Constantine Maroulis, Nancy Opel Lead Alley Theatre's The Toxic Avenger
Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for the new musical The Toxic Avenger. In a new production, which features several new songs and revised book by the Tony Award-winning creative team of Memphis, Bon Jovi founding member and keyboardist David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, Tony-nominated Constantine Maroulis takes center stage as the righteous superhero in the title role. John Rando (Tony Winner for Urinetown) returns to the Alley to reinvent his hilarious 2009 Off-Broadway staging of The Toxic Avenger following his smashing Alley productions of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Mrs. Mannerly and Be My Baby.
The Toxic Avenger is a zany love story and laugh-out-loud musical that has it all – an unlikely hero, his beautiful girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor, an onstage band, and two guys who play ... well, everyone else ... bullies, mobsters, old ladies, and stiletto-wearing back-up singers. The Toxic Avenger runs January 13 – February 12, 2012, on the Hubbard Stage. Due to language, recommended for teens and adults.
Constantine Maroulis plays Melvin Ferd the Third who, after getting dumped in a barrel of toxic waste, becomes The Toxic Avenger. Constantine made his Broadway debut in 2006 in the Tony Nominated production of The Wedding Singer and recently performed in the acclaimed national tour of the Tony Award Nominated Best Musical, Rock of Ages. He originated the role of Drew on Broadway in April 2009 and received a Best Actor Tony nomination. He was a finalist on the fourth season of American Idol.
Nancy Opel reprises her off-Broadway role as the corrupt Mayor Babs Belgoody as well as Ma Ferd and Nun. Opel received Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics, and Lortel nominations for her performance in The Toxic Avenger. She was Tony-nominated for her role in Urinetown and is coming to the Alley direct from the Broadway production of Memphis.
The Toxic Avenger will feature Choreography by Kelly Devine, Music Direction by Doug Katsaros, Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt, Costume Design by David C. Woolard, Lighting Design by Jason Lyons, Sound Design by Robert Kaplowitz, Mask Design & Prosthetics by Louis Zakarian, Fight Direction and Special Effects by Waldo Warshaw/Fusion Special Effects and Hair and Makeup Design by Mark Adam Rampmeyer.
The Toxic Avenger, with books & lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music & lyrics by David Bryan, based on the film The Toxic Avenger by Lloyd Kaufman, and directed by John Rando, begins previews Friday, January 13, opens Friday, January 20 and runs through Sunday, February 12, 2012, on the Hubbard Stage.
ABOUT THE CAST
Constantine Maroulis (Melvin Ferd the Third/The Toxic Avenger)
Constantine Maroulis played the lead role in a three year run in Broadway's Rock of Ages and received a Best Actor Tony nomination and a Drama League nomination for his performance. Constantine made his Broadway debut in the Tony Nominated production of The Wedding Singer. Constantine was a finalist on the fourth season of American Idol. He played the role of Roger Davis in the national tour of RENT. Constantine co-starred in the critically acclaimed Off Broadway production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. He was a series regular on the CBS daytime drama The Bold and The Beautiful, which featured original songs from his debut album "Constantine," released on his own label "Sixth Place Records" via SONY/Red. Other television credits include Law & Order, The Tonight Show, America's Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Conan, Ellen, Regis & Kelly, MTV and many more. In 2011, he was presented with both The Gabby Award and The Elios Award, which recognizes the excellence Greek Americans have achieved in various fields. Constantine will appear in the Warner Brothers feature film, Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise this spring. Constantine graduated from the Boston Conservatory and apprenticed at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2002.
Nancy Opel (Mayor Babs Belgoody/Ma Ferd/Nun)
Nancy Opel's recent credits include Memphis on Broadway; Paradise Found in London; The Toxic Avenger, for which she received Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics, and Lortel nominations; the National Tour of The Drowsy Chaperone; Gypsy with Patti LuPone and Arthur Laurents at City Center; and My Deah for which she received an Obie Award. Her Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Urinetown for which she received a Tony nomination, Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George, Evita and others. Her Off-Broadway credits include Polish Joke for which she received Drama Desk and Lortel nominations, Mere Mortals, All in the Timing and others. TV credits include "The Big C, all Law & Order's and others. She is a Singing/acting coach.
