Review: Spider-man Turn off the Dark

All spiders do not construct a web to catch prey. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.  For eight shows a week, Spiderman captures audiences for 2.5 hours and literally sucks bores the life out of them.  Yes, it saddens this gay to report the most expensive Broadway musical in history (over 60 million dollars) with the longest preview performances (182) turned out to be less of a rock musical and more of a bland tasting cupcake covered in red-velvet icing.  The music and lyrics were the most disappointing.  Silly uneventful songs dominated the entire production. What’s more, if Peter Parker and Mary Jane had sung one more slow song I was going to curl up in the fetal position y’all. On a positive note, the song “Rise Above” really depicted Peter Parker’s inner turmoil and subsequent use of his “gift” to defend innocence from evil; sort of like Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” but not as fierce. Finally, the supposed showstopper, the aerial sequences were just ok. Seriously, the best part was seeing Spiderman’s crotch fly over the audience and the Green Goblin mount him in mid air.  Note: Later this week I’ll be swinging from a rope I tied from of tree on Wilton Drive (free balling in a pair of bicycle shorts).  With a viewing price of $5.00 its $165.00 less than the admission to Spiderman and still get the same effect; well sort of.  Hell, I’ll even play the music from the show on my boom box.

Speaking of cheap thrills, Spiderman was not without its highlights. The leads were amazing especially Reeve Carney (Spiderman) and Patrick Page (Green Goblin). As both Norman Osborn and the Green Goblin, Page simultaneously demanded attention and entertained with his deep raspy voice and over the top stage presence (if only his material would have been stronger).  The costume design was off the charts.  Colorful and super inventive, the Green Goblin and his gang of the “sinister six” are destined for plastic figures on the top of a birthday cake or hot air balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unfortunately, a Broadway show can’t rely on amazing costumes alone. Finally, the infusion of video really added some bounce and curl to the otherwise limb production. At one point the Green Goblin’s mouth was so big, I thought he might eat my head. This part was totally a highlight for me y’all.

Sadly, Spiderman: Turn of the Dark was the equivalent of a rerun of “Toddlers and Tiaras.” You know, the one that starred pageant superstar Eden Woods who wears pretty dresses and lip-syncs to Tammy Wynette.  In the words of my friend Eddie, “honey, I thought it reeked. I need a cocktail.” Simply put, save your money. See the movie instead.

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