Spiderman--The Musical (God Help Us All)

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"Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself..." (Proverbs 22:3 NWT)


I need to build a case here. Growing up, Spiderman was easily my favorite superhero as a kid and remained so until this day. And when I lived back east, I spent an unhealthy amount of time in New York frequenting Broadway shows. Therefore, I'm coming from a place of loving both Spiderman, and Broadway--the way I love sushi and waffles--with the "of course not!" awareness that never the twain shall meet. I'm still a theater buff, and while I have heard the buzz about "Spiderman the musical," I dismissed it as a fable, or the silly untruth of mean-spirited individuals. Though my powers of denial are as a sharp as ever, I've noticed that my right hand does involuntarily clench into a fist whenever I've heard "Spiderman" and "musical" in the same sentence. Sadly, my right hand knew the truth all along.

At a price-tag dangling somewhere around 65 million, "Spiderman-Turn off the Dark" is the most expensive Broadway production in history. It is estimated that the show will have to run for 5 years in order to just break even. Despite the sheer lunacy of the concept and title itself, The Production, (as I shall now refer to it; I just can't write "Spiderman-The Musical" again without withering into dust), has enough major-league names behind it to at least be taken seriously. The music was done by Bono and the Edge, and for those of us who to dare to dream, one can only hope that the music itself would bring the show out of the tomato-throwing zone. Director Julie Taymor, with the critically-acclaimed Broadway production of "The Lion King" under her belt, is also a glimmer of hope for The Production. Personally, I found "The Lion King" to be absolutely stunning, and I needed several reality checks to remind myself that Simba's troubles were not my own. It was brilliant. However, with cast injuries for The Production growing by the week--broken ribs, a punctured lung, bilteral broken wrists of one Spiderman (pretty sure he needs those), a broken foot--we all have to wonder if the body count will be to high to ever open The Production. The show might need a superhero of its own--let's call him "Decent Entertainment Man!"--to the rescue.

Prior to the official opening, a Broadway production will run for a limited time for the previews. Theater patrons pay full ticket price, or close to it, to see the show prior to critic review. It is, in reality, a chance to iron out kinks before critique. The practice is losing steam in some respects, as even the most avid theater buff bemoans the full-ticket cost of a show that is still essentially under construction. Last night, I spent some time with my friend Joe on his return from his visit home to New York. He braved the beautiful New York snow to take his daughter to see The Production. He is a writer, musician and corporate executive and I was definitely eager to hear his take on the show. A born and bred New Yorker, I was certain his would be the most--well...honest of reviews, sans any California sugar-coating. I pride myself on having a very open mind, and though I have my own prejudice against The Production, I was ready for Joe to surprise me with a good review.

"It's appalling," he stated calmly.

"Wow. As bad as it sounds?" I asked.

"Every bit. Every bit as bad."

"What about the music? Bono? The Edge?" I tried to be hopeful.

"They slipped a decent song somewhere in there. Mostly mediocre though...at best." He said, and sipped his beer.

Joe being a comically serious person had a forlorn, if not worried disposition, as he went on:

"The writers have all lost their objectivity. The whole things needs a re-write, but the second act is particularly upsetting. You have no idea what's going on. You don't care about the characters, the plot is indecipherable, and you literally spend a good part of the show concerned for the lead's welfare. Not his character's welfare, but the lead's actual bones, the stunts are mostly worrisome." I could tell Joe wanted to lead a focus group.

"But..." he sighed. "This is America. It could catch on."

I shook my head in worried agreement. The undeniable truth of his statement brought to mind a troubling incident, I have to relate. I forgive easily, but one person I can't seem to forgive is the "inventor" of the Snuggie. I hate its construction, its concept, and its popularity in no particular order. As my hatred for Snuggies is well-known, a co-worker bought me a shockingly blue Snuggie for Christmas. She couldn't stop laughing while insisting I put it on, to show my good manners.

"I look like an ordained minister for Muppets." I had the urge to roam Fraggle Rock yelling, "Repent! Repent!"

Tears streamed my co-workers' face as she attempted to stop laughing. I surveyed the fabric of that atrocity noting it to be a poorly constructed combination of cookie monster fur, apathy, and commercialism.

I sighed knowing Joe is right. In so grave a climate of taste, a show like, The Production, might just make it. With the right marketing, and media attention, Americans might just flock to see the Broadway show with the biggest budget in history. Even without a plot or decent music, with the precedent of notorious injuries of the cast, my fellow countrymen may spend their hard earned money just for the prospect of being part of the audience where Spidey ruptures his spleen. I hope to be on valium for the opening.

Show opens February 2011. Assuming the entire cast isn't in casts.

Comments 29 comments

tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

I can hardly wait for the X-Men stage production. Belated Merry Christmas to you.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Ha! Thanks, Tony...remind me to forfeit my citizenship to the human race when Xmen is a musical.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL

Oh no, no why did they do this to Spiderman?! I just can not see him swinging around on his web belting out songs to MJ. Just the thought...I won't think it.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Hi evvy_09. I've wondered for years if we'll ever be able to vaccinate for stupidity, and if I have to hear the green goblin break out into song about how evil he is, then the clinical trials should begin with the producers of this show. Thanks for reading!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Excellent critique, even if somewhat second-hand; if it comes to London, I won't bother...Bob


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Hi, Bob! This is how I know I'm crazy--critiquing a show I haven't seen. I'm also hoping this isn't coming off high-brow because I am definitely not that. I saw a lot of shows the college way-20 dollars, and student ID during the off-times. I hear the 10 million dollar set is worth seeing, but will also make touring pretty much impossible. I think you will dodge the bullet. :-).


mega1 profile image

mega1 5 years ago

yeah, it'll be hard to take on the road - but the filming and video stuff will probably be enough to last a couple of centuries of YouTube. You've actually seen it? I admit, I didn't read every word you wrote, but I don't read every word of anybody these days. busy busy busy - will look forward to seeing it myself, if I ever can drag myself into a city somewhere to see such a thing! plus, there's still not spider-woman, which totally pisses me off!


