An Intoxicating Reunion By: Iris Wiener
Constantine Maroulis previews upcoming Toxic Avenger concert at 54 Below.
In a special one-night-only concert on June 8th at 54 Below, Constantine Maroulis is joining his Alley Theatre castmates in a freak-tastic reunion of epic
proportions. The Toxic Avenger is a comical love story and the winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best off-Broadway Musical, which ran at New World Stages, Alley Theatre, and George Street Playhouse in a few different incarnations. In an attempt to clean up New Jersey’s most polluted town, protagonist Melvin is dumped into a vat of radioactive toxic waste, only to reemerge as the The Toxic Avenger.
Now a seven-foot, green mutation with superhuman strength and an enormous heart, Melvin works to save New Jersey, end global warming, and win the heart of a blind librarian. Featuring contemporary humor and clever writing from the team of Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, The Toxic Avenger is as enjoyable as it is gooey. Fresh from the recently closed Rock of Ages, Maroulis spoke with Theaterlife about the intoxicating event that will leave those that miss out green with envy.
***** TheaterLife: Getting to reunite with a cast for a concert is a unique experience. Why is this the right time for The Toxic Avenger to make its comeback?
Constantine Maroulis: Everyone knows it’s a great show. It’s always had critical acclaim, even with all its changes. It’s a completely original story, even if it is from Lloyd Kaufman’s world of Troma Entertainment. It’s current, sassy, and really sexy and smart. Plus, it rocks really hard. It has a big, green heart. It’s a really beautiful show. Now is the time because we would love for people to see it. Even though we’ve all sort of moved on to other things, it would be great to see Toxic on Broadway. I think it could compete right up there with all the other musical comedies.
***** What can fans expect to see and hear on June 8th?
We [Nancy Opel, Antoine L. Smith, Mitch Jarvis, Mara Davi, and more] are going to play through all of the songs, even songs that were cut. We love the show and we’re totally team Toxie. I’ve done other shows that I’m attached to that are really fun and interesting, but this one is a special attachment. People should be able to see this one. It has great songs that people use in showcases all the time, like "My Big French Boyfriend", and the ballads are great too.
***** In your estimation, which song from The Toxic Avenger epitomizes the experience of seeing it?
The whole introduction, "Who Will Save New Jersey?" It is so unique. It has this garage band kind of feel to it. It’s like when the Californian kids were figuring out surf rock. It’s that whole kind of garage rock sound on the west coast, probably in the late-50s. It reminds me of the Jersey version of that. It starts off with a voiceover and then we meet our two gentlemen who go on to play like thirty different characters in the show. You understand what kind of experience it’s going to be with the whole first sequence. You get that this is a brand of humor that’s aware of itself. People haven’t really gotten the chance to see me do stuff like this. Of course, at 54 Below we’re not going to be in full character at all, but we want to celebrate the great music and lyrics of the show and that’s really what the night is going to be about.
***** 54 Below is known for having some great cocktails and snacks. If they were going to name one after Toxie himself, what should it be called?
I would have to call it the Troma Roma, like something that had an aromatic piece to it. I guess you would need some kind of licq
uory, green stuff to make it look acidic. It would have to be some sort of margarita to make it look like slime. They could dye it and top it off with some rum, and it would really f**k you up…[to toxic proportions, most likely!)