Not every show on Broadway will be remembered for something. But tonight “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” marks three years since its auspicious debut at the Foxwoods Theater. This was the night– November 28, 2010– that became legend. (Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the show will celebrate a night early this evening.) It was a freezing cold night, in fact. The scene in front of the Foxwoods on West 42nd St. was out of control. Big crowds, long lines, and so much curiosity about what was going to happen on stage.
Of course, what happened starting that night was legendary. Things fell apart. There were a lot of stops. Poor Arachne, who was supposed to fly around, got stuck in mid air. One of the flying Spider men came in zooming in toward the stage and kept going until a stage hand caught him. There were no actual accidents, but there were many to come.
In the second act, during a five minute break to fix things, a woman in the audience yelled out, “I feel like a guinea pig!” She was booed. Oh, the memories.
It wasn’t all bad. Rick Miramontez, the super hero press agent for the show, points out in a press release today: “The production has employed a total of 1,100 people and pumped an estimated $870 million into the local economy. Audience members representing 45 countries from around the globe have seen the production, including approximately 750,000 first time theatergoers. The show, arguably the most famous in Broadway history, has generated an estimated 200,000 headlines around the world. It has been enjoyed by everyone from the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, to Joan Rivers, and has been seen multiple times by its most fervent fans, including one fan who has attended 219 times to date.”
(It’s also lost $60 million.)
Happy Birthday , Spider Man. And if you haven’t seen Julie Taymor’s sets and costumes, her incredible vision, it’s worth taking a peek before the show shuts down on January 4th and heads to Las Vegas, its natural home.