Reviewed by Benjamin Schwartz
A nerdy earth scientist named Melvin falls in love with Sarah, a blind librarian. The romance is cut short when Melvin is dumped into a vat of toxic goo; turning him into a mutant with a six pack.
Toxie then goes off on a rampage around town to take down the mayor’s evil toxicity plans and impress Sarah. The Toxic Avenger Musical premiered Off-Broadway in 2009 to mixed reviews, and is now receiving the Hollywood Fringe treatment thanks to Good People Theatre Company.
The Toxic Avenger Musical is by far the most polished musical at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. Not because it has already been published, instead of it being a new work (like most fringe shows.) It’s slick because it’s in the hands of Director, Janet Miller. Every moment is calculated, precise and never strays from the tone of the show. Transitions glide and the show moves along at a rapid pace.
Jared Reed, who plays Toxie, flips from bright, crisp vocals into raspy rock riffs on a dime. Kim Dalton plays the blind librarian and proves that she has a major set of pipes within such a tiny frame. A live band comprised onstage, although rather loud, are clearly professionals and make the score sound effortless.
Down to the performances, costumes, props and lighting, everything is perfect in this show… except for the music and the book. Even at the helm of a crazy talented cast, The Toxic Avenger Musical needs work. The music is forgettable and the book is over-the-top silly. I am longing to see this same team pull off Urinetown or another show worthy of the talent involved.
The Toxic Avenger Musical runs through June 26th.