Rocky Horror Show Live at Cranford Dramatic Club

“Come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab!” Yes, Frank N. Furter will be making a man in New Jersey starting this weekend. Cranford, NJ’s non-profit dramatic club has been entertaining audiences for 94 years, making it the longest continuously producing community theater in the state of New Jersey. The theater has a rich history and I’m eager to see their upcoming stage production of one of my favorite Halloween time traditions, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show which premieres this Friday night!

CDC will also feature a special midnight performance of The Rocky Horror Show on 10/27. For more about show times, tickets, and directions to the theater visit www.cdctheatre.org and support local theater!!

Halloween 2011 Events in New Jersey

halloween,new jersey

I’ve been complaining that it seems like there aren’t enough Halloween events going on this year in the Garden State, but as the month of October continues, I’m obviously dead wrong. There’s events popping up like zombies out of the ground. So, if you’re into some doing spooky stuff in honor of Halloween, Jersey is definitely the place to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking because we probably have more cool frightful events than most other states. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Halloween for the rest of the month. If you have an event that you would like to submit for the list, please send to sexyarmpit@comcast.net.

You may remember me mentioning The Home of Happiness before. They are New Jersey’s own Rocky Horror Troupe located in Montclair, New Jersey. Tonight, 10/15 they are having a Pre-Halloween costume contest and next Saturday is college night! If you miss it this week, be sure to get there on a Saturday night soon, it’s “truly beautiful to behold!”
WHEN: EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT!
WHERE: Bellevue Theater, Montclair NJ
And of course, we’ve got ZOMBIES! We’ll have enough ghastly zombies in Asbury Park’s UNDEAD FESTIVAL to take over Rhode Island. We broke a Guinness record at the last NJ Zombie Walk and I’m sure this year will be just as insane. Get your tickets to the Undead Festival which is going on all next weekend!
nj zombie walk,asbury park,halloween,october 



UNDEAD FESTIVAL AND NJ ZOMBIE WALK

WHEN: OCTOBER 21st, 22nd, and 23rd! (Zombie Walk is 10/22!)
WHERE: Asbury Park Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
FEATURING: vendors, costume contests, fashion shows, screenings, meet and greets with horror film stars
HALLOWEEN HORROR DOUBLE FEATURE
FILMS: Frankenhooker and Basket Case
WHEN: 10/22 7:30 PM
WHERE: FORUM THEATRE, Metuchen NJ
I often write posts about The Landmark Loews Jersey Theater and their excellent film festivals. The theater is a gorgeous classic movie house which has been restored by volunteers who pour their heart and soul into the old movie palace. The theater is easily accessible, located in Journal Square in Jersey City. If you don’t have plans for Halloween weekend, there’s nothing better than watching a horror film in this theater while munching on popcorn.
loews jersey,jersey city,october,halloween 



HORRORS, LAUGHS, AND CHILLS CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL 

WHERE: Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, Jersey City, NJ
FILM SCHEDULE: 
Friday 10/28 8:00PM The House on Haunted Hill
Saturday 10/29 6:00PM Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Sunday 10/29 8:15 PM The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
CHILLER THEATRE TOY, MODEL, and FILM EXPO
WHEN: 10/28 – 10/20
WHERE: Hilton, Parsipanny NJ
TICKETS: http://www.chillertheatre.com/c4tickets.htm

THE MISFITS
WHEN: 10/28 Doors at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville
TICKETS: via this link at Ticketmaster

FRIGHT FEST AT SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE
WHERE: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
WHEN: Weekends until 10/30
PARANORMAL NJ’s NIGHTMARE BALL
WHEN: 10/29 8 PM
WHERE: Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park NJ
http://www.paranormalbooksNJ.com and http://www.asburylanes.com/

ELAINE’S DINNER THEATER AND HAUNTED MANSION
Now Presenting “Gone With The Werewolves”
WHEN: Make Reservations at (609) 884-4358
WHERE: Cape May, NJ
http://www.elainesdinnertheater.com/dinner.html

WHERE: Willowbrook Mall, Wayne NJ
WHEN: Until 10/30

Zombies + Rocky Horror = Killer Saturday Night!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8f84gmUQXc?rel=0]

Do you have plans on Saturday, and if so, do those plans involve transvestites, time warps, and zombies? There’s a good chance that they don’t so you should pencil in The Home of Happiness’ Rocky Horror ZOMBIE NIGHT at the Bellevue Theater in Montclair! New Jersey’s very own Home of Happiness Rocky Horror group is based out of Montclair, and if you ever planned on attending one of their shows but just didn’t get around to it, then Saturday night June 18th is the night you want to go! Zombies and Rocky Horror, yup, the forces have finally combined! There’s going to be a zombie costume contest, as well as themed costumes and dance numbers. It sounds like it’s going to be complete MADNESS! If you’re not convinced yet, the trailer posted above will seal the deal. The awesome preview video was created by Paul and Dana from The Home of Happiness.

