New Jersey’s first superhero, The Toxic Avenger, takes on New York when this uproarious musical opens at The New World Stages on April 6th. At his side will be fellow New Jerseyians David Bryan (Bon Jovi keyboardist and founding member), who wrote the rock music and lyrics to the new musical, and Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) who wrote the book and lyrics.
Called “sidesplitting” by Variety and heralded by the New York Times for “bringing audiences spontaneously to their feet,” the production is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) and is based on Lloyd Kaufman’s cult classic horror/comedy film The Toxic Avenger, originally released by Troma Entertainment in 1985. The original cast recording of The Toxic Avenger will be available via all retail and digital outlets on May 5th. It includes the cast recordings of songs from the musical as well as a bonus track with David Bryan singing and playing “You Tore My Heart Out.”
After selling 120 million albums, winning a Grammy and hitting the pop and rock charts nearly 20 times with Bon Jovi, David Bryan creates a dynamic collection of rock songs for the stage in The Toxic Avenger. DiPietro, who also wrote the lyrics and book for the theatrical staging, couldn’t believe his luck when Bryan contacted him out of the blue about another project he was working on. As the two wrapped the project, “I said to David, ‘Remember that flick, The Toxic Avenger? How’d you like to turn it into a musical?’ and he immediately said ‘I love it. I’m in,” recalls DiPietro, “and thus was born The Toxic Avenger musical. David’s work is theatrical, rockin’ and, well, freakin’ fantastic.” Audiences agreed. The Toxic Avenger debuted last year in New Jersey, of course, to wildly ecstatic reviews and the #1 question at the concession stand, “Where can I get a copy of the CD”?
Time Life Senior VP Audio & Video Retail Mike Jason was in the audience one night during the New Jersey run and immediately sought out the producers with an offer to release the soundtrack. “The show is an instant prescription for fun,” he says. “It delivers side splitting laughs, a wonderful off the wall story, and a great set of rock songs.”
Armed with superhuman strength, a look not like any superhero ever seen before and a heart as big as Newark, The Toxic Avenger sets out to save New Jersey from polluters, end global warming and woo the prettiest, blindest librarian in town. The musical will make its New York premiere on April 6th at the New World Stages (home to Altar Boyz and ROOMS: A Rock Romance), located at 340 W. 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.
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