Cult classic "The Toxic Avenger" coming to Manoa Valley Theatre

Published On: Sep 12 2013 12:04:52 PM HST   Updated On: Sep 12 2013 08:05:56 PM HST

 West Side Story, Chicago, Sound of Music are all hit stage musicals that segued successfully to the big screen.

But sometimes it works the other way around.

The 1985 film "The Toxic Avenger" had big gore, big hair, and big action.

It also had an element not usually found in horror, science fiction movies of the era. It was hilarious. Sounds like a winning formula for a stage adaptation.

Just like the poor sap who falls into a vat of toxic waste and becomes a superhero, "Toxic Avenger" keeps coming back bigger and badder.

Film Director Lloyd Kaufman is in Honolulu to see the latest incarnation.

"In my 40-years, this is the highlight of my career," Kaufman said. "What better place to the "Toxic Avenger" musical than right here at Manoa Valley Theatre in this beautiful cemetery."

The musical's New York run 4-years ago garnered awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical. It's since toured internationally.

Kaufman says the film's issues are even more relevant today than they were 28-years ago.

"There's two overriding themes," Kaufman indicated. "Bullying and the environment."

But as honored as the Manoa Valley Theatre cast is to perform for the film's director, they are equally petrified. Very indicative of the spine-tingling, laugh-inducing genre.

"I'm more excited and anxious," said Joshu Haili-Silva who plays Toxie. "Hopefully I can give him what he envisioned and even more."

The show's director, Hannah Schauer Galli, hopes that the film director gets as much of a kick out of the show as she did when she experienced the story.

"I hope he (Kaufman) comes and rocks out with us," Galli said. "It's a complete rock show. When I looked at it I saw the rock shows of my youth. The 80's bands and also a comic book."

But be forwwarned, the show has adult themes and language.

The "Toxic Avenger" musical opens Thursday night at Manoa Valley Theatre and runs through September 29th.

The movie is due for another resurrection.  The film is scheduled to be remade next year as a big budget superhero blockbuster.


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