The budget-busting Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" made its long-awaited debut last weekend to preview audiences, and though Peter Parker's bow was marred by production miscues and a laundry list of problems, one issue that audiences didn't seem to have a problem with was the music.
According to U2 bandmates Bono and The Edge, who composed the production's score, that's because comic books and rock and roll music are a natural fit.
"There's always been a thing with punk rock bands and comics," Bono told MTV News during an interview last week. "It's always been there. Even the Ramones, who are also from Queens [New York] like Peter Parker and Mary Jane, they covered the theme to Spider-Man."
"It goes through all, not just rock and roll culture, it's in modern art," he continued. "You see it in Roy Lichtenstein's work, all the pop artists' work; they all sample from comics."
Featuring high-flying stunts and a multitude of moving set pieces that put the audience in the middle of the action when Spider-Man battles Green Goblin, Carnage and the rest of the show's villains, "Turn Off the Dark" is treading new ground. In fact, the ambitious uses to which director Julie Taymor has put the project's record-breaking budget have effectively distanced it from its peers — and caused some confusion when it comes time to describe the show.
"It's like a graphic novel, but a three-dimensional one," Bono ventured. "I'm calling it a pop-up, pop-art opera, because I'm pretentious. Julie's calling it what?"
"I think she's calling it a rock-and-roll circus drama," The Edge answered. "We don't really know what to call it, because there are so many aspects to it," he explained. "A great night out. I think that's what it is."
The Edge acknowledged a similar difficulty in comparing "Turn Off the Dark" with anything that came before it.
"It is elements of rock and roll, it's elements of circus, it's elements of opera, of musical theater," he said. "It is so many different things, and when we started the process, we promised we'd do something that hasn't been done before. And really, we, I think, have managed to do that."
Check out everything we've got on "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."