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

I forgot to ask. Can Spiderman sing and dance ? And as a sidenote I am a big fan of the cookie monster.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is so hilarious and your review is excellent.I have no desire to see it ( even if i could here in this little town )I'd heard about all the accidents and broken bones,yipes! you'd think they would stop production before death occurs.Thank's for the fun read.

Cheers

Happy new year.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Mega1, thanks for reading what you did, and nope, I haven't seen it.

Tony, haha! According to my source, Peter Parker sings and dances, Spiderman just beats people up. So I can at least sleep at night. And I love cookie monster also! And I don't want him hunted for his coat to make horrible robes for the simple minded. Thanks for reading, btw!

Ruby, thank you! I'm most likely going to see it when I go back home. If you're in NY, I'm told the show to see is "The Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino in the lead. Heard it was awesome.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 5 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

I have this mental image of "tinkerbelle" meets "Dick Tracy" meets "Cats"... not a pretty picture. Now, sushi with waffles... I'll bet Iron Chef Morimoto could make that happen!!! Very well done. Can't believe you still want to go see it. Ciao!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Lol! Ahh...Jai. I don't think I'm doing a good enough job of portraying what a truly ridiculous person I am. Don't be fooled by my complete and utter dis of this show. I'll totally be there. What if I'm at the show where Spidey ruptures his spleen?? It's history in the making. Thanks, for reading!!


ExpandYourMind profile image

ExpandYourMind 5 years ago from Midwest USA

Funny review and good writing. Good thing, there's lot of good Broadway out there!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

There is so much good Broadway! I can't wait to go back home to MD and see this little nightmare and then whatever else I can think of while I'm in NY. I'm excited. Thanks for reading!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, lol I see what you mean! what happens if Spideys costume gets tangled in the wires? hee hee I really want to see it now, just to have a good laugh! cheers nell


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

You're getting it! Of course it's atrocious...that's why I HAVE to see it. It's like a train wreck, you just hafta look. Thanks for reading, and cheers!--Shannon.


liswilliams profile image

liswilliams 5 years ago from South Africa

great stuff, didn't know this was out and about - God help us is right!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Pretty crazy, huh? Thanks for reading, liswilliams.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

The thought of spiderman the musical just makes me shake my head and think WHY? Comeon now like we have money to toss at bad productions like that, again, what the... were they thinking. Won't even go see it! Thanks for the heads up on Spiderman the musical. :) Katie


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

I know, I know. But understand this, I'm a total clown. I can't wait to see it!! But I'm packing tomatoes...


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

And this must be shared, they haven't been able to officially open this musical, but NY Times and a few other critics broke etiquette and threw down the KABOSH...my friend Joe sends this

http://theater.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/theater/revi...

And...there's this

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/vacat...


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..well I don't need to be on valium to enjoy your writing - lol lol - it's always so world class and such a joy to read - maybe they could make a Broadway musical adaptation of your hubs - now that would be a real treat - and nowadays - they rely way too much on special effects and computer enhancements in film, TV, and on stage - I think they're forgetting about the good old fashioned flesh and blood aspects of the production like 'imagination' and 'story telling' through great dialogue ......I love your new profile picture by the way!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

LOL! That's awesome, epigramman! Adaptations of my hubs would have to be a cartoon though, could never make it on stage. My life is way too crazy for the stage :-). Thanks also on my picture, but don't get used to it. I am weird about my picture am prone to changing it. Thank you for reading!! I had fun writing this, and I hope I get to see this. When I went back home in April I was going to go up to New York to see it, but they weren't showing it. Hopefully soon.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Voted up and funny, SJ! How do you always have that ability to make me laugh on an otherwise overwhelmingly stressful day? Kudos to you! How's it going out there on the west coast? I'm a bit burnt out with my job right now, but luckily my family and I are going on vacation this weekend for a whole ten days! We are renting a beautiful townhome in Cocoa Beach (on the Florida east coast). My hubby's entire family is having a reunion there...and they're all awesome fun people so I'm excited. Hopefully you'll be getting a real vacation soon? How did your family trip go? Hope all is well.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

Oh, Kitty how great to hear from you!! I'm sorry to hear you're stressed out. You've got a lot on your plate being a mom, working and just living, I can imagine that gets really tough at times. The vacation is probably exactly what you need, and it sounds perfect. I've only been to a few places in FL, Cocoa Beach isn't one of them, but the name is definitely right!! I've not been on that family trip yet, it's in August, but thanks for asking! I have been very happily distracted lately. Hopefully I'll get a chance to write a hub on it soon. Thanks for stopping by and checking in!!! Very cool.


Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago

Cool Writing but as you say God help us all..LOL


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago Author

I still haven't seen this thing!! Tried to see it in April, then again in August and it was dark both times I attempted. I wonder if the show is still going on. Thanks for the read.


KateWest profile image

KateWest 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Ha! That was a delight to read - thank you!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 4 years ago Author

I had fun writing this! Thanks for stopping by, Kate!

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