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Recommended

The Toxic Avenger

Every Thu., Fri., and Sat. from Feb. 2-24
7:25 p.m.
Every Sun. from Feb. 4-25
2 p.m.
Feb. 19
7:30 p.m.
$18-$30
Theater

Proving that no source material is too deranged for a musical adaptation, the gloriously grotesque vigilantism of The Toxic Avenger will be brought to local stages by Minneapolis Musical Theatre. Created by Troma Studios, purveyors of shamelessly schlocky cinema, The Toxic Avenger remains arguably the company’s crowning achievement, infusing the superhero narrative with a wondrously gratuitous supply of sex and violence. The film follows a hapless young man who, upon being doused in toxic waste, is transformed into a monstrous mass of muscle. The story provides an excuse for a cartoonish assortment of psychopaths to be dispatched with gory inventiveness. Excepting some minor restructuring by playwright Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), the musical doesn’t stray far from the source. Sure, it places greater emphasis on environmental activism and puts more focus on the central romance between “Toxie” and blind librarian Sarah, but the chaos remains. The merrily over-the-top musical contributions come from David Bryan, who has demonstrated aptitude for power ballads as a member of Bon Jovi. Directed by Ryan McGuire Grimes, with Tristan Sima as the titular hero and Rachel Schmidt as his amorous flame, The Toxic Avenger looks to be entertaining, unhinged fun. For tickets, go to aboutmmt.com.


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