Mara Davi (Sarah)
Mara Davi's Broadway credits include Irving Berlin's White Christmas as Judy Haynes, The Drowsy Chaperone as Janet Van der Graaff, and the Original Revival Cast of A Chorus Line as Maggie Winslow. Her New York credits include Death Takes A Holiday as Alice at Roundabout Theater, Give Me Up at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, No, No Nanette as Nanette and Of Thee I Sing as Ms. Benson at City Center Encores!. Her Regional credits include the Goodman Theatre, Old Globe, Sacramento Music Circus, Flatrock Playhouse, The Orday, and the tour of 42nd Street as Peggy Sawyer. Her Feature Film credits include New Year's Eve, Musical Chairs, Every Little Step and the TV show Blue Bloods.
Mitchell Jarvis (White Dude)
Mitchell Jarvis is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of Carnegie Melon University. He recently completed his third year in Rock of Ages on Broadway, with which he created the role of Lonny the narrator. He also played the role of Stacee Jaxx for a six month stint. Other Theatre credits include Jerry in The Full Monty, Bo in Bus Stop, Tobias in Sweeney Todd, Tony and Riff in West Side Story, Jimmy in The Rainmaker, Dickon in The Secret Garden, Penthious in The Rockae, and Chuck in Avenue X. Television credits include Guiding Light, All My Children, Law and Order SVU, and as Keystone Light's current front man, Keith Stone. Film credits include Midnight Clear.
Antoine L. Smith (Black Dude)
Antoine L. Smith is originally from Sioux City, Iowa and now resides in NYC. He was last seen in the 2010 Tony Award-winning "Best Musical" Memphis on Broadway. Other credits include the Off-Off Broadway production of Honestly Abe and the National Tours of CATS, Sesame Street LIVE, and Dragon Tales LIVE. His Regional credits include RENT, Big River, Spelling Bee, The Buddy Holly Story, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ain't Mis Behavin, Into The Woods, and many more.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Joe DiPietro (Book & Lyrics)
Joe DiPietro's current Broadway hit Memphis won the Tony Award for Best Musical and two additional Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, with David Bryan. For more information go to www.memphisthemusical.com.
Joe was born and raised off Exit 166 in New Jersey and thus has been a Toxic Avenger fan for the last twenty years. Joe wrote the book & lyrics to "I LoveYou, You're Perfect, Now Change", the longest running musical revue in New York history which has had hundreds of productions across the country and around the world. He also wrote the book and lyrics to the Broadway musical All Shook Up, and the award-winning musical, The Thing About Men, which has played internationally.
His plays include the Edgar Award-winning mystery, The Art of Murder, as well as the long-running hit comedy Over the River and through the Woods, which has had over a hundred productions around the world and is currently being developed into a feature film. He lives in Manhattan and Connecticut, but his heart will always be in New Jersey.
David Bryan (Music & Lyrics)
David Bryan is the Keyboard Player and a Founding Member of Bon Jovi and is currently on Bon Jovi's Circle Tour. David is a Singer/Songwriter Composer, Lyricist and Programmer.
David Bryan lives near Exit 109 off the Garden State Parkway. He was conceived, born and raised in New Jersey. As a young man, he saw The Toxic Avenger at a midnight showing in Newark, and from that day on, he dreamed of writing a musical about the first mutant superhero from his home state. This show is a fulfillment of that dream.
David has accomplished some other stuff, too. He is the keyboard player, songwriter and a founding member of Bon Jovi, one of the most successful bands in music history. They've sold over 130 million records worldwide, performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans, and were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. They've survived and thrived the rock and roll years, the grunge years, the rap years and everything in between. On the band's award-winning CD Have A Nice Day, David and Jon wrote the song "Last Cigarette."
David has also written and released a solo record, Lunar Eclipse (Rounder/Universal) an instrumental collection with a single vocal bonus track highlighting all of the aspects of his training and influences blues, classical, jazz and of course, rock & roll.
