You Tell Us: Advice for Spidey

Listeners On Air

Friday, March 25, 2011

The troubled Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark got even more troubled this week with an actress suffering serious injuries. We asked for your suggestions to save the vexed production, and heard from listener Richard Daniels, who was in the audience when another performer was injured on-stage in December.

Listen to last week's story on The Saga of Spider-Man

    Music Playlist
  • Spider Web
    Artist: Joan Osborne
    Album: Relish
    Label: Island / Mercury
    Purchase: Amazon

Comments [3]

Jonathan from Brooklyn, NY

I saw the show in January and although it was admittedly rather disastrous, not in the falling bodies department as much as the plot department, it really sparked me creatively. I knew that the show could be saved and when I got home I immediately began taking notes. I'm a musician, composer, and musical theater fan and I gave myself the challenge to think of how one might fix the show in the most economically sound way possible. Here are some of my initial more general thoughts, some of which were shared by Mr. Daniels:

Remove the most confusing elements of the Arachne storyline. Don't make her a mythical creature, don't create a dreamlike, virtual reality in the second act. None of it makes sense. Just make her a villain. I don't think you should lose it completely, as Richard said, because I found the scenes she was a part of to often be the most thrilling visually.

Lose the "Geek Chorus." This is a stale storytelling technique that seems to be an obvious attempt at fixing a confusing story. Instead it makes it additionally confusing and fake feeling. They should lose it and just fix the plot.

I think they should have taken more time with the Peter Parker story, really built him more as a character. This is the meat of Spiderman and its the bit that a lot of the audience is probably familiar with and wants to see. This type of material would be more compelling than any sort of aerial stunt.

The sound mixing for the show I saw was really off point. I think they should embrace the rock music aspect of the show and kick up the orchestra's volume significantly. The music, although most of it was questionable, was at its most dramatic only when we were leaving the theater at the end of the show! That was completely because of the volume issue. It's rock, play it loud!

I have a lot of specifics but that would make an even longer post. Every time this show comes up I just stew thinking about all of this stuff. Thanks for creating a sounding board on this topic. I feel better already!

Mar. 28 2011 02:41 PM
theatergoer from Astoria, NY

Spiderman is far beyond a discussion about art; now it's about safety. How many performers have been seriously injured during these "previews?" That is what should shut down the show while the creative team re-tools it. I'm an actor and I keep wondering why the union or OSHA doesn't step in even more to prevent these accidents. Once that's solved, then maybe they can deal with retooling. I'd see if once the show stops endangering its performers.

Mar. 27 2011 11:27 AM
Barbra from East Norwich, NY

Full disclosure: I haven't nor do I plan on seeing Spiderman. To me it's not even theater (and I absolutely LOVE theater), it's more Cirque du Soleil~like but with less beauty, a weaker story line and way more accidents.

I feel about Spiderman the same way I do about Transformer type movies..why bother calling it theater or a movie when it's really a side show ~ a big fat expensive death defying side show. The story line and acting are completely secondary while the special effects are everything.

$70 million for that? I don't think so.

Mar. 26 2011 06:23 PM

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