If you do attend, please let me know how it was! As I previously mentioned, my Saturday night is all booked up so unfortunately I’m going to miss it. Vince McMahon’s got me by the balls again, but this time I’m corrupting my 6 year old nephew with WWE action!

RSVP on Facebook

Rocky Horror fans may also like this from The Sexy Archives:

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 22: The Home of Happiness

www.HomeofHappiness.com
www.NJRocky.com

ReVision’s Rocky Horror Show Reviewed

Rocky Horror Asbury Park

On October 28th, 2010 I attended an electrifying performance of The Rocky Horror Show presented by The ReVision Theatre in The Carousel House on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. I had no idea there was anything going on in the Carousel House, and it’s great to see that The ReVision Theatre may find a permanent home there, if they can raise the funding. If you haven’t been able to catch the show yet, you still have time since they’ve extended the run through November 13th! If you’ve seen the 1975 film, but never a stage production of Rocky, it’s a whole different experience!

If sexual innuendos, and bisexuality make you feel uncomfortable, then you can stop reading this now. I always seem to run into plenty of people who have never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in any form, and much of the time it’s because they think it “looks weird,” or they don’t dig transvestites. I say lighten the f*ck up! It’s one of the most fun shows you will ever witness. Although, I can see why some folks may be apprehensive to step into it’s erotic world of sci-fi, horror, and comedy. It’s the one aspect of Rocky Horror that I don’t like…the audience interaction.

While the majority of hardcore fans of Rocky Horror have memorized the lines, crowd retorts, and what to throw at the stage and at what time, it gets old really quick. Having to shout “SLUT,” every time someone utters the name “Janet” is annoying. Tying to pay attention to the dialogue becomes extremely challenging. The crowd lines become a whole seperate script you need to remember so they provide you with help via word bubbles Pop Up Video style on the set’s big screen above the stage. Those types of jokes are funny the first few times but it tends to make people shy away, especially when newbies hear terribly embarrassing stories about being a “virgin.” Believe me, that part is not as bad as you may have heard.

Since it’s tough to beat the production values of the Broadway version of Rocky Horror that ran in the early 2000’s, it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two. Scoring the likes of Sebastian Bach and Joan Jett is out of the realm of possibility, but the Asbury Park show still manages to go over the top, even without big name stars. In fact, having Chris Hall in the role of Frank N. Furter made this show more genuine. He was definitely inspired by Tim Curry’s Frank, and more flashy and brave than actors who have previously portrayed the character in the New York productions that I’ve seen.

With a freakish frizz of fake hair on top of his head and a wild makeup job on his face, Hall strutted around stage like he owned it. There was even a moment when he accidentally kicked a stage light and it broke. He nonchalantly referred to it while in character and the audience loved it. Hall was so comfortable in the part that I hope when some asinine filmmaker decides to remake RHPS, that they consider Hall for the role. His Frank N. Furter was glittery and his soaring vocals grabbed the audience by their sack…of props.

I did have a few minor issues, but that’s only because I’m forever tied to the film version. Hernando Umana’s Riff Raff had green hair, and looked less like Richard O’Brien in the film and more like The Joker. Umana’s voice was incredible and he added in some very entertaining mannerisms, so I’d say he’s in the right business. The narrator, played by Brett Colby, had great comedic timing, I wonder if he does stand up? Tap dancing and tripping on drugs and into our hearts was Jesse Wildman as Columbia. She was a lot of fun to watch and provided a fresh take on the character. And as Janet, actress Jennifer Bowles was hysterical as she humped various parts of the stage and writhed around in her underwear during “Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me.”

The last couple of gripes I had may have been fixed by now since I witnessed the first show of the run. First, some of the special effects cues were out of sync. For instance, when Janet changed channels on the TV screen, the last channel came up too late, well after she stopped changing channels. Little details like that happened with the big TV screen several times. There were also instances when some of the audience interaction prompts were not the same as what the crowd was yelling. And finally, certain sections of seats were different than others, and even though ours had little pillows on them, they were uncomfortable to the point where I would have preferred sitting on the floor.

Overall it was a great time for a very reasonable price, and an easy drive on The Garden State Parkway! Support local independent theater and check out The ReVision Theatre website for more info!

Susan Sarandon is October’s Garden State Playmate!

Susan Sarandon NJ

Can you imagine that much of the younger generation knows Susan Sarandon from SNL’s “Mother Lover” sketch? I wonder if those same kids would be surprised that she was also quite a hot little number back in her day. Back in her day started about 40 years ago in 1970’s Joe, her first film role. Since then, out of the long list of movies Susan Sarandon has starred in, her performance as the innocent, yet sexy Janet Weiss in 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still one of her most memorable.

