Monday, November 29, 2010

A $65 Million Stage Production of a Comic Book Somehow Goes Wrong

Posted By on 11.29.10 at 02:02 PM

spidey.jpg
As you may know, Kill Hannah front man Mat Devine has put the glamdustrial group on hold to take a part in the $65 million Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which is directed by one of the people behind the mega-successful stage adaptation of the Lion King and features music by a couple of upstart rock 'n' rollers named Bono and the Edge. Given the show's vast budget (the largest in Broadway history), its ambitious technical components, the involvement of U2, and the "interesting" concept of a stage musical based on Spider-Man, there's been a lot of speculation surrounding the production, much of it negative.

Turn Off the Dark opened over the weekend, and critics are basking in schadenfreude now that it's had a disastrous premiere. Says the New York Post:

Stunned audience members were left scratching their heads over the confusing plot—when they weren't ducking for cover from falling equipment and dangling actors at the Foxwoods Theatre on West 42nd Street, some said.

At various points, overhead stage wires dropped on the audience, scenery appeared on stage missing pieces—and the show's star was even left swaying helplessly over them midair during what was supposed to be the climatic end to the first act.

So far I haven't seen any mention of Devine in the reviews I've read—possibly because in his role as Grim Hunter he didn't suffer any wire-work-related mishaps. If Turn Off the Dark (seriously, who came up with that name?) does in fact flop, his nascent Broadway career might go down with it. But unlike most of his castmates, he has a legion of raccoon-eyed fans on standby, which must be comforting.

Correction: Turn Off the Dark did not open this past weekend; the performance described was the first night of previews, which will continue until the production's formal opening in January.

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