Everyone seems to be taking a stab at reviewing Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, and it ain’t pretty.The theatre critics seems to have had it with the production, which has postponed the opening of the musical several times, and they are lashing out their reviews today basically slamming the show.
We are no experts in the musical theatre field, but we have seen the show (twice) and we disagree with the opinions of the much hailed theatre connoisseurs.
We loved the show, and here is why we think people will see it:
• Flying is awesome.
There are aerial acrobatics; airborne fight scenes; the actors fly up and land among the audience. The wires are visible but don’t obstruct any of the view or movements of the actors.
• The story is familiar, yet fresh.
It is based on the classic comic books, and the movie, so the audience knows what to expect — nerdy Peter Parker gets bit by a mutating spider and acquires superpowers. After his uncle is killed, he becomes a crusader against crime. And, of course, Peter is in love aspiring actress Mary Jane who is in love with Spiderman.
Spiderman faces off with a bunch of villains, most notably the Green Goblin.
There are only two new story elements that the writers have introduced: the Geek Chorus — four teenagers that are obviously creating/narrating the story of Spiderman that unfolds before our eyes; and a new villain — Arachne, a character from Greek mythology, that tempts Spiderman to give in to his powers and cross over to some abstract dimension to become her boyfriend.
These new elements make Spiderman: The Musical fresh and different that the usual Spiderman adaptation. And who is to complain about an old-fashion love triangle plot?
• The sets are creative.
Unfolding backdrops, huge video screens; most of the set invokes the theme that this is a comic book story. The sets move surprisingly quickly, given how massive and detailed they are.
• The music is by Bono and The Edge.
The songs are very U2 and very rock at times, and it’s loud. As it should be.
• The cast
My favourite were the villains — the Green Goblin and Arachne.
• The choreography
Cool slow motion sequences.
• It’s the most expensive show ever.
With a price tag of $65 million, this is indeed the most expensive Broadway show ever produced — which is another reason why tourists and locals alike would flock to see it and judge it for themselves.
The show needs to make about $1 million a week to break even, and should run about 2-3 years to be profitable. Since the start of the previews in December 2010, Spiderman’s weekly gross earning have been about $1.2 million on average.
So if there are no more injuries, and the production irons out the technical glitches that do occur and are tolerable during previews but will be unacceptable once the show opens, Spiderman should pull through for its investors (who include theatre veterans like James Nederlander and Terry Allan Kramer, as well as Disney via its acquisition of Marvel, the franchise for the Spiderman comics.)
Sorry, esteemed Broadway critics, but we are with Glenn Beck on this one.
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