REVIEW: ‘The Toxic Avenger’ will truly entertain and the cast talent saves the day
Review by Shelli Park
Photos by Michael Brunk
‘The Toxic Avenger’ is not for the faint of heart, the sensitive or the weak of stomach – it is a bawdy, action-packed musical about the little guy who becomes a hero.
Burien Actors Theatre begins this season with a show based on the 80’s-era film of the same name. It appeals to the everyman longing for love and justice. The Toxic Avenger, written by David Bryan and Joe Pietro, is directed for BAT by Mark “Moc” Moser.
I needed a bit of reference before writing this review so I watched the trailer for the original film. The show makes a lot more sense to me now. Here is the link for the trailer:
There is a lot of great talent in this production. Every actor, except the main character, tackles multiple roles.
The inimitable Britt Boyd takes on a nun, the bad guy (Mayor Babs) and the mother of the Toxic Avenger. She is a joy to watch as she commands the stage and moves seamlessly between roles. A showdown between two of her characters is a tour de force and hilarious as the whole scene devolves into a personality crisis witnessed by an wonderstruck cast.
Not any less amazing is Rico Lastrapes who takes on 16 different roles, including four very convincing female characters. He is a talented actor and fun to watch. Lastrapes has a natural physicality and confident manner which creates character believability.
Lance Zielinski – The Toxic Avenger – is the center of the show. Zielinski grabs our hearts and sympathy as the underdog, Melvin Ferd, who is brutally bullied, terrifyingly transformed, but triumphs and saves the day. He has a wonderful voice and a great range of emotion.
The love interest of The Toxic Avenger, Sarah, the blind librarian, is played by Kyla Roberts. Roberts transforms into a true Jersey girl. She is a great foil to the Avenger. As Sarah, Roberts is saccharin sweet, a little superficial, but with a truly good heart. Roberts’ voice is lovely. Zielinski and Roberts create an oasis in the production.
John Williams Lynch is very entertaining as a whole slew of characters, often in coordination with Lastrapes. He is also the fight choreographer for the myriad action scenes.
Albie Clemente does it again! Clemente creates a wonderfully toxic, urban setting with great flexibility to create the many settings called for in the story. Sam Sneke, local artist and Art Alley curator, puts the frosting on the toxic cake. Sneke’s painting creates a seriously authentic 80’s era street scene.
And then there is the band, led by Paul Linnes. They are set above the action, at times participating in the action, adding a great dimension to the production. Listen for familiar 80’s tunes transformed to carry story.
I don’t normally mention the stagehands (Kyle Clausen and Alex Tyler) but they were a wonderful, integral part of this production, and did a great job with all of the set complications.
The Toxic Avenger will truly entertain and the cast talent saves the day.
Remaining show dates and times:
- Friday – Oct 14 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday – Oct 15 at 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday – Oct 16 at 2:00 p.m.
- Friday – Oct 21 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday – Oct 22 at 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday – Oct 23 at 2:00 p.m.
- Friday – Oct 28 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday – Oct 29 at 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday – Oct 30 at 2:00 p.m.
$5 OFF COUPON:
Here’s a $5 Off Coupon – to use, click the image, then print:
Ticket prices range from $7 to $20:
- Student tickets are just $10
- Dinner and show packages are $35
Burien Actors Theatre is located at 14501 4th Ave. SW in Burien; 206-242-5180.