GA Voice - - Act­ing Out -

Long be­fore he hit the main­stream and won a Tony Award for writ­ing the mu­si­cal “Mem­phis,” out play­wright Joe DiPi­etro wrote the lyrics for the off-Broad­way hit “The Toxic Avenger,” in which an ide­al­ist sci­en­tist gets thrown into a drum of waste and emerges a green su­per­hero. It’s now play­ing at Hori­zon Theatre in a ter­rific pro­duc­tion di­rected by Heidi Cline McKer­ley. One of the en­sem­ble mem­bers is openly gay Austin Ti­je­rina, who plays a num­ber of sup­port­ing char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing some women.

Ge­or­gia Voice: How fa­mil­iar were you with this show be­fore you au­di­tioned?


I was in New York when it came out and I was an usher for it and some other shows. And I loved it.

How many char­ac­ters do you play and do you have a fa­vorite of the char­ac­ters?

I play 15, I think, and four of them are women. I think my fa­vorite is the cop.

What about a fa­vorite mu­si­cal num­ber?

I would say “My Big French Boyfriend” (in which a blind li­brar­ian falls for the Toxic Avenger.) I think one of my fa­vorite parts of the show, though, is see­ing (co-star) Michael Stig­gers get ready to play Shinequa (one of the backup singers in one num­ber) and re­ally get into it.

How gay is this?

There are some ob­vi­ously very gay parts. It can be very campy.

Do you think that LGBT au­di­ences can re­late to the out­sider main char­ac­ter?

Yes, I think that is an easy con­nec­tion

‘The Toxic Avenger’

‘The Sound of Mu­sic’

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St., NE At­lanta, GA 30308 March 1–6 www.foxthe­ to make. I think nowa­days, though, we are more like the avengers, which is nice.

‘The Sound of Mu­sic’

Another mu­si­cal about to open is the clas­sic, “The Sound of Mu­sic,” brought to town by Broad­way Across Amer­ica. We caught up with out ac­tor Christo­pher Carl, a Broad­way vet­eran who spent three years in the New York cast of “Mamma Mia!,” who plays Ad­mi­ral von Schreiber.

Ge­or­gia Voice: Why does “The Sound of Mu­sic” hold up?


I think there is a uni­ver­sal mes­sage in the show about good tri­umph­ing evil. I think that is one thing that never gets old. It ex­udes warmth, it’s about fam­ily, but it’s also more than that. That is why it is such an au­di­ence pleaser.

To me, for the main char­ac­ters in the show, it’s all about peo­ple who fight a neme­sis, like this loom­ing dark­ness on the hori­zon. That is a gay and les­bian life. You live with this loom­ing out there.

Cast mem­bers from the Off-Broad­way hit ‘The Toxic Avenger’ now run­ning at Hori­zon Theatre Com­pany and Broad­way clas­sic ‘The Sound of Mu­sic’ at The Fox Theatre. Public­ity pho­tos)

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