So, yesterday I (accompanied by occasional cameraman and general cool guy Matt) saw Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the much-ballyhooed Broadway musical version of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler.
Here are my pros and cons:
• Patrick Page – This guy BROUGHT it as the Green Goblin. It’s easy to see why the rewritten show beefed up the green meanie. He’s hilarious. I’d be afraid to let him loose on a set because he’d render the scenery unusable with his mighty acting fangs.
• The Art Direction – I’m not a big theater guy, but man the sets were amazing. A touch Tim Burton, a dash Metropolis, with a comic-book flare appropriate to something featuring a spider-bitten superhero. And, having seen it in action, the Spider-Man costume they’re using is really cool. I almost like it better than the one we’ll be seeing later this year on the big screen in Amazing Spider-Man.
• The Stunts – Holy crap, guys, if Superman made be believe a man could fly, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark made me believe that a dude could web-sling. The stunts are ridiculous. Spider-Man swings around, seemingly on one of those wire rigs the NFL uses for their flying camera, with ease. We even had a slip-up (One of the Spideys missed his landing) and the guy recovered like a pro, arcing a little to the left, doing the Spider-Man-death-metal-web-sling hand motion and landing again on his off-stage perch like a grandmaster.
• The Songs – They were all terrible. Really bad lyrics. REALLY bad. And it looked like the actors were having trouble remembering/singing their parts.
• We Get It, U2 Was Involved – There are an inordinate amount of U2 references in this. Old U2 songs are co-opted for scenes where, apparently, the massive pit orchestra was getting a drinks break or something. There’s even a dialogue reference to “Bloody Sunday” in the middle of the scene, seemingly just to remind you that Bono and the Edge graced this thing with their presence. See my first con for why I wasn’t so impressed.
• The Woman in Front of Me – I don’t know who you are, ma’am, but sit the hell back in your chair next time. I have no idea what happened in middle of stage because of this woman. She was also taking photos for the duration of the show and being really obvious about it. Bad form, ma’am. Bad form.
Should You See It?
If you can get a deal (Hey, NYU kids) or rush tickets, then go for it. Do not pay full price for this thing. The jokes are flat, the songs are not good, and some of the performances are less-than-spectacular (yes, I made a Spider-Man pun.).
I give it two Random Spider Goddesses In The Story For No Real Reason out of five.