by Zoe Wolfe
The Toxic Avenger is a musical presented in a comic book style and is chock full of fight scenes and cheesy jokes. It has a typical comic book story line−Melvin is a wimpy guy who is pushed into toxic waste and gets super powers and is then able to save Sarah, blind librarian he likes.
Throughout the play there was a strong “go green” environmental message. Toxie (Melvin after his toxic transformation) avenges people who have been polluting New Jersey with toxic waste. While “don’t pollute the earth” could be seen as the overall message of the show, there is also the theme that true love comes in all forms, as shown through the relationship that Toxie has with Sarah. They are both misfits, but they come together in the end. I found this mix of messages confusing. Toxie’s environmental campaign could have been downplayed more, and I found myself wondering what a message to save the earth was doing in the middle of a musical.
Don’t be fooled, this is no play for the faint of heart. The fight scenes don’t have any blood, but many people are beheaded, dismembered and disemboweled, painting a pretty gruesome picture. There were also many mature jokes, which contradict the good-humored family-friendly feel the play has.
All flaws aside, The Toxic Avenger was made enjoyable by the energy and talent of the cast. They all sung very well and threw themselves into their characters. Even the two men who played the majority of the characters put an equal and abundant amount of energy into each and every character.
The Toxic Avenger was very quirky and in some parts utterly bizarre, but if you don’t read too much into it, it is very enjoyable.