In his time off from recording and touring with Jon, Richie and Tico, David began a career as a composer and lyricist of musicals. The song, "Memphis Lives In Me," which he performs on Bon Jovi's recent box set, is actually from his musical, Memphis which recently won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. David also won a Tony for Best Orchestrations, with Daryl Waters, and Best Original Score (Music & Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, with Joe DiPietro.
In addition to his musical theatre compositions and writing with bandmates Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, with whom he co-wrote the band's hit, "In These Arms," David continues to write with and for other artists. The most successful cover of a Bryan song may be Curtis Steiger's rendition of "This Time," which was a major International hit for him.
David has also dedicated his time to become a National Spokesperson for VH1's Save The Music Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of music education in America's schools. For more on David, visit www.DavidBryan.com.
Lloyd Kaufman (Creator of the Toxic Avenger)
"Lloyd Kaufman's body of work has now proven to be a seminal influence on film today. Just look at any film created by the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Takashi Miike, Peter Jackson, Eli Roth, Gaspar Noé, and James Gunn, to name a few, and you are likely watching a film influenced by Class of Nuke 'Em High, TRomeo & Juliet, or Citizen Toxie." – Stan Lee, creator of SpiderMan
Established in 1974 by Yale University friends Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, Troma Entertainment is perhaps the longest running independent movie studio in United States' history and one of the more well-known names in the industry. Among today's stars whose early work can be found in Troma's 800+ film library are Trey Parker & Matt Stone, creators of South Park and Book of Mormon; Robert DeNiro; Dustin Hoffman; Kevin Costner; Fergie, and Samuel L. Jackson.
John Rando (Director)
John Rando returns to the Alley Theatre having previously directed Mrs. Mannerly, The Man Who Came to Dinner and Be My Baby. His directing debut was in 1979 during his senior year at his alma mater in nearby Clear Creek High School. He is the Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award–winning director of Urinetown, The Musical, which also ran at A.C.T., had a Canadian premiere and won six Dora Awards. Other Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns, Dance of the Vampires, and The Dinner Party. With New York City Center's Encores!®, he has directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, The Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, Strike Up the Band, and the upcoming Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. His Off-Broadway credits include The Toxic Avenger Musical, which won the 2009 Outer Critics Circle Award Best Off Broadway Musical; The Downtown Plays at Tribeca Theatre Festival/Drama Dept.; Pig Farm at Roundabout Theatre Company; Bright Ideas at Manhattan Class Company; Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club; Mere Mortals at Primary Stages; Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight at Promenade Theatre; The Comedy of Errors at The Acting Company; and The Venetian Twins, When Ladies Battle, and Twelfth Night at The Pearl Theatre Company. Regional credits include productions at The American Conservatory Theatre, The Old Globe, the Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Play House, and Syracuse Stage, among many others. Rando was a Drama League directing fellow. In 2004 he received The Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award from the University of Texas. He also received the 2010 Alumni Achievement Award from UCLA's Department of Theatre, Film and Television.
Kelly Devine (Choreography)
Kelly Devine is an internationally recognized choreographer whose work spans the mediums of film, television and live performance. Her Broadway credits include Rock of Ages; the first National Tour of Rock of Ages, London, Australia, Toronto, which received a Dora Award nomination. Her Opera credits include Faust at the Metropolitan Opera House and London Coliseum. She was the Assoc. Choreographer for Jersey Boys and Memphis. Her Off-Broadway credits include Rock of Ages; Frankenstein and Anne Wrecksick. Her La Jolla Playhouse credits include Peter and the Starcatchers, in association with Disney Theatricals; Zhivago in Australia, which received a Helpman Nomination; and Private Fittings. Her Stratford Shakespeare Festival credits include Cabaret and Romeo & Juliet and her Regional credits include A Christmas Story at Kansas City Rep. and 5th Avenue Theatre; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Sneaux, which received an L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography; Wozzeck at San Diego Opera; and Associate Choreographer for The Wiz. Her Film and Television credits include Happy Texas; Zombie Prom; So Little Time; Two of a Kind; and Passport to Paris. Commercials credits include Cingular Wireless; American Idol Promo; and Oldsmobile. Upcoming projects include Pal Joey at the Kennedy Center as well as Rocky in Germany and on Broadway.
