You’d have to be brain dead not to have heard about the tribulations surrounding Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway. I went in hoping the things that needed fixing had been fixed (not that I’d know what needed to be fixed having not seen the show before it closed for a near month revamping) and I won’t spoil the story-what there is of one-for you. Save two very cool slow-moving aerial moments in the 2nd act, the opening “Arachne” curtains in the first and the cool set pieces sliding around, there really isn’t much happening in these two hours.
Though wonderfully played by Patrick Page, his Green Goblin does becomes a bit much-video screens not withstanding-but when you don’t have a story you got to give the most interesting character a lot of play. But the real problem with Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark is that never once do we care about Peter Parker and Mary Jane…and the music doesn’t help glue the story together.
Bono and the Edge, our beloved dynamic Dublin duo of U2, are out of their element here. They should have either written solid rock songs or taken another basic theater scoring course; the songs melodies meander leaving the poor players-some of whom have pretty decent pipes-with nothing to sing, even on the brand-spanking new “A Freak Like Me.”
At prices this pejorative (and to be fair, Spidey is not the only show asking $140 for an orchestra seat) I have to be blown away and Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark (which could be called: turn-off my electricity next week cause I can’t pay the bill having paid to see Spider-man) is lukewarm theater at best. But they do have a store in the lobby selling really neat T-shirts, the theatre is very plushy, and as I’m sure you’re wondering, nobody fell.