Love & Corruption
Houston's American Idol fever hits the Alley Theatre: See which star is set torock The Toxic Avenger
It's difficult to discern whether American Idol likes Houston or whether Houston craves American Idol finalists. A chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, there seems to be a surge of contestants from the popular TV reality show finding their way onto the city's stages, concert halls and malls.
Season eight finalist Danny Gokey headlined Houston Galleria's Tree lighting and "Ice Spectacular" last month, Music Box Theater's Fruitcakes! (a very special holiday special) includes season seven semi-finalist Colton Berry, and Constantine Maroulis took on the main role in Theatre Under the Stars run of Rock of Agesin May, packing the seats at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
And now, the Alley Theatre is set to join the American Idol bandwagon for the first time.
Like Rock of Ages, The Toxic Avenger is a high-decibel rock 'n' roll show with an onstage band.
In The Toxic Avenger (opening Jan. 13 and running throughFeb. 12), the Alley brings back season four finalist and Tony-nominated rocker Maroulis to take center stage as Melvin Ferd the Third. In a nutshell, he morphs into The Avenger, a superhero-esque righteous persona, after he gets dumped in toxic waste.
Like Rock of Ages, The Toxic Avenger is a high-decibel rock 'n' roll show with an onstage band. The musical, based on the film by the same name by Lloyd Kaufman, centers on a love story amidst a corrupt New Jersey mayor, played by Nancy Opel, and two guys who portray bullies, gangsters, older ladies and stiletto-wearing backup chanteuses.
The new production features new tunes by the Tony Award-winning creative team behind Memphis, which includes Bon Jovi member and keyboardist David Bryan and Joe DiPietro.
The Toxic Avenger will mark the third musical at the Alley in the past five years, alongside the premiere of Wonderland in January of 2010 and Gershwin's An American in Paris in June 2008. While musicals do not make up a large portion of the Alley's programming, they certainly bring in the crowds. Tack on a celebrity like Maroulis and increased demand is sure to follow.
Celebrities are not new to the Alley's stage. Dixie Carter, who passed away in Houston in April 2010, starred in the comedy Be My Baby and the revival of Ken Ludwig's Arsenic and Old Lace. She was best known for her work as Julia Sugarbaker in the sitcom Designing Women. Selma Blair (Vivian from the film Legally Blonde) premiered Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries there in November 2009.