Doug Katsaros (Musical Director/Conductor)
Doug Katsaros has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Gloria Estefan, Sinéad O'Connor, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Elton John, Todd Rundgren and others. He's written for Ringling Brothers, Macy's 4th of July and Thanksgiving celebrations, and has conducted the Boston Pops. He's composed several film and TV scores and his New York credits include the Conductor for Footloose, Orchestrator for Rocky Horror, Arranger for The Life, Composer for Laughing Room Only, Hair, Composer for A...Alice, Orchestrator for Altar Boyz and Composer for Just So. He lives with composer Elise Morris, his teenage daughters, and yes, he's the guy who wrote "By Mennen!"
Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design)
Beowulf Boritt's Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys, which received a Tony Nomination; Rock of Ages, also in London, Australia, and Toronto; Sondheim on Sondheim; …Spelling Bee; Lovemusik and The Two and Only. His Off- Broadway credits include more than 50 shows including The Last Five Years, The Toxic Avenger, Miss Julie, The Public Theatre, Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, 2nd Stage, Vineyard Theatre, Manhattan Class Company, New Group, Pearl, American Place and Keen Company. His other designs include The Seven Deadly Sins at New York City Ballet, Paradise Found in London, Reel To Real in Beijing and 2 editions of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Designs for regional theatre include The Guthrie Theatre, The Old Globe, Trinity Repertory Company, The Alliance, The Geffen Playhouse, The Dallas Theatre Center, and many others. He received a 2007 OBIE Award for sustained excellence in set design.
David C. Woolard (Costume Design)
Returning to the Alley (Ether Dome, Be My Baby, The Underpants, Trip to Bountiful), David C. Woolard's Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones, West Side Story, Jane Fonda's clothing for 33 Variations, Dividing the Estate, The Farnsworth Invention, Old Acquaintance, Ring of Fire the music of Johnny Cash, All Shook Up, 700 Sundays with Billy Crystal, The Smell of the Kill, The Rocky Horror Show which received a 2001 Tony nomination, Voices in the Dark, The Who's Tommy which received 1993 Tony and Olivier Award nominations, Bells Are Ringing, Marlene, Wait Until Dark, Horton Foote's The Young Man from Atlanta, Sally Marr … And her Escorts, Damn Yankees, and A Few Good Men. His recent credits include Orphans Home Cycle at Signature Theatre in New York City, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Any More at Roundabout Laura Pels Theatre, and the opera Death and the Powers in Monte Carlo. Selected additional credits include Lucy Simon's musical Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse, Horton Foote's The Carpetbagger's Children, The Stendhal Syndrome, The Day Emily Married with Estelle Parsons, The Donkey Show, Cosi Fan Tutte and Madame Mao at Santa Fe Opera, Bare, and numerous regional theatre credits include The Old Globe Theater, Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Jason Lyons (Lighting Design)
Jason Lyons' Broadway credits include Rock of Ages, also in Toronto, Australia, London and National Tours; The Threepenny Opera; Barefoot In the Park; and Good Vibrations. His recent credits include Bring It On, The Musical, the National Tour and Alliance; So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2011; White Noise; Golden Age at the Kennedy Center; Broke-ology at LCT; Uncle Vanya at CSC; Clay at LCT; Happy Hour, 2 by Pinter, Scarcity, Body Awareness with the Atlantic Theater Company; Fault Lines with Naked Angels; The Piano Teacher at South Coast Rep; Vigils at Goodman; Evil Dead, The Musical in NYC & Toronto; The Field with Irish Rep; Once Around the Sun; and Kiki & Herb: Coup de Theatre. He spent ten years with The New Group, including Marie & Bruce, The Starry Messenger, Groundswell, Mourning Becomes Electra, Rafta Rafta, Two Thousand Years, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Abigail's Party, Hurlyburly, Aunt Dan and Lemon and Comedians. He is on the Faculty at Purchase College.
