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L.A. Beat

Hatrix Theatre to bring twisted humour in Toxic Avenger the Musical

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Hatrix theatre is getting ready for a bloody good time for Halloween as they bring  The Toxic Avenger: The Musical to the  McNally Community Centre

Tanner Hansen, Alli Price and Corbyn Wehlage Rehearse a scene from Toxic Avenger the Musical. Photo by Richard Amery

just in time  for Halloween.


“The Toxic Avenger is getting a lot more attention now,” said director Brian Quinn, noting the latest instalment of Toxic Avenger  superhero comedy movie inspired by the 1984 cult film classic starring Peter Dinklage was just released in September.


Quinn started planning the production during  Hatrix Theatre’s run of the Evil Dead last Fall.

 He observed the Toxic Avenger is  in the same vein as Evil Dead: The Musical in that it is a dark, musical comedy, heavily influenced by campy B horror movies like  The Evil Dead and The Toxic Avenger.


“There’s body parts being torn off. We don’t throw blood on the audience, but we do throw bleach.”

David Bryan, keyboardist of well known ’80s hair metal band Bon Jovi composed the soundtrack for this musical.

“Though that isn’t part of the marketing,” Quinn continued.


 While it is a comedy meant for an audience over 18,  the show also has a strong environmental theme.


“It’s about Melvin Ferd the Third who is an environmentalist who discovers toxic waste is being poured into the Hudson River. While researching it he falls in love with blind librarian Sara. He discovers the mayor of Tromaville is involved and she has her goons throw him into a vat of toxic waste. He comes out  of the vat mutated with superpowers and covered in green ooze with eyeballs hanging out ,” Quinn summarized.


Dayton Pagliericci and Alli Price rehearse Hatrix theatre’s production of The Toxic Avenger the musical. Photo by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

“He falls in love with Sarah but can’t touch her. He vows revenge on the mayor. It’s about good vs evil,” he said.


The show stars Dayton Pagliericci ( Toxie/ Melvin), Corbyn Wehlage (Bozo/Sal/Doctor/ Diane etc.),  Tanner Hansen (Sluggo, Fred, Prof Ken, Shanequa etc), Julie  Vanessa Maruno (Mayor, Ma, nurse) and Alli Price who plays Sara. Maruno and Price were part of the Evil Dead the Musical last fall.


 Price played Alice in the Evil Dead while Maruno was one of the monsters and backstage crew.

“We have five actors playing like 15 different roles. We have a really great cast,” Quinn said, noting they have been rehearsing for the production since the end of July.

“Everybody is working  shifts, so it has been a challenge getting them together at the same time,” Quinn continued, adding rehearsals have been scheduled around their shifts, so they are all over the place during the day sometimes and at night like usual.


Alli Price, who plays the love interest, the blind librarian Sara only plays the one role. She is excited to be part of the production.

Tanner Hansen gets ready to rehearse a scene from Toxic Avenger the Musical. Photo by Richard Amery


“I really enjoy being part of Hatrix. They’re such fun people who don’t take themselves too seriously. They’ve really embraced my weirdness. So I appreciate that,” Price laughed.

“We talked about the play during the Evil Dead and I really wanted to be part of it,” Price continued.

“Sara is the blind librarian and the love interest in the play. She’s also funny and snarky,” she described.


 Quinn was going to hire a live band for the show, but opted for recorded music.

“It would have been prohibitively expensive to hire a band,” he said.

He hopes people will come with a sense of humour and be prepared to laugh.


“It’s for mature audiences because of strong language and comedic sexual content,” Quinn said.

 It’s great. It’s one of these plays we hope will attract a younger audience,” he said.


“And don’t pollute,” he said, adding that is the message he wants audiences to take away from the play, but mostly to laugh.

The Toxic Avenger: The Musical runs Oct. 26-28 and 31, Nov. 2-4,  and 9-10 at   McNally Community Centre. Doors open at 7 p.m. each night with the show beginning at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and rush seating. Grab yours now and be part of this outrageous and uproarious adventure! Visit:

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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