We’ve been doing our best to keep you up to date on all things related to the Spider-Man musical, whether it’s casting announcements or a greater tragedy influencing the show’s opening. Now, it’s with great pleasure that we present to you our two-part review of “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.”
Read on for the five things we didn’t like about the musical, and if you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out our list of the five things we did enjoy, too!
1. The Story
“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” sports one of the worst Spider-Man stories ever told in any medium. The two acts, both of which run entirely too long, could both function as two separate problematic plays. As it stands, they combine to form one of the weakest stories ever told in musical theater, let alone with the webslinger himself. It would be a marvel that the show’s story passed quality control if director Julie Taymor herself wasn’t co-credited with the book.
2. The Acting
As a result of the musical’s horrifically awful storyline, the performances are an absolute mess. Reeve Carney’s take on Peter Parker is devoid of humor, while Jennifer Damiano’s version of Mary Jane is missing any personality whatsoever. Patrick Page and Teresa Carpio shine through as Green Goblin and Arachne respectively, but even their strong performances aren’t enough to compensate for miserable dialogue and story decisions.
3. The Music
Bono and The Edge are responsible for the show’s music and lyrics, a sad fact considering how utterly forgettable the show’s musical numbers are. With the exception of the main riff from “The Boy Falls From the Sky,” chances are high that there isn’t a single tune you’ll walk out of the Foxwoods Theater buzzing in your brain — and that is a very bad thing considering that “Turn off the Dark” is, well, a musical.
4. The Changes
It’s hard to understand some of the deviations that “Turn Off The Dark” makes from its source material. Why does Norman Osborn speak with a southern accent? Why doesn’t he have a son? Why does it make more sense for a Greek spider-goddess to gift Spider-Man with his costume than a teenage boy sewing it up himself? Who knows the answers to these questions? Julie Taymor certainly doesn’t.
5. The Difficulties
Simply put, “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is not ready for audiences. During the performance we saw, the show suffered a five-minute delay towards the end of Act 2. The aerial work was stunning, but not necessarily for the right reasons. The story is abysmal and requires a significant number of overhauls. With everything that it got right, there’s no reason that “Turn Off The Dark” should be as bad as it is; it’s simply unprepared, even after years of delays and changes. Sadly, it seems like the need for cash outweighed the need for quality in this instance.
Tell us what you think of our review in the comments section and on Twitter!
– ’Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Review, Part 1: Five Things We Liked
– ’Spider-Man’ Musical Makes Casting Changes, Injured Actor Speaks Out
– Spider-Man Musical Loses Lead Actress Natalie Mendoza