Susan Sarandon

Casting Sarandon in “Mother Lover” was fitting, since she definitely is a MILF. Are MILF’s allowed to be named Garden State Playmates, you ask? Of course they are! I also chose Susan Saradon to be October’s GSP because even though she was born in New York, she grew up in Edison, NJ and graduated from Edison High School.

Susan Sarandon

Sarandon has had many standout performances and coincidentally, one of her most notable is actually linked with New Jersey. Her role in 1980’s Atlantic City gained her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Sarandon’s film choice is not always predictable or safe which is apparent when scanning her filmography. She’s starred in films such as The Hunger, The Witches of Eastwick, and Thelma and Louise. In the pop culture department, Sarandon starred as Queen Narissa, a badass witch in Disney’s Enchanted, as well as The Simpsons, the live action Speed Racer, and as a guest on Sesame Street.

As you can see, Susan Sarandon certainly has had an impressive career thus far, but she’s most notorious for her knockers, and you can admit it, we’re amongst friends here, you know you want to touch-a, touch-a, touch-a, touch them! So, here’s to you Susan Sarandon! Who the hell needs a lifetime achievement award when you have the honor of being October’s Garden State Playmate?!?!

Halloween Events around New Jersey

Not in the Halloween spirit yet? Well, you don’t have much time left, but a good old fashioned Haunted Hayride through some spooky woods will definitely do the trick. The Field of Terror in East Windsor, NJ is New Jersey’s largest corn maze/haunted hayride event. We took a Sexy Armpit excursion there last weekend and had a great time. It was a perfect night, the air was crisp, the moon was bright, and we even ran into The New Jersey Ghostbusters!

Disco of the Damned

Every year Asbury Lanes and Paranormal Books present an over the top Halloween party and it’s always the place to be. If you still have not made your Halloween plans, then click over to ticketweb and order your tickets! Tragedy performs their signature metalized versions of The Bee Gees hits! The Sexy Armpit will be there, in costume of course. What costume will I be wearing? Not telling!

Loew's Jersey Theatre
The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City is keeping it real. Really scary that is! Each year, New Jersey’s most legendary theatre presents horror movies during October. Starting tonight you can check out Brides of Dracula, Son of Frankenstein, and the original Nosferatu with a creepy live organ providing the soundtrack!

Rocky Horror Asbury Park
The Revision Theatre is presenting their production of The Rocky Horror Show on stage! This is the real play folks, you won’t just be watching the movie on a screen. There’s already great buzz on the actors and costumes so I’m looking forward to it! If you can’t make it, I’ll let you know how it is! Hope it makes me shiver with antici…pation! What are your plans for Halloween?

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 22: The Home of Happiness

rocky horror picture show
If you want something visual, that’s not too abysmal,
we could take in another NJ T-Shirt Tuesday!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is performed in unison with the film for audiences all over the world, and New Jersey is no exception. Sure, we have the highest car insurance rates and the most toxic waste in the country, but bet your ass that we’ve also got our very own company of actors who passionately personify the characters from the most legendary midnight movie. Based out of northern New Jersey, the troupe has been strutting through theaters performing Rocky Horror since 1998! If you’re in the area and you’re looking to do something different in honor of Halloween this month, this is definitely it.

I’d have to say that if I were to play any role in the film, it would have to be Riff Raff. Don’t think for a second that it’s because I’m opposed to dressing up like Dr. Frank-N-Furter either, but Riff Raff is so much cooler. Did anyone get to see Sebastian Bach play the role of Riff Raff when RHPS was on Broadway? He tore it up!
Their next show is October 17th at the Bellevue Theatre in Montclair, NJ. For more info check out:

The Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival

Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival 2009

Do you enjoy watching Guy Fieri, Tom Colicchio, and Ingrid Hoffman? Then you should have been at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival that took place all weekend at Harrah’s, Bally’s, Showboat, and Caesar’s. If you couldn’t make it, The Sexy Armpit was there to experience it for you. Oh and some guy named Emeril Lagasse was there too. Now, I’m no Tommy Salami (he’s my Guy Fieri), but allow me to recount the trip, from breakfast through dinner.

Our attempt at a nights sleep at Harrah’s was interrupted by some maniac screaming at his girlfriend in a nearby room at 2 a.m and trying to break a door down, while we were also graced by having a troop of guidos staying in the connecting room who never learned how to speak at normal decibel levels. By some miracle, my girlfriend and I did manage to get some rest in between all the Riff Raff. If only Riff Raff was in an adjacent room maybe we’d actually be invited to get up in the middle of the night to do the time warp with him again.

