Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (a love note…shshshsh….pass this down….)

Through no small feat of the Theatre Gods it just worked out that my friend Paul Bellantoni had a pair of tickets to bestow for last night’s performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
He was hoping to trade them for tickets to The Importance of Being Earnest playing next door but alas for him no one could oblige. Not alas for me, I got one and the other went to our mutual friend Jason Griffin. Amazingly we were the only two who responded to his offer on Facebook. Silly people….silly people.
The show’s predicament is well known; several injuries, one quite severe and possibly career-ending and one which left the actress playing the villainess too afraid of flying to continue in the show.
I have been a vocal proponent of closing the show because I was afraid none of the parties involved had been working to keep the actors safe. And I still say that it’s unforgivable for a director to not demand double and triple checking of harnesses for this extremely dangerous brand of high-velocity wire-work in an enclosed space. (PS The Stage Manager should ALSO be on the hook for this as well as the Equity rep! No pun intended.)
But I have no intention of further flogging this issue in this post. I want to talk about the play. The musical version of the Spider-Man origin tale.
Think back to when you were a kid of about 10. Especially if, like me, you lived far from New York City, loved musicals and would rush off to the record store every Friday to see what new cast albums were out.
Imagination was everything to me. Listening to the cast albums I’d imagine what the show must be like. Always opulent and remarkable, of course. Eva Peron before a crowd of thousands! Cats doing amazing choreography!
Ever see Evita? Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina will send you to the doctor with ghost images of Eva burned into your retina by a blinding spotlight and immobility. Cats? CATS?! The leg-warmers did not FOOL ME! And the choreography was lame. LAME.
But Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, all my 10-year-old dreams of the perfect musical theatre experience were realized in you.
Ever sit in a theatre and feel like you’re about to topple onto 34th street from the top of the Chrysler Building? Holy Crap. Ever see a piece of paper blow across the stage, with no visible means of locomotion, and insist to be read? How’d they do that? Seriously. I looked hard to see how. I did NOT see how.
I am not going to go on and on because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. I suggest my readers also stay as ignorant of specifics as possible and go in fresh and wide-eyed like their 10-year-old selves.
This show is the dream of Broadway made real. Now, how do I get a life-sized Swiss Miss to use as my Xmas tree next year? That would be so HOT!

Like the knife not the beverage!



About keithpatrickdunn

Keith grew-up in a one parent home as an only child. Funny thing is he has two brothers and three step-brothers. View all posts by keithpatrickdunn

3 responses to “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (a love note…shshshsh….pass this down….)

  • Lucretia

    We know the special effects are cool, but how is the show? You know, the book, the music, the performances? It’s not Cirque du Soleil or a theme park, it’s a Broadway *show*. And unless every ten year old child is going to be handed a free ticket, what ten yr old can afford to see it?

    • keithpatrickdunn

      The music is awesome. I’m not a U2 fan per se and I can’t wait to get the CD!
      As far as parents spending a ton of money on tickets for everyone, I won’t comment. That’s up to the parents. I also won’t argue the merits of this musical over the merits of an elephant painting at the zoo or the first season of Boy Meets World on DVD.
      If you’re a musical lover and you’re on the fence about this show then by ALL means go and pay whatever and take whomever.
      My opinion is that this is the best musical I have ever seen on Broadway, all things considered. The rock score is not a fake, the effects are effective and the story is engaging.
      I loved it. Will you? If you think you might then you totally will. If you think you MIGHT NOT like it then you probably will. If you expect to hate it then I think you may be pleasantly surprised.
      But if you’re a sour puss who likes nothing then you’ll get your jollies trashing it like everything else you not-so-secretly love to hate. (But even THAT will bring enjoyment to you!)

    • keithpatrickdunn

      Also, I didn’t say in my post that anyone should take a 10-year-old child. Just to be clear, Sweetie.

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