September 19, 2009

Spider-Man Swings onto the Great White Way

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Written by: Kristin
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Coming to Broadway in February 2010 is something sure to excite both theatre fans and comic book fans:  Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a new musical presented by Marvel, will start its previews on January 16th at the Hilton Theatre (previous host to Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein musical), located on historic 42nd street.

Music and lyrics will be written by U2’s Bono and The Edge (which can be a big perk or a huge disaster, depending on who you are; I’m leaning toward the latter).  Julie Taymor (dir. Across the Universe, Titus, Frida…a pretty impressive resume) will be directing, and co-writing the book with Glen Berger.  The show will feature choreography by Daniel Ezralow  (The Beatles LOVE (Cirque du Soleil!), The Paris Opera Ballet, Batsheva Dance Company of Israel…another impressive resume), and costumes by Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which won her an Oscar), Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai, and the opening ceremony costumes for last year’s Olympic games…also very impressive).  Some of these people have worked together various times before, and everyone has won various awards.  A very promising creative team.

So far only 2 cast members have been announced.  Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe, The Wrestler) will be playing Mary Jane Watson, and the fantastically talented Alan Cumming (Cabaret on Broadway, Titus, X-Men United (Nightcrawler), Sci-Fi’s Tin Man) will be playing Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin (and I tell you now, it will be worth seeing just for that alone).

The musical will include the story of Spider-Man’s origin, and new material, drawing on over 40 years of Marvel comic book history.

You can take a closer look at the creative team and cast, a glance at the story synopsis, and keep up with news, photos and videos on the musical’s website. There’s not a whole lot there now; just some pictures and videos of Julie, Bono and The Edge. Closer to January there should be a lot more popping up on the site, like pre-production photos of costumes and sets, and hopefully some clips of the main musical numbers.  As a fan of both theatre and Spider-Man, I’m sort of tickled by this; I’m worried it’s going to be a mess of camp, but with the outstanding team working on this, it gives me hope.  I can’t wait for lyrics like: “Woe is me, Mary Jane won’t even look at me.  But now I’ve got a spider bod.  Now we will see, if Mary Jane is turned on by me.  Should I tell her I can climb up walls?”


Thank you Dan for some quick banner work!



  1. Billy

    I’ve been a spidey fan for a long time but I’m not into theatre. Strangely enough though I’d like to see this.

  2. I am into theatre and I wish I could see this play. It sounds absolutely ridiculous! I remember when the announcement was made that it would be produced back when I was in college (2003ish) and was shocked at the idea.

    The Lord of the Rings musical bombed in Toronto but has made some serious cash when it re-opened in London a few years later. I’m really interested to see how this thing pans out…

  3. Kristin

    That happens to a lot of shows; they do poorly in one area, but move across the ocean (in either direction) and they’re a hit.

    And honestly, a lot of new shows don’t last for more than a year or two before they close. Theatre is EXPENSIVE. That’s why a show like Les Miserables, one of the best and most-loved shows ever made, had to close a couple years ago; they were only getting I think around 40% of the theatre filled, on average, which wasn’t even enough to run the show each night. Even Cats had to close.

    I don’t expect Spider-Man to run more than a couple years at most. The target audience will see it, the people who go see everything will see it; but unless it’s just spectacular (like Wicked or Phantom), I doubt it will last long.

  4. Good call. I really want to see how they do the swinging from buildings effect… and if this is one huge emo show.

    Imagine a ballad where all Spider-Man does is sing about how unhappy he is as a teenager. lol

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