I was opposed to eating breakfast because I knew we’d be in for a day of engorging ourselves with a variety of different kinds of food and liquor. My girlfriend convinced me that we would need some breakfast because we wouldn’t be eating for a while. I caved in. We went downstairs to the Sack O’ Subs in Harrah’s and placed our order for breakfast. I was excited to find out that they offer wheat wraps as an alternative to regular sub rolls. It’s become a standing joke with my friends at work that I ask if they have “wheat wraps,” everywhere we go, as in “Yo, you got wheat wraps?” in my best, albeit unintentional, Nick Moore from Family Ties impression. “Ay, yo Mallory, you got some wheat wraps?” Roasted peppers and eggs on a wheat wrap was my breakfast of choice and damn it was delicious. It was cooked up perfectly, and I dabbed on what tasted like hot pepper relish that was in little clear containers stacked by the pickup counter. Sack O’Subs’ lineage can be traced back to the legendary White House Sub Shop in A.C which opened in 1947.

It was on to Bally’s where Sunday’s chapter of the Food and Wine Festival was happening. The line to get in was intimidating at first, but it went quickly. Before we knew it we had our wristbands and wine glasses and we were about to wreck house. An interesting tidbit about me is that when I go into these trade show type events, I tend to pretend that I’m in a first person shooter. I want to annihilate each table and leave dust in my path. I have no time for dilly dallying. If mofos want to linger around and ask silly questions then I’m taking my sample and moving on! To make the whole event go quicker, why don’t they just sit me down somewhere and bring me all the samples? That would be a cool overload, which is rare.

From Pinot Noir samples to Magic Hat brews, I downed it. I don’t even drink that much, but we were there and it was free. As I walked through the aisles I wondered how it was possible that people weren’t aware of some of these brands. For instance, does Blue Moon beer really need to advertise and give out free samples? It doesn’t seem like they’re hurting considering every girl and every girly man I know LOVES sipping it. To me, I don’t care if your drinking gourmet beer, strawberry flavored beer, milk stout, or Mr. Fancy Pants Oatmeal Brew…it’s still f–king beer. Beer’s been around for an eon without having all these exotic additives, so let’s cut the crap OK? Of course, I’m joking if you love Blue Moon, you’re NOT a girly man, but on the other hand, I may very well be. Perhaps the best drink I tasted all day was a Pina Colada from Bally’s Bikini Beach bar which was graciously served to me by a young girl in a teenie weenie bikini. Those are the best kind. It was possibly the greatest Pina Colada I’ve ever had.

Photobucket

As for the actual food, there were only a few products that left a big impression on me. All you need to do to get my attention is put “Jersey” in your ad or sign and I’ll stop in my tracks and squint my eyes like Batman does in the intro to Batman the Animated Series after targeting some thugs. And coincidentally, “weed” is also a grabber, so when I saw the sign that said “Get Your WEED at the Jersey Shore” I naturally stopped in my tracks for a taste test of southern style Jeremiah Weed’s Flavored Iced Tea Vodka on the rocks (nothin’ to do with the pigtailed cowgirl with the bare midriff, of course). The flavor I tasted combined two of my favorite drinks, Iced Tea and Bourbon. Scarily easy to drink, it’ll probably sneak up on you and make you sick without even realizing it because it tastes so good. Go easy on it!

Photobucket

The award for best chili ever goes to Pistol Pete’s Steakhouse and Saloon in Pleasantville, NJ. I gulped down a sample cup of chili that the guys at the their table handed to me, and I was immediately sold. Just by that tiny portion I was able to savor the chunkiness and intense flavors their Chili had. Literally amazing. The next time I’m in A.C, that’s where I’m going for dinner.

Photobucket

Unfortunately we weren’t able to get into the show Guy Fieri was running, but we were able to sit in on Aaron Song’s demo. I’m like a 5 year old, aside from cartoons and pro wrestling, I actually don’t watch much TV, so I had no idea who “The Asian Guy” from Hell’s Kitchen was. Sweating profusely, Song was entertaining as he cooked, when he wasn’t being buried by fellow chef Guy Mitchell who was clearly trying to live out his dreams of being the next David Letterman. Regardless of his culinary accomplishments, Mitchell had no business with a microphone, especially considering the extremely racist Chinese and Japanese jabs he continuously took at Song (he didn’t even know the difference between Chinese and Japanese). Damn Emeril for making these cooks think they’re all entertaining! This wacky chef routine is getting old! Next thing you know we’ll be heading to the Stress Factory where they feature Stand-Up Chefs. Instead of one liners, he’ll throw appetizers at you. In between his shtick, Song whipped up macadamia encrusted scallops drizzled with wasabi verblanc sauce and asparagus rolled in Italian pancetta. Champagne was also handed out like it was gatorade on the sidelines of a New York Giants game.

