ken then reveals that Toxie can be killed with common household bleach.

Lorenzo is at the Tromaville Beauty Salon ("Who Will Save New Jersey? – Reprise 2"). Melvin's mother, Ma, is lamenting about the heartache and trouble that her son has brought her. Lorenzo warns her that the Mayor is on her way to get Ma. This is very bad; Ma and the Mayor cannot be in the same room at the same time... as they are played by the same actor. The Mayor arrives, and Ma runs into the broom closet. A farcical argument ensues between the broom closet and the beauty salon as the women hurl insults at each other ("Bitch/Slut/Liar/Whore").

Act Two

Sarah finishes her manuscript and knows that there's only one person who can help her make this dream a reality: Oprah ("Choose Me, Oprah"). Fresh from the shower, Toxie enters Sarah's living room and notices her sexy dress, although he keeps his distance. Sarah can't understand why they've been together for so long and yet, nothing physical has happened. The Mayor comes on via loudspeaker and commands the citizens of Tromaville to assemble at City Hall with all of their bleach. Toxie realizes that he is in danger and tells Sarah that he needs to leave town. The Mayor and Sal the Cop arrive at Sarah's apartment; they reveal to her that Toxie is a freak, not a Frenchman. When they leave, Toxie returns and confirms that their story is true, allowing her to feel his face ("Hot Toxic Love – Reprise"). He also reveals that he is Melvin, and Sarah rejects him. Toxie is extremely angry; he has been played for a fool and he has no allies, so he plans to take no prisoners ("Death Promise"). He terrorizes people on the street and kills an old woman. When he sees a sweet couple together, he breaks down from his heartache ("You Tore My Heart Out").

Sarah is at the Tromaville Coffee Shop, pouring her heart out to her best friends, Diane and Shinequa. Ma finds Sarah there and tells her that Toxie is on a rampage because of her. Sarah is upset, but can't get over her revulsion to Toxie's looks. Ma tells her that this is the burden every woman shares – there are no great men ("All Men Are Freaks"). Sarah is convinced.

On the steps of City Hall, the Mayor is mobilizing a lynch mob against Toxie, the terrorist who killed an old woman ("Till the Monster's Dead"). The cops chase Toxie through the streets of Tromaville, with Sarah close behind, trying to save him... until she runs into a wall. Eventually, the Mayor catches him and is about to cover him in bleach, saying the name of the woman he killed, in the process: Edna Ferbert. Suddenly, Sarah intervenes – this is wonderful news! Edna Ferbert was a horrible woman, and everyone is better off now that she is dead! ("Hot Toxic Love – Reprise 2"). The Mayor comes at Toxie and Sarah, but Sarah shoots her. As she dies, she spills bleach on Toxie, who crumples to the ground and dies, as well ("Hot Toxic Love – Reprise 3").

Professor Ken rushes in, only to discover that he is too late. ...Or is he? There is a remote possibility of a cure: drinking a vile and disgusting liquid. It works, and Toxie is saved! Sarah asks Toxie to marry her ("Promise – Reprise"). Toxie shares a vision that he had "when he was dead," about how to save New Jersey ("A Brand New Day in New Jersey"). The townspeople are thrilled and celebrate with Toxie being named governor and the introduction of Toxie Jr.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Black Dude
Appears as numerous supporting roles, both male and female, such as PROFESSOR KEN, SLUGGO the bully, LITTLE OLD LADY, and SHINEQUA the friend. Physically versatile with strong dialects.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: D6
Vocal range bottom: A3
Mayor Babs Belgoody / Ma Ferd / Nun
As the Mayor, she is corrupt and scheming. Accepts loads of cash in return for storing the toxic waste. Set on one day being the governor of New Jersey by any means necessary.
Gender: female
Age: 45 to 55
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Melvin Ferd The Third/toxic Avenger
Always trying to be the hero, but he isn't very good at it until he is turned into the Toxic Avenger. Determined to save New Jersey from toxic waste. He is a nerd but prone to bouts of rage in the face of corruption. Unattractive and sensitive. In love with Sarah.
Gender: male
Age: 24 to 32
Vocal range top: C6
Vocal range bottom: D4
Sarah The Blind Librarian
Blind. The classic heroine. Very sexy and sensual. Always speaks exactly what's on her mind. An aspiring writer of graphic romance novels.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 28
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
White Dude
Appears as numerous supporting roles, both male and female, such as DR. FISHBEIN, BOZO the bully, SAL the cop, and LORENZO the hairdresser.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 35
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Full Song List
The Toxic Avenger: Who Will Save New Jersey?
The Toxic Avenger: Jersey Girl
The Toxic Avenger: Get The Geek
The Toxic Avenger: Kick Your Ass
The Toxic Avenger: My Big French Boyfriend
The Toxic Avenger: Thank God She's Blind
The Toxic Avenger: Choose Me, Oprah
The Toxic Avenger: Hot Toxic Love
The Toxic Avenger: The Legend Of The Toxic Avenger
The Toxic Avenger: Evil Is Hot
The Toxic Avenger: You Tore My Heart Out
The Toxic Avenger: All Men Are Freaks
The Toxic Avenger: A Brand New Day In Jersey