Robert Kaplowitz (Sound Designer)
Robert Kaplowitz has been lucky enough to spend the last 20 years designing sound and composing, and has been honored with both a Tony Award for Fela! and an OBIE award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design. His only other credit in the great state of Texas is at the Dallas Theatre Center, where he designed It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! Other selected credits include John Beluso's The Poor Itch, Lemon Anderson's County Of Kings, and Neil LaBute's Wrecks at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre; The Art Spiegelman/Pilobolus collaboration Hapless Hooligan; David Adjmi's Stunning at Lincoln Center 3; Kia Corthron's Light, Raise the Roof New York Theatre Workshop; Abbey Spallin's Pumpgirl at Manhattan Theatre Club; Chloe Moss's This Wide Night with Naked Angels; and Adam Bock's The Thugs at Soho Rep and A Small Fire at Playwrights Horizons, plus designs for 2nd Stage, LAByrinth, MCC, Primary Stages, The Vineyard, Sundance, PlayPenn, the O'Neill Playwrights Center, and others.
Louis Zakarian (Mask Design & Prosthetics)
Louis Zakarian's Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Lestat, Little Shop of Horrors, Dance of the Vampires, and Lion King. He has over 20 years in film, stage and television experience. He is the Emmy-winning head make-up designer for "Saturday Night Live."
Waldo Warshaw/Fusion Special Effects (Fight Direction & Special Effects)
Returning to the Alley (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Fusion Special Effects has over 47 years of combined talents and experiences of co-founders Waldo Warshaw, a Special Effects Designer & Choreographer, and Brian Schuley, an Effects, Stunt and Safety Coordinator.
Mark Adam Rampemeyer (Hair & Makeup Design)
Mark Adam Rampemeyer's Broadway credits include West Side Story. His Off-Broadway credits include The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore at Roundabout Theatre Company, Chasing Manet at Primary Stages and The Orphan's Home Cycle Part I, II, III at Signature Theatre. He is the Original Hair & Makeup Designer for The Toxic Avenger.
The Toxic Avenger is generously sponsored by Premiere Sponsor The Humphreys Foundation and Supporting Sponsors Cooper Industries and Thompson & Knight. The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2011-2012 season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre.
Tickets to The Toxic Avenger start at $25. All tickets to The Toxic Avenger are available for purchase at www.alleytheatre.org, at the Alley Theatre Box Office, 615 Texas Avenue, or by calling 713.220.5700. Groups of 10 or more can receive special concierge services and select discounts by calling 713.220.5700 and asking for the group sales department.
CAPTIONED AND AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE
Saturday, January 14, 2:30 p.m.
The Alley Theatre offers access services for our deaf or hard of hearing and sight-impaired patrons. Audio Description is provided for each Hubbard Stage production and Open Captioning is offered for every Hubbard Stage and Neuhaus Stage production. To ensure that your seats will accommodate your needs, please call the box office 713.220.5700 when ordering tickets to this performance. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more.
WELLSPRINGS VILLAGE $10 TIX
Saturday, January 14
The Alley Theatre continues its efforts to make the theatre affordable to patrons. Partnering with other social non-profit organizations, the Alley seeks to generate in-kind donations and reward patrons with $10 Tix for select performances. The $10 Tix are available in person only on Saturday, January 14 and are limited to two tickets per person. With your donation, you can purchase two $10 tickets for Saturday, January 14 at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. or Thursday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. Donate and purchase in person at the box office (615 Texas Ave.) on Saturday, October 8 only. Limited availability. The $10 Tix partner for The Toxic Avenger is Wellsprings Village. The date to donate and purchase is Saturday, January 14, beginning at noon. The donated item is toiletries (body wash, body lotion, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, deodorant).
Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.
Members of the cast return to the stage following the performance to take questions from the audience. TalkBacks are led by a member of the Alley Artistic Staff.
Thursday, January 26, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.
Houston's premiere theatre group for gay and lesbian theatre fans and their friends celebrates the Alley Theatre's production of The Toxic Avenger. This pre-curtain event is free with your ticket to the Thursday, January 26, 7:30 p.m. performance The Toxic Avenger. To buy a ticket, required for this event, use the promo code: ACTOUT. Purchase online at www.alleytheatre.org or call the box office at 713.220.5700.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes