Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Toxic Avenger roars into the Shakes.

I went to a dress rehearsal for the Central Florida premiere of The Toxic Avenger Musical! The show featured a live rock band on stage behind the action! Greater Orlando Actors Theatre is bringing this hilarious musical comedy to the stage.  The show has mature content and may not be appropriate for children.

Armed with superhuman strength and a heart as big as Newark, Melvin Ferd The Third (Adam McCabe) is out to save New Jersey, end global warming and woo the prettiest, blindest librarian in town. Don't miss The Toxic Avenger live on stage! It's like nothing you've ever seen before. The Toxic Avenger is based on the 1985 classic cult film from Troma Studios and features music and lyrics by David Bryan with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro.

I'm a sucker for a musical and this show features me home state of New Jersey being slimmed by the rich and sleazy Manhattan. When Melvin is thrown in a vat of toxic green sludge, he becomes the super human but malformed Toxic Avenger. The only girl who could love this misshapen beast with an eye ball on his cheek would be the blind librarian, Sarah (Jillian Gizzi). She does an amazing job of being sexy, funny and always facing the wrong way when speaking to someone. This has to be every single guys fantasy, to be loved by a girl who is blind his flaws. In many ways, the show reminded me of "Little Shop of Horrors" with the geek suddenly getting his every desire. Though the Avenger won the love of his girl he could not let her touch him for fear that she would discover just how malformed he was.

As the show was being rehearsed, the set was still being painted. A former student of mine, Megan was busy painting a stone facade along with Julia Gagne on the stage. My favorite song had to be, "Bitch, Bitch, slut, slut, lire, lire, whore. I find myself humming that song at the most inopportune times. Being an in it in, run through in the theatre there were a few staging mishaps, but even those were so funny that they added to the shows entertainment value. There was plenty of gender bending and one sultry, hairy legged dame said to me, "Draw like one of your French girls" as she-he, walked up the aisle on a break.   This show is as entertaining as a bounce house full of kids in from of a strip club. Don't miss it!

STARRING: Leesa Castaneda – Mayor Babs Belgoody/Ma Ferd/Nun Adam DelMedico, White Dude Daniel Martinez, Ethnic Dude Director, Jay Levy Musical Director, Theresa Leigh Smith-Levin, Choreographer – Shawn Michael Lowe, Producer – Paul Castaneda.

The remaining show times are January 15,19, 20, 21 and 22, 2017 at 8pm in the Lowndes Shakespeare Complex in the Mandell Theatre (812 E Rollins St. Orlando, Fl. 32803). For tickets go to or call 407-990-1887.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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