Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

When: 2 August 2011
Where: Foxwoods Theatre, New York, USA

While in New York, it was a definite must for me to see Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark, the most expensive Broadway musical as well as having the longest preview period. imagePlus it seemed like a natural transition of my Comic Con journey!

It’s pretty difficult to have a neutral perception of the musical with the amount of negative buzz the musical has received due to poor reviews, numerous revisions, casting changes and unfortunately, the number of accidents that happen on stage.

But despite the bad reviews, people were flocking to see the show with the venue full as well as me having to pay full price for the ticket.

The musical had a similar premise to the film Spider-Man, the version starring Tobey McGuire & Kirsten Dunst. Which covers the basis on how Peter Parker turns into Spiderman, his family life, and of course his burgeoning romance with Mary Jane. The Green Goblin is the lead villain, however unlike the film he has an entourage of evil consisting of Lizard, Swarm, Carnage, Kraven, the Hunter, Swiss Miss and Electro.

That night’s performance starred Matthew James Thomas as Spider-Man/Peter Parker who shares the role with the #1 lead Reeve Carney (from rock band Carney) for different performance times due to the strenuous performances involved.

Obviously the biggest highlight of the musical is the sheer quality and amount of action packed stunts on a Broadway stage, which unfortunately has been the biggest headache for those involved in the show. While the main cast are doing some of their stunts they are aided by professionals. There were several Spider-Mans needed for the action sequences which involved swinging all over the stage as well as above the audience.

It’s well publicised that Bono and The Edge masterminded the musical numbers. Considering they brought us “Beautiful Day,”  “Mysterious Ways” and my personal favourite “With Or Without You’” I had somewhat high expectations only to be slightly disappointed as not every song was a standout. The highlight was “Bouncing off The Walls” which was aided by Peter Parker literally bouncing off the walls while simultaneously singing, with the song itself reminding me of “Vertigo” and “Elevation”.

Despite the criticisms from musical purists, I did enjoy the musical and might actually appeal to an audience who typically would not attend musicals at all.

Despite all the major hiccups, its still running on Broadway for a reason, people still want to see the show. It may not be the greatest musical of all time but for those who enjoy superheroes, want to see something different or simply want to tell their friends you’ve seen it, it’s worth going!

Images courtesy of broadway.com and spidermanonbroadway.marvel.com

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