Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark — Broadway show Video Preview.
What: Spider-Man Show
Where: PLAYING AT
Average Weekly Schedule:
WEDNESDAY 2:00PM 8:00PM
SATURDAY 2:00PM 8:00PM
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a rock musical with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge and a book by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger. The Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical show is based on the Spider-Man comics created by Marvel Comics.
The most expensive Broadway production in history (as well as the one with the longest preview period), the show includes highly technical stunts, such as actors swinging from "webs" and several aerial combat scenes. At the first preview performance, these technical challenges caused several lengthy interruptions.
The Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical show began previews on November 28, 2010, at the Foxwoods Theatre on Broadway, with the official opening night scheduled for March 15, 2011. The creative team includes direction by Taymor, choreography by Daniel Ezralow, with scenic design by George Tsypin, costumes by Eiko Ishioka and lighting by Donald Holder. The original Broadway cast recording will be produced by Steve Lillywhite.
The original cast stars Reeve Carney in the lead role, with Jennifer Damiano as Mary Jane Watson, Patrick Page as the Green Goblin, T. V. Carpio as Arachne, Michael Mulheren as J. Jonah Jameson, Isabel Keating as Aunt May, and Ken Marks as Uncle Ben. Due to the physical demands of the role, Carney shares the role of Spider-Man with Matthew James Thomas, who will appear in two of the performances each week after the official opening.
Although often described as a rock musical, the production "treads new ground" that some commentators have asserted "have effectively distanced it from its peers – and caused some confusion when it comes time to describe the show." The Edge stated that he is unsure of what description to use for the production, because "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is elements of rock and roll, it's elements of circus, it's elements of opera, (and) of musical theater." Bono, admitting that his description is a little "pretentious," has referred to it as "pop-up, pop-art opera," noting that Julie Taymor is calling it a "rock-and-roll circus drama." A 60 Minutes CBS special stated that it is being called a "comic book rock opera circus," although in that segment Bono noted that even using "rock" to describe the music is too narrow a description, because "We've moved out of the rock and roll idiom in places into some very new territory for us ... (including) big show tunes and dance songs."
The Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark production "is the most technically complex show ever on Broadway, with 27 aerial sequences of characters flying." The production not only features high-flying stunts, but also includes a "multitude of moving set pieces that put the audience in the middle of the action," and enough projections onto giant screens that Bono has said that it is like a three-dimensional graphic novel. Taymor told theater brokers that the production is something new: it "isn't a musical."
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Act I:
Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's next door neighbor, is dangling from a New York City bridge and drops as Spider-Man desperately bounds toward her. The scene changes as four nerdy teenagers, the "Geek" chorus, crafting fan fiction, debate the origin of the Spider-Man story ("Splash Page"). The only female in the group, calling herself Miss Arrow—the others calling themselves Jimmy-6, Grim Hunter, and Professor Cobwell—mentions that the first time a human demonstrated arachnid characteristics was in the Greek myth of Arachne, the most gifted but conceited of weavers. Arachne's bragging angered the goddess Athena, who challenged her to a duel at the loom ("Behold and Wonder"). Arachne won, but Athena destroyed her work, leading Arachne to hang herself. Athena, though, took pity on her and, as Arachne hung dying, transformed her into the world's first spider, who would "live and weave forever". The teenagers then begin to narrate the well-known Spider-Man story, but they weave into the tale a new thread that updates the Arachne myth.
In a Queens, New York high school, local teenager Peter Parker is not popular among his classmates who, like Flash Thompson, take pleasure in bullying him ("Bullying by Numbers"). Mary Jane, his main love interest, and Peter both have unhappy home lives ("No More"). Peter is an orphan who has lived with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May ever since his parents died. Scientist Norman Osborn and his wife lead a tour of Osborn's lab for students visiting from Peter's high school ("D.I.Y. World"). As the students talk to Osborn, Peter is bitten by an escaped spider, who, it turns out, is genetically altered. The geek narrators, who have been watching all of this unfold, argue about why Peter was chosen to be bitten by the spider ("Bouncing Off the Walls").