Photobucket

Ketchup has always been my favorite condiment, even to the extent of finding it in my stocking on Christmas morning, but barbecue sauce is in my top 3. You can’t really lose when it comes to barbecue sauce because they all have strong points. There aren’t many BAD barbecue sauces out there, some are serviceable and do the trick, while others bowl your mouth over and make you want to jump into the bottle and bathe in the sauce. Upon sampling two pieces of meat dunked in the sweet and spicy versions of Funni Bonz barbecue sauce, it made me want to grab a basting brush and start lathering myself up with it. The only thing that comes close to comparing the feeling I got when I came in contact with this sauce is when Saul first introduces Dale to the Pineapple Express weed in Pineapple Express. Saul hands Dale the bag of bud and tells him to smell it:

DALE: Ohhhhh!
SAUL: what do you want to bathe in it?
DALE: I just want to live in here
SAUL: Yes, you want to BE it?
DALE: Oh my God! I just want to shove it up my nose and have that smell all day! That’s amazing…
SAUL: Shove it anywhere you’d like.

Later, after trudging through torrential downpours on our drive home, we dunked some delicious breaded chicken in both the spicy and sweet sauces that I bought. I was literally licking the spoon as if we had just made chocolate chip cookies. Do your damndest to get your hands on several jars of Funni Bonz BBQ sauce! The company was founded by 2 best friends from New Jersey. For more visit http://www.blogger.com/www.funnibonz.com or http://funnibonz.blogspot.com/

I left this event with one complaint. If you’re an exhibitor or salesman for a company at this festival, you need to step up your game. When it comes to food and alcohol, you need to be smooth. People want free stuff when they go to these events, not to be given the hard sell. When they get samples and free swag, they’re more apt to recommend your product to friends. So if I hear you utter the phrase “You want to buy some?” it’s probable that I won’t. I want to hear information as to why I want your product in or around my mouth. Fill my ear with the subtle nuances that make your product better than its competitors. Does it have natural ingredients? Damn, do I have to do your jobs for ya?

The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival has been going on since 2007, and judging by this years expansive event, it will only get bigger. If you find yourself watching Food Network constantly and you have an appreciation for fine cuisine and liquor, then make it a point to be a part of it next year!

The Sexy Armpit @ New York Comic Con ’09 Part 2

I only walked a few blocks from the parking garage to the Javitz Center, but I froze my baguettes off! Frozen innards and frostbitten digits were a small price to pay for the opportunity to schmooze with like minded individuals. There’s something about geek society; whether it’s talking comics, trading links to websites, or discussing the pros and cons of the new G.I Joe film, it makes you feel like you belong.
After the lingering Comic Con buzz, going back to work and hangin’ and bangin’ at the gym was a real bitch. I’ll be honest, I’m running on fumes. So far today I’ve downed an energy drink AND a medium iced coffee – black, but somehow, it’s just not enough. JUST NOW, I took the precaution of gulping down this Health energy potion that the people from Mana Potions booth gave me to test out. 

Photobucket

Let’s hope I’m not up for the next 5 hours since I’ll need at least a few hours of sleep so I can be relatively coherent for work tomorrow. The cool little bottle is definitely eye catching. When I stopped by their booth, the blue and red varieties nearly glowing through the clear bottles made me feel like I was in a video game and just found a “power up” potion. (Their motto happens to be Replenish or Perish!) The scantily clad Mana girls did a decent job enticing me as well. The Health potion has tons of vitamins, folic acid, and even biotin which has numerous health benefits. Even though it tastes only a step above children’s liquid cough medicine, I was in it for the “energy” portion of the potion. The formula which includes ginseng, caffeine, taurine, amino acids, elderberry juice, and other ingredients gives the formula it’s “get up and go.” I can ignore its medicinal taste and syrupy consistency as long as it works. It’s been a few minutes and I’m not feeling tired or jittery, but pretty good. I’ll let you know if I crash by the end of the article.

Photobucket

I met Christof Laputka at the Leviathan Chronicles booth. Headphones were set up in the booth to listen to installments of his science fiction audio saga. Christof’s quite the renaissance man. He’s gone from Wall Street to traveling the world, and he’s not ashamed to hide the fact that he’s a just a geek at heart. As a kid he grew up obsessing over Science-Fiction shows like Battlestar Galactica. Christoff described his aural creation to me as a throwback to old time radio shows, which thanks to my dad, I grew up listening to. I’m sure there’s a ton of people out there who have no idea what it was like to tune the old Philco radio and listen to Inner Sanctum, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, etc. Through cassette tapes he ordered from a mail order old time radio catalog, my Dad introduced a young impressionable Armpit into the “theater of the mind,” and I appreciate that he did. 

