Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark begins public performances tomorrow (Sunday in NYC). And I am very interested to see what this musical will be. I certainly will be scouring the vicious theatre blogs to see what the word is – knives will be out that’s for sure – they have already been sharpening! A show of this scale is bound to face huge criticism and curiosity.
After a troubled technical period in which a couple of the performers during demonstrations of the shows flying sequences incurred injuries – one broke both his wrists, the other both his feet – OUCH! Previews were delayed and a new opening date set – Jan 11, 2011.
Directed by Julie Taymor, the cast is headed by Reeve Carney as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano (Next To Normal)as Mary Jane Watson and Broadway veteran Patrick Page as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin. Music & Lyrics is by Bono & The Edge (U2).
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, according to press notes, “spins a new take on the mythic tale of Peter Parker, a teenager whose unremarkable life in Queens is turned upside-down — literally — when he’s bitten by a genetically-altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to the ceiling. Bullied by his classmates and tortured by an unrelenting crush on next-door-neighbor Mary Jane Watson, this science geek discovers he has suddenly been endowed with astonishing powers. He soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility. Maligned by the media, buffeted by financial woes, and stretched thin by the expectations of the world-at-large, Peter now must struggle to navigate the perilous and peculiar demands of being a web-slinging superhero.”
We all know the story, now we want to see the spectacle. At a reported cost of $60 million dollars it had better be a worthy spectacle as it has an uphill climb and many many years to turn a profit. If anyone, Julie Taymor can pull it off – she certainly managed it with “The Lion King” still running on Broadway after 13 years, and still bringing in the bucks. I cannot believe that it will flop, in this current financial climate nobody would invest in a dog, but then again how could one know once all the creative juices flow and the compromising begins – it is extremely ambitious. Do those comic book nuts ever step foot into a theatre – let alone a musical one?
I am excited, it ain’t Sondheim but it is a musical, and on a grand scale – needed every once in a while.
Reeve Carney rehearsing. Photo by Jacob Cohl