Peter becomes aware of his new powers. He enters a wrestling match and adopts his first use of disguise, fighting "Bonesaw McGraw" and winning. In his triumph, he hurries home and ignores calls of help from Flash, whose car is being stolen. The car thief, however, runs down Uncle Ben, and Peter realizes he is powerless to save his dying uncle, leading to an emotional encounter with Peter's Aunt May ("Rise Above"). The mysterious Arachne, seeing the grieving Peter, gives him his well-known costume, officially making him "Spider-Man".
Peter swings throughout the city on his webs, fighting villains and saving civilians. Soon the Daily Bugle reporters start to ask, "Who is Spider-Man?" Hearing of this, Norman Osborn wonders whether this new superhero has stolen his own secret research as he is pressured to move his current project forward by the military ("Pull the Trigger"), later contemplating this with his wife ("Picture This"). Experimenting on himself, Osborn accidentally kills his wife, soon going insane and becoming the "Green Goblin." Meanwhile, Peter gets a photojournalist job for the Daily Bugle, run by J. Jonah Jameson. Peter is briefly captured by the Green Goblin ("I'll Take Manhattan"). Upon his escape, Peter learns that Mary Jane is trapped atop the Chrysler Building. He battles and defeats the Green Goblin, rescuing Mary Jane in the process.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Act II
The Geek chorus and a group of Manhattanites sing of Spider-Man's subsequent rise to fame ("Spider-Man Rising"). Spider-Man vanquishes the "Sinister Six," a new alliance of supervillains that includes Carnage, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the Lizard, Swarm and Swiss Miss (a character invented by Miss Arrow, to the other geeks' dismay). After this, Arachne comes to Peter in a vision, beginning to confuse reality and illusion ("Turn Off the Dark").
Maligned by the media and suffering financial woes, Peter learns that with great power comes great responsibility. Peter wants to spend more time with Mary Jane, so he takes time off from fighting crime and the image of Spider-Man ("Walk Away"). However, Arachne reveals that Spider-Man is a product of her own design and that she must be free from a certain curse ("Think Again"). She spitefully manipulates Peter's mind into his envisioning the resurrection of the Green Goblin and the Sinister Six, who go on a killing and robbing spree set against the backdrop of Manhattan in flames ("Sinistereo"). The supervillains test not only Peter's physical strength during mid-air battles, but also challenge his strength of character. Peter is overwhelmed as Arachne and her Furies, spider-women accomplices, viciously bombard his imagination ("Deeply Furious").
Peter remains indecisive about whether he should resume his heroic acts as Spider-Man while Manhattan and his life fall into chaos. He impulsively proposes to Mary Jane and then breaks off their relationship. She explains to him her view of a true romantic relationship ("If the World Should End"), but is suddenly kidnapped by Arachne ("Boy Falls from the Sky"). As he watches Mary Jane fall to her doom from the Brooklyn Bridge, Peter finds that he has lost his superhero powers and cannot save her. Suddenly, he realizes that recent events were merely scenes from a dream elaborately constructed by Arachne in her effort to motivate him to return to his role as Spider-Man.
Now, with Mary Jane alive but in captivity, Arachne demands that Peter free her from her curse, which is revealed to have been caused by the interruption of her suicide attempt, thus leaving her eternally halfway between life and death. She claims that to do so, he must fight and kill her, or else she will kill Mary Jane ("Love Me or Kill Me"). Ultimately, when Peter finds himself unable to take Arachne's life, however, she commends him for not doing so and remarks that she is now free from the confines of immortality. She is pulled up by a noose, at last presumably achieving a satisfying death, as she ascends out of sight. Peter rescues Mary Jane and they reunite. Hearing sirens in the distance, Mary Jane, now knowing who Spider-Man is, tells Peter to "go get 'em, tiger!"