One-Legged Actor Scores Lead Role in The Toxic Avenger | Playbill

News One-Legged Actor Scores Lead Role in The Toxic Avenger Evan Ruggiero will star as Toxie in Pittsburgh.
Evan Ruggiero Archie Carpenter

Evan Ruggiero, the one-legged tap dancer who fought cancer and went onto appear on American Idol and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, will star in the Pittsburgh premiere of The Toxic Avenger.

Click here to read more about Ruggiero’s journey; he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 19 and, after surviving his cancer diagnosis, learned how to tap dance with one leg.

Pittsburgh CLO will present the production, which runs from September 22-December 18 at the CLO Cabaret.

Directed by Wes Grantom, the cast also includes Billy Mason as Black Dude, Caroline Nicolian as Mayor/Ma, Quinn Patrick Shannon as White Dude and Katie Sexton as Sarah with Julia Geisler and David Toole as understudies.

The cult film-turned musical, according to Pittsburgh CLO, “is a toxic love story with an environmental twist you won’t want to miss! Featuring a rock score with instant hits such as: ‘Who Will Save New Jersey,’ ‘Thank God She’s Blind,’ ‘My Big French Boyfriend’ and ‘Evil is Hot,’ The Toxic Avenger is sure to satisfy musical theater and movie lovers from the ‘Burgh and beyond.”

The Toxic Avenger features book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro with music and lyrics by David Bryan.

Other members of the creative team include Mara Newberry Greer (choreographer), Michael Moricz (music director), Tony Ferrieri (set designer) and Keith Truax (lighting designer).

Tickets start at $38.75 and are available online at or by calling (412) 456-6666. Visit for more information.

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