Right this second in New Jersey, 2 miles away from Tromaville in fact, I sit atop an old hazardous chemicals canister that doubles as my computer desk in the toxic dumping grounds (it was empty, but thanks for your concern). I’ve been experimenting in my lab. No, I’m not trying to discover a cure for Toxie’s grossness, but I am trying to find out if the soundtrack to The Toxic Avenger Musical holds up after multiple listens. In order to figure this out, I’ve been alternating between blasting it’s songs for a few minutes then immersing the disc in mass quantities of green chemicals. After all, the theme of the musical is “be green,” right? Ohhhh, they meant, like, the environment and stuff? Well, if I discover the CD is that good, I’ll never have to throw it away, hence making LESS GARBAGE in New Jersey! It’s a win-win!
Not to be a blowhard, but I was lucky enough to review The Toxic Avenger Musical when it premiered in New Brunswick, NJ (click here for the review). After the show, the tunes wouldn’t leave my head for the rest of the night. Seriously, from a guy’s point of view, plays and musicals don’t seem to appeal to us as much as they do to girls. Personally, I enjoy going to a play once in a while like Rock of Ages, and even though not the studliest of musicals, Chicago. It really isn’t too bad, but how many guys do you know that would drive around town in their vehicle with their windows down blasting “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” from A Chorus Line? For those who don’t want to risk it, they can feel A-OK about popping in the Original Cast Recording of The Toxic Avenger Musical.
Be advised that this is not some half assed rip off of the Troma classic, The Toxic Avenger. Unlike The Wedding Singer, and Legally Blonde, this is a sharply written, hallucinogenic, metaphorical, musical comedy. Now let’s see what David Bryan and Joe DiPietro can create with that mound of descriptions! It’s likely whatever they come up with wouldn’t be able to go face to sludge with the outlandish fun they’ve created for the soundtrack to the Toxic Avenger Musical.
“It’s never the same pus from one moment to the next.”
Sounds like it might be some dialogue from a song on The Toxie Musical Soundtrack, right? WRONG! It’s actually some dialogue from Waiting for Godot, the play you WON’T have to go see if you can convince your girlfriend to STAY HOME and listen to the Toxic Avenger soundtrack that you ordered. Trust me, this will work if you promise to act out Toxie’s parts! (Just get a mop and glue some green jello to your face, you’ll be fine.) Now this is more like it:
“There’s a place between heaven and hell, don’t need a map just follow the smell…a place filled with filthy air…a place filled with dark despair… A place called New Jersey! New Jersey….The Garden State.”
“There’s an exit called the 13B, right off the Turnpike where it smells just like pee…” To the rare breed of people who actually defend NJ from it’s constant pop culture persecution, this stuff is bittersweet, immortal poetry. Finally, these heartwarming sentiments have permanently etched their way into Broadway! So, Suck it New York City! haha. The words of the songs may seem elementary at first listen, but at least you won’t have to use an iPhone app to decipher the meanings of the songs. The easily relatable ideas of physical freakishness and pollution are two themes the soundtrack imaginatively evokes.
Creating fumes for Toxie as his blind love interest is Sarah, played by Sarah Chase. Put away your hatred of blind jokes for “My Big French Boyfriend,” and share Toxie’s level of cloud 9 gratification as he sings “Thank God She’s Blind” in appreciation of Sarah’s embrace of his hideousness. These pop rock tunes, although fluffy at times, still retain a dramatic tone. “Hot Toxic Love” can be considered the musical’s equivalent to Bon Jovi’s “Always” if it was turned on it’s head, shoved into a garbage can, and submerged in bright, bubbling, green slime.
Without relying on any visuals, Toxie’s tune “Kick Your Ass,” will empower you. This track follows Melvin Ferd after he is “reborn” as Toxie, a hulking hero that could er…excuse the redundancy, “kick ass.” Now, every time I hear “Kick Your Ass,” or any number of combinations, such as kick ass, kick his ass, kick my ass, or kick your mother’s ass, I hear the awesome rap rock stylings of “Kick Your Ass.” “I’m gonna kick, kick, kick, kick, kick your ass!” I can keep singing it for at least 3 more minutes and then I’ll just sound like a total douche, especially because I’m alone, but you get my point. It’s infectious. What? You’re saying it’s NOT infectious? Now I’m really gonna kick, kick, kick, kick, kick your ass!
As The Mayor of Tromaville, Nancy Opel’s zesty stage performance, and her unbelievably elastic singing voice ensure a long life for the musical. On “Jersey Girl” (complete with Bruce and Bon Jovi references) and “Evil is Hot,” Opel easily shines as the standout performer in the show. If you don’t believe me, the proof is burned by lasers into the CD! In just a couple of her signature moments, Opel plays dual roles and also utters the line “these two breasts can be yours, you can’t buy them in stores, go ahead take a bite!” How’s that for an opening line? But the moment that tops them all is when she belts out the endearing ditty, “Bitch/Slut/Liar/Whore.” When you’re playing this track for your girlfriend you can go into the nuances of Opel’s performance. Tell your girlfriend that this track truly displays Opel’s wide range of talent and at the same time it’ll also allow you to say “YOU WHORE!” without getting in trouble. In other words, this song has a built in “get out of jail free” card. Go ahead, feel free to sing it with me! “You Whoooooore!” See honey? You just have to appreciate the subtlety!
The CD saves the best for last. If the NJ Tourism commission had a copy of the soundtrack to The Toxic Avenger Musical they would easily forgo Bon Jovi’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” for “A Brand New Day in New Jersey.” The upbeat finale to The Toxic Avenger Musical rouses the audience into a standing ovation with every performance.
As for my aforementioned research, here are my scientifically authoritative findings:
If you find yourself singing songs from Rocky Horror while making your morning coffee “…I was just seven hours old…” then you will surely enjoy The Toxic Avenger soundtrack. It’s music is daring, especially in a modern musical climate suffocated with dance pop crap and poorly written, overproduced, hip-hop. You’ll hear clever lyrics that will surely give you a laugh regardless of what exit you are on the Turnpike. Even though Toxie has gone onto bigger venues (The New World Stages in New York City), and left NJ in the dust, you can still experience the songs! Great news,”You can breathe now in New Jersey, so you won’t catch cancer and die!” And there’s “no more garbage in New Jersey, cause we dump it in Vermont!” Thank you Toxie, NJ is no longer polluted and blanketed with fumes! You’ve made it safe for us to inhale!
The original cast recording of The Toxic Avenger is produced by David Bryan of Bon Jovi.
In addition, the CD also contains “You Tore My Heart Out,” a bonus track performed by David Bryan. The CD will be released on May 5th. You can order it here,
and on iTunes!
New World Stages
340 West 50th
New York, NY 10019