I saw SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK yesterday.
Snicker if you like, but its stagecraft is next-generation: costumes, sets, lighting, sound, actors being where they’re supposed to be in split-second increments. It is old-style Broadway taken to an astonishing new level. Then there is the flying, on top of you, all around you.
Finally, Patrick Page takes Act II into his pocket and walks away with it as the Green Goblin. In potentially scary garb, he manages to charm all children, even the youngest, within :05 of his appearance, and the adults just follow. You want him back on stage the instant he slinks off.
I saw a Wed-matinee Spidey-sub so new that he wasn’t even listed in the program, and still he frickin killed. So why isn’t this breaking all records everywhere? Um, the score. It blows. There are two or three U2-deserving rockers, but the rest is Bono and The Edge trying to fit square musical pegs into round holes, because they have real problems with the big blasting representative number that is a Broadway musical staple. They try. They fail.
SPIDEY is the ultimate tourist attraction, which puts some snobs off right there, but if you know anything at all about how they actually do this stuff, I say you MUST NOT MISS IT.
11/18/13: The producers hung the closing notice today. Although a family/tourist favorite, it was just too expensive to perform before 3/4-strength crowds. SPIDEY will close in January and then re-open as a Las Vegas attraction in 2015. Patrick Page had long since left the cast; I next saw him in John Grisham’s A TIME TO KILL, which itself sputtered and closed.