By Skip Tucker
September 15, 2011
Okay – I just finished watching “Spider-Man – Turn Off the Dark” at the Foxwoods Theatre on Broadway. Mixed feelings. The set was spectacular and the flying sequences were amazing (although the visible wires and harnesses diminished the effect). The music (written by Bono and the Edge) is loud and mostly in a minor key. Maybe it’s the sound system, but the lyrics were, for the most part, muddy and incoherent. The bottom line is that the music simply isn’t good enough to hold the production together.
The minor villains were dopey as hell and their costumes looked like something you’d see at a Grade-B theme park, but the Green Goblin (played by the scene-stealing Patrick Page) was great. He’s campy and full of fun – and the absolute best scene of the entire production was a bit where the Goblin is trying to leave a message for J.J. Jamison (the asshole editor of “The Daily Bugle”), and he keeps getting hung up with the automated voicemail system.
There was a weird sub-plot love story with a spider-goddess named Arachne. Apparently in the first incarnation of the musical, there was a romantic triangle between MJ, Peter Parker and Arachne, but they toned it down a bit and turned her into a sort of a benevolent fairy god-spider.
It’s not the worst show in Broadway history… but unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Spidey fan, you might want to wait for the DVD version.