 
I popped The Leviathan Chronicles CD into my car stereo on my way to work and really got into it. I commend Christof for taking the chance to release this series; what better time than now? Everyone has an iPod or an mp3 player and FREE, high quality content is hard to come by. It seems like a no brainer and I hope the Leviathan chronicles gains a large following because that would open the door for Christof to produce other audio adventures. There’s plenty of websites doing original fictional programs for download but I’m going to wager that they don’t have the production quality of the Leviathan Chronicles. A description in their press release sums up the scale of the production: “The cast includes over 40 voice actors, cutting edge sound effects, and an original musical score.” The soundtrack really does rock! Each show is free and ranges from 30-40 minutes. You can find it FREE at their website or on iTunes!
NJ at NY Comic Con!
While Making my way around Comic Con it was great to see so much New Jersey representation! Like I mentioned about others in part 1, Rob Feldman of Earworm Media (based out of Jersey!) is another guy, who turned out to be a phenomenal dude! Rob didn’t know me from a vampire hiding behind his booth, but once I discovered that we had New Jersey in common we had a few laughs and then he introduced me to his creation, Dr. Shroud

Photobucket

Robert even posed for a couple of photos. Here’s a priceless moment where Rob struck what he coined “The Sexy Armpit Pose,” that goes to show you that Rob was brave, and hands down the coolest guy in the entire Javitz Center that day!

Photobucket

Shame on me for not knowing about Dr.Shroud already! It’s nearly impossible to keep up on EVERYTHING! When you have entire seasons of Dallas stored in YOUR brain, miss some things your radar will! Dr. Shroud is a radtastic animated series available on the Internet and mobile phones. Shroud is a plastic surgeon with a secret past as a reformed vampire. Shroud’s daughter gets kidnapped by vampires that lurk in the city of Necropolis. Shroud embraces his former vampiric ways to defeat the city’s evil creatures in his quest to track down his daughter. The animated series features stylish animation, a creepy atmosphere, and an awesome soundtrack! Rob gave me a cool set of Dr. Shroud fangs so I can act out scenes at home. Thanks Rob! You can watch full episodes at Joost:
Skullboy threw me for a loop when I saw how creepy he looked with his Misfits style face paint. I looked down and saw the all too familiar outline of NJ all over his table! There were t-shirts, stickers, and some killer skull art. All of a sudden, Skullboy reached his hand up and gave me one of his skullboy styled New Jersey stickers! That kicked ass!

Photobucket

Skullboy is truly adding to the great art culture in New Jersey and spreading the infectious Jerseyana. In fact, he’s not only a dedicated artist, but he’s also an event organizer. Skullboy has been putting on shows that mix art and rock music all over the state. Here’s some of Skullboy’s creations:

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
For show info go to myspace.com/theartofskullboy

To purchase his artwork, T-shirts, or stickers go to skullboy.net
Image comics: Jersey Gods!

Photobucket
I literally had to stand and wait for a middle aged female newspaper reporter from the Star Ledger to finish her “interview” with Glen Brunswick, writer of Jersey Gods. It was clear that she had to have been given this assignment to tackle, because either her interview skills sucked ass or she was completely unfamiliar with anything comic book related aside from reading the Jersey Gods comic. I bet the Jersey Gods and Ziggy are the only comics she ever read in her life.
I’m standing there like Biff Tannen with my arms folded all cocky thinking “Well lookie what we have here…” some self important newspaper reporter trying to horn in on Comic Con. When I saw Jersey Gods for the first time I thought to myself “a match made in heaven!” It was as good as Macho Man and Elizabeth…a comic book filled with superheroes published by Image comics and it’s based in NEW JERSEY? It seems like it was created specifically for me to write about on this site.
If I could only get a word in edgewise. Every time Glen was about to cut over to me, she kept going and going with more irrelevant questions. She’s a wonderful, insightful, writer and I enjoy her articles, but I can’t say that I use the same interview style as she does. The whole situation made me feel uncomfortable. It felt like my 7th grade math teacher was interviewing a guy who WRITES AN IMAGE COMIC BOOK! It’s not supposed to happen! My mother interviewing Nikki Sixx would easily be 10,000 times more entertaining.
I’ve been reading comic books for over 25 years now, and for some reason I just felt protective of my passion. This lady had to pause and write notes on a pad every time Glen gave her a response! C’mon lady! Step into reality, we’re approaching the year 2010! We have digital voice recorders that can detect the sound of a pin dropping at a Gwar concert. Finally she finished momentarily with Glen and he directed his attention to ME! I explained to him what I do here at the Armpit and he was very enthusiastic about it. I mentioned that I’d like to review a copy for the site, so you can expect a full review here coming soon! Saturday morning rolled around, and sure as shit, as I was walked out of the gym I looked over on the Star Ledger rack, and staring back at me was a pic of Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid at Comic Con with Amy Nutt’s interview. It made the front page! 
Aside from the invasion of all of these “official” print/TV people, the Comic Con was just a great time. The legit press folks should stay out of comic con though. If you are a virgin do you go to watch the Rocky Horror Picture show at your local theater? I would advise not to. The majority of important news events only invite certified media and “prominent” bloggers, so why should we let them into our world? Bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and all the other mavericky online criers are welcome at Comic Con. We gotta keep some shit to ourselves! I hate the mainstreaming of geek! 
BTW: I didn’t crash. I feel energized but not shaky. Perhaps that Health potion is the real deal?

