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Adventues of a Broadway Baby in Toronto - November 3rd, 2009

The weekly tales of a Broadway Baby exploring Toronto's theatre scene. Watch this space for everything that is new and exciting on the Toronto theatre scene. From musicals to plays to comedy events, get the unauthorized and uncensored scoop from someone who is out to experience it first-hand!

by Kelly Cameron

Halloween is one of the wildest nights of the year for young adults, and this year I was able to do something a bit different with mine, I attended the opening of Toronto's newest hit musical The Toxic Avenger! Admittedly, this is not the type of show I am used to, nor is it how I would usually spend my Halloween. However, I enjoy getting to try new things so off I went to check out what was happening down at the Music Hall on the Danforth.

Credit must be given to Dancap Productions, who have turned The Music Hall into a great setting for this zombie-style musical. I was afraid I might not be able to find the venue, but quickly realized that wasn't much of a concern. The whole theatre was glowing with green lights, and toxic waste cans sat atop it. The other thing that you couldn't miss was the crowd! The turn-out was fantastic, with people (many in costume) lined up way down Danforth Avenue waiting to get in.

The show itself was a ton of fun, the tiny cast of five does a superb job and the audience seemed to be having a genuinely good time. EVan Alexander Smith, a graduate of George Brown Theatre school, plays the title character, also known as Melvin Ferd the Third. Evan does an excellent job playing the big green monster, alternating between geeky Melvin and the strong and misunderstood "Toxie" with surprising ease.

Brittany Gray plays the Toxic Avenger's love interest, a blind librarian named Sarah. Her character is clearly not an easy one to portray, but Ms. Gray does a great job. Her vocals are beautiful and her acting is top notch. She has a lot of the one-liners and potentially inappropriate jokes that could easily be misinterpreted, but instead she delivers them in such a way that they get huge laughs. She also did a great job handling the physical aspects of the role, of which there were many.

Jamie McKnight and Daren A. Herbert steal many of the scenes they are in as "White Dude" and "Black Dude" respectively. Credit must be given to these two for their ability to play multiple roles, to be honest, I lost count of how many different characters they played. From street punks to Sarah's girlfriends, these two guys pulled off all of their roles with ease and impressed me with their ability to dance in some very nice women's shoes!

Finally, there is Louise Pitre. A veteran when it comes to Canadian theatre, she was the person I was most excited to see and she did not disappoint. I originally saw her back when she played the role of Fantine in Les Miserables, and this was such a departure from that kind of a role that I found the experience almost surreal. In her role as the evil Mayor of Tromaville, Pitre is given some of the best material in the show and attacks it with an unbridled passion. During one of her most hilarious numbers, "Bitch, Slut, Liar, Whore" she is required to alternate between two characters, the Mayor and "Ma" (Melvin's mother) and the audience could barely contain themselves. The energy and raw vocal power Ms. Pitre displayed was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

After the show, there were some brief speeches and the Director presented Dancap President Aubrey Dan with a painting made in his likeness. Dan was dressed up as a construction worker for Halloween, setting the stage for what was a very entertaining after-party.

At the after-party, hosted by globe Restaurant, it was clear that the show was a hit. Everyone was mingling and having a great time, dining at the Oyster bar and partaking in a "Toxic" beverage provided by Jones Soda (green soda branded with the Toxic Avenger graphic) Cast members from Dancap's other hit show Jersey Boys could be seen amongst the partiers, many of whom were decked out to the nines in impressive costumes.

I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Ms. Pitre who was extremely gracious and gave me a brief insight into what it is like to be part of this production. "It is a blast getting to perform this every night, our little cast of five has so much fun!" She seemed to be having a great time both on and off stage.

All in all it was a fabulous way to spend Halloween, and while I didn't get to Trick or Treat, I came away with some wonderful memories and a few take-home bottles of "Toxic" soda, and that ain't too bad. I would recommend to everyone that they get to the Music Hall and partake in some "Hot Toxic Love"

When and Where:

The Toxic Avenger

Book & Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music & Lyrics by David Bryan
Based on Lloyd Kaufman's "The Toxic Avenger"
The Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave, Toronto

Tuesday - Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 4PM and 8PM and Sunday at 3PM and 7PM

Tickets start at just $20 and can be purchased in person at the Music Hall box office, by phone at 416.644.3665 (toll free 1.866.950.7469) or online at ToxicAvengerToronto.com

For more information please visit the website online at www.ToxicAvengerToronto.com




 

 




From This Author - Kelly Cameron