Show History

Inspiration

The Toxic Avenger musical is based on the 1984 film of the same name. Originally released as a low-budget, campy, superhero movie, the film developed a huge cult following from a long and successful midnight movie engagement at the famed Bleecker Street Cinemas in New York City. This success generated three movie sequels, with a fourth planned for future production, along with a comic book series, a cartoon series, a novel, a graphic novel and, ultimately, the hit musical.

Productions

The Toxic Avenger first premiered at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on October 1, 2008, followed by an official opening on October 10, 2008. Based on the 1984 cult classic film of the same name and with a book by Joe DiPietro, music by David Bryan and lyrics by both, the musical played a scheduled four-week run, through November 2, 2008, under the direction of John Rando.

After receiving generally favorable press, the new musical then made a leap to New York, where it opened Off-Broadway at New World Stages on April 6, 2009. Again under the direction of Broadway veteran, Rando, the cast included Sara Chase, Nick Cordero, Demond Green, Matthew Saldivar and Nancy Opel. After 21 previews and 309 performances The Toxic Avenger closed on January 2, 2010.

Following its Off-Broadway run, The Toxic Avenger has gone on to be produced in Canada and South Korea, as well as expansively across the U.S. at such theatres as The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, and the Manoa Valley Theater in Oahu, Hawaii.

Cultural Influence

  • The Toxic Avenger Musical Original Cast Album was released on May 5, 2009, by Time Life Entertainment.

Trivia

  • The Toxic Avenger was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Book of a Musical," as well as a Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Musical."
  • This particular adaptation of The Toxic Avenger, from a film into a musical, is neither the first, nor the second, but the third such endeavor.
  • Following original cast member, Sara Chase's, departure, "American Idol" Season 3 Runner-Up, Diana Degarmo, stepped into the role of sexy librarian, Sarah, for the remainder of the show's Off-Broadway run.

Critical Reaction

"Hysterically Funny!"
– New York Post

"A Rock & Roll Romp! ...The Toxic Avenger is hard to resist."
– Time Out NY

"Exuberantly Silly!"
– New York Times

"I wore myself out laughing so hard!"
– WOR Radio

"The laughs come fast and furious."
– Theatremania

Connect

Explore photos, videos and more at The Toxic Avenger Fan Club!

 

Billing

Based on Lloyd Kaufman's film of the same name

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
You agree to bill the Play and the Authors in all programs, houseboards, displays and in all advertising and all paid publicity, in the following manner:
 
THE TOXIC AVENGER
(100%)
 
Book and Lyrics by
JOE DIPIETRO
(50%)
Music and Lyrics by
DAVID BRYAN
(50%)
 
Based on Lloyd Kaufman's The Toxic Avenger 
(25%)
 
Billing credit for the Authors shall be equal in type, size, and prominence.  No one may receive billing larger than Authors.  In addition, you also agree to include the following credits:
(i)  On the main credit page of all theater programs and in any paid print advertising in which all designers are billed (in the size, prominence and style of type no less than that used for the designers’ credits):
Orchestrations & Arrangements
David Bryan
& Christopher Jahnke
 
(ii)  On the first page after the title page of all acting editions of the Play and on the title page of credits in all programs, as follows:
“Originally Produced Off-Broadway by Jean Cheever and Tom Polum”
 
(iii)  In acting editions of the Play and on the title page in programs and/or playbills for all productions in the United States and in all newspaper advertising of one-half page or more, houseboards, billboards and posters in the United States whenever the Off-Broadway Producer and Authors’ names appear; all in a size not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the size of the Off-Broadway Producer’s credit:
“World Premiere Production
Presented by
George Street Playhouse
October 10, 2008
    David Saint, Artistic Director        Todd Schmidt, Managing Director”
 
(iv) You also agree that the biograpny of the Authors and George St. must appear in all programs. Biographies available at www.mtishows.com/authorbios
SPECIAL NOTE: In marketing Toxic Avenger, in print materials, showplace or anything else, you are not allowed to mention BON JOVI.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
KEYBOARD1 - CONDUCTOR SCORE2
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK8

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMS
GUITAR
REED 1