The Toxic Avenger Musical Review

Photobucket

DANGER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS!

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – A musical version of Troma’s classic cult film The Toxic Avenger made it’s debut at the George Street Playhouse on Friday night October 10th 2008, and The Sexy Armpit crashed the premiere party. OK, so we didn’t crash, they actually let us come. I’ve never seen a play on the George Street stage, but as I crossed the street and saw flood lights and a huge Toxie billboard, I knew they were providing a fitting reception for Troma’s first son Toxie. My imagination was sparked before I even made my way into the building. Instead of a red carpet, a black carpet covered the ground and stairs leading up to the entrance. The carpet was splattered with bright green “sludge” and boot prints as if Toxie walked into the playhouse just before I did. It’s the cool little details that impress me.

After having a wacky conversation with creator and director of Troma films, Lloyd Kaufman, my colleague Big Sal (formerly of ECW) and I got our tickets ripped, sat our asses down, and then just let the anticipation and excitement fester until showtime. Apprehension came over me as I worried how a musical version of the cult classic The Toxic Avenger would turn out. Was there a need for a Toxic Avenger musical? Hell yes! Toxic Avenger is a well known character but mostly with fan boys and the cult film obsessed folks. Toxie is finally getting his due.

“This is disturbing…”
“This is disturbing…”
“This is disturbing…”

“This is disturbing,” an older woman sitting behind me whispered at least four times. She felt the need to announce her declaration to the people on her left and right. The play was only a few minutes underway and I felt like showing her what was disturbing! I suppose she had no clue what kind of images were in store for her as the tale of Toxie unfolded. Was she at all familiar with the first superhero from New Jersey? Would she be even more appalled when she realized that people would be maimed and beaten with their own limbs on stage? Would she be aghast at the blind jokes? Had she ever lived a moment of her stuffy life as an outcast? Could she related to Melvin Ferd the 3rd’s feelings of rejection? I would soon find out. Although, I can bet that this minuscule piece of glowing, radioactive pop culture has no place in her hoity-toity lifestyle. Toxie was made for us, not them!

The George Street Playhouse, thanks to it’s stadium style seating, enables everyone in the house to enjoy an unobstructed view of the stage. The set, designed by Beowulf Boritt, was adorned with vats of fuming toxic chemicals and an old beat up turnpike sign. The sign warned the audience they were no longer in New Brunswick, but Exit 13, Tromaville. The set atmosphere made me feel like I was in a comic book and it was the perfect combination of gross and eerie. Thankfully the show did not rely on over the top special effects, but there were plenty of sight gags, costume changes, and a revolving set piece in the middle of the stage that helped suspend our disbelief. My attention was fixed on the infinitely talented actors who dazzled the stage. The full band was ready to rock as the actors seized the spotlight.

A guy coughs from the awful fumes rising from the NJ turnpike while a nun prays “Who will save New Jersey?” From the looks of it, we actually do need a savior! The once beautiful Tromaville is being polluted by New York City and the corrupt mayor is to blame. Meanwhile the geeky Melvin Ferd the 3rd is in love with a cute blonde and blind librarian named Sara. Melvin stumbles upon the Mayor’s plans that could further ruin the environment and the Mayor’s career if they were released. The Mayor instructs her thugs to “get the geek,” but it backfires after they drop him into a vat of toxic chemicals. Melvin emerges deformed and oozing with toxic neon green sludge. Makes you want to think twice about moving to Jersey, huh? Hence, New Jersey’s first superhero is born, The Toxic Avenger! Toxie plans on dethroning the corrupt Mayor and eliminating pollution from the Garden State. Minor details of the original film were altered in order to modernize the story. Although, If you’re a hardcore Toxie fan, don’t worry you won’t be disappointed! Live theater is usually the perfect venue to see some stellar performances but on this night, there was an air of magic. It was obvious that the players were enthusiastic about there roles and there were no “I can’t believe I’m doing this” attitudes.

Photobucket

Deformed and doused in sludge, was Nick Cordero as he bravely took on the main role of the geeky Melvin Ferd the Third and the legendary superhuman Toxic Avenger. The Mayor of Tromaville proclaims him a terrorist, even though he’s trying to rid New Jersey of it’s toxic waste. Cordero’s performance as Toxie at times recalled the despondence of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera as well as the zealous and fiery performance of Sebastian Bach several years ago in Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde. The operatic rock songs flourished thanks to Cordero’s rousing, dynamic voice. Toxie even made his way into the audience during “Everybody Dies.” I thought the lady behind me would have a coronary.

