Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Spider Man on Broadway: Will the Flying Pass Inspection?


“Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” is heading toward its November 14th first preview on Broadway with just enough tsuris to throw off a little gossip.

The $52 million-plus show is one of those Broadway legends already. Some in the theater are rooting for it to fail. Others, like this column, are looking forward to a big hit.

But along the way: chaos! trouble!

First of all, I am told that the rehearsals continue apace, but slowly. “They’ve only gotten through the first act,” says a source. “It’s been very complicated. Act 2 will start this week.” That’s 30 days from the unofficial “opening” night.

More importantly: the flying that all the Spider Men do in the show is indeed holding things up. Here’s the scenario. Apparently the actors will be flying over the audience’s heads and all over the theater. This isn’t “Peter Pan” with a little onstage aerial. And the people who are flying are not from Cirque du Soleil or trained acrobats. “They’re muscular actors who got flying training and are into it,” says a source.

Hmmm. Apparently also, there are regulations about this sort of thing, unions and all that, various controls. “They’re afraid they won’t pass inspection when the flying inspectors come,” says my source.

There’s lots of good news, however. “The music is great,” my source says of the Bono-Edge score. “And the choreography and the stunts are amazing to watch. The Green Goblin and Spider Man have a fight in the sky right above the audience that will blow everyone’s minds.” Indeed. There’s no net.

And since it’s a Julie Taymor show, expect puppets. “A lot of puppets,” says my source.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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