Friday, February 25, 2011

My Issue With Spider-Man

No, it has nothing to do with the character, the comic, any of the stories, or even the movies. (Although that third one has taken less than its fair share of criticism...Venom as a 70s emo wuss? Who booked this crap?)

No, my issue is with Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. The musical. Just one question...a request, really...

Can we pull the plug on this thing’s life support already and just let it die? Honestly, this thing has “destined to fail” written all over it. And yet, the producers march on like General Custer.

Alan Cumming (known for several cool roles, but the one closest to this would be Nightcrawler in the second X-Men movie) was set to be a part of this thing before he grew a brain. No, that’s not a knock - hell, even he feels that way about it (edited for language):

He explained, "My GOD, that was a lucky escape...Talk about dodging a bullet there! …it just %#@!ed me about. It kept getting delayed and delayed, and so I was like, 'OK, time to move on.' Yeah, it was a bit awkward. She [Director Julie Taymor] wasn't best pleased when I quit. But the thing about Julie is that she's very blinkered about her work, and then things go into the ether. So the next time I saw her for The Tempest, it was like it never happened."

Need to know more? Okay, sure!

Four actors have been injured during production, including lead actress Natalie Mendoza. The original actors for two main roles - Mary Jane and the Green Goblin - have split. It’s been delayed several dozen times - at first for funding issues before racking up a $60 million production price tag. They’ve had to bring in another director and damn good comic scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to save their collective fat. And THAT was because the first preview featured several technical glitches, more delays, and generally sucked so bad that a few critics broke an unspoken rule just to let the world know how abominable this show is.

On top of all that, do you remember the last time someone got the bright idea to put a super-hero musical on Broadway? Yeah, neither does anyone else - because it sucked so bad the first seven rows passed out from lack of oxygen (thank you, Jim Cornette)! It’s A Bird... It’s A Plane...It’s Superman! is now 45 years old and it lasted less than four months before closing doors. That should tell you how terrific it was. And yet, someone’s willing to try this again.

Of course, comic movies are all the rage now. The nerds are coming out of the closet and geek chic is all the rage. There’s a great market out there to be had, but it’s still no reason for this. $60 million dollars later, this thing has almost no chance of making its money back, much less turning a profit.

Even after all the evidence above, there are three simple reasons why this show is a reason that Roe Vs. Wade was passed in to legislation (I know it’s not the first time I’ve used that line, but this actually fits better.).

It’s a musical. About Spider-Man. With music by Bono and The Edge.

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