Photobucket

Nancy Opel’s (Urinetown) performance is truly dazzling as she takes on double duty playing Melvin’s mother as well as the Mayor of Tromaville. As Melvin’s mother she’s noticeably disgusted at how he can never get anything right. Even when her son becomes a toxic monster she wonders “Could you at least put your left eyeball where it’s supposed to be?” It was apparent that Opel sunk her teeth into this role especially during a fun and frantic scene where Toxie’s mom and the Mayor have a run in (It‘s impossible!). It’s a scene right out of a Three’s Company episode. There were plenty of winks at the audience like the moment where the Mayor’s searching for Melvin and claims “I’ll find him, I know his mother.” Watch out for Opel and Demond Green’s steamy performance of “Evil is Hot,” it was so freakin’ hot!

Photobucket

Certain actors are born performers while others hone their skills, and chip away in a never-ending attempt to be great. Audra Blaser (Bandidas) is a born performer. Her portrayal of the innocent, blind librarian Sara, love interest of Toxie, proved to be a highlight of the play. How can that snooty lady behind me get offended at blind jokes when such an adorable, and refreshing actress is the butt of them? I was surprised by Blaser’s knack for comedy which obviously didn’t pass by the casting director’s radar either. Not only is Sara funny but also compassionate as she wonders why Toxie isn‘t mauling her: “If you’re gay, we can still be best friends and watch American Idol together.” I’m glad the casting folks stayed true to the original characters. Blaser showed no signs of worry, although she had some pretty big shoes to fill since the role of Sara previously belonged to some of the quirkiest, and offbeat actresses including Andree Maranda, Phoebe Legere, and Heidi Sjursen. The dreamy Blase was joined by Demond Green and David Josefsberg during the song “My Big French Boyfriend” which was possibly the funniest moment in entire the show.

The sentence “As black dude and white dude, Demond Green and David Josefsberg are quite versatile actors” holds the record for BIGGEST understatement of all time. I don’t think I can count how many different characters these two guys appeared as. Whether they were guys, girls, thugs, Springsteen wannabes, or hairdressers, they were thoroughly entertaining and proved to be an immense force of comic relief.

Having two famous Jersey guys on the writing staff didn’t hurt a bit. Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) wrote the book and lyrics while David Bryan (keyboardist of Bon Jovi) wrote music and lyrics to this rocking musical. The ingenious songs proved to be the productions’ throbbing, slimy nucleus. You’ll only need to experience the show once and you’ll realize they’re just as memorable and catchy as songs from the soundtracks of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Little Shop of Horrors. I want the songs on my iPod already! I’ve probably been to almost 50 live theater performances in my life and the minority of them featured songs that I would actually think of listening to elsewhere. This exuberant soundtrack has joined the minority!

Toxic Avenger the Musical was directed by Tony Award winning director John Rando (Urinetown). Props (no pun intended) to another Jersey native John Dods for creating superb special effects and prosthetics. Dods has worked on some of my favorite films and TV shows including Monsters ‘88-‘91, Ghostbusters II, and Black Roses!

The spirit of Lloyd Kaufman’s film making style was ever present. Judging by this show, you don’t need a cast of hundreds to put on a successful and entertaining production. Perhaps other productions can take a lesson from The Toxic Avenger (or they should read Lloyd Kauffman’s book All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger). In this case, improvising is the catalyst for some of the musical’s best moments. For the true Toxie fans, you’ll see nods to the original series like when Toxie slam dunks some thugs severed head. In another signature Toxie move, he pulls open his pants to check out how the size of his manhood mushroomed! I’m sure Sara will be pleased!

The Toxic Avenger musical completely squashed my apprehensions with it’s outlandish fun. In classic New Jersey fashion, the audience gave a raucous standing ovation while clapping and rocking out. Expect your cheeks to hurt from laughing and your eyes to be glued to the stage. At the end of the show, for the first time in my life I wanted to be doused in some of that hazardous neon green ooze emitting from the marshes of Exit 13. Oh, and if you’re at all like that woman sitting behind me, then stay home and watch Masterpiece Theater or I may toss your big old pretentious ass into a bubbling vat of toxic sludge!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Photos displayed above from The Toxic Avenger Musical by David Saint and T.Charles Erickson.

Now here’s some photos from the Premiere Party!

Photobucket
Nick Cordero (Toxie!) and The Sexy Armpit.com

Photobucket
Nancy Opel (Mayor/Mom) and The Sexy Armpit.com

Photobucket
The Sexy Armpit.com and Audra Blaser (Sara)
Photobucket
Demond Green and The Sexy Armpit.com
Photobucket
David Bryan of Bon Jovi and Jay Amabile
Photobucket
Lloyd Kaufman, Sal, The Sexy Armpit.com