Spider-Man set to hit Broadway

Edward Leonard

Oh Broadway, what have you done this time?

Your recent affinity for the “rock musical” hasn’t left me wanting. “Spring Awakening” was absolutely phenomenal, and introduced us to the talent of Lea Michele, Rachel from “Glee.”

Then comes “American Idiot,” this summer — perhaps a not the most ambitiously creative project, turning a rock opera into a musical, but effective and, from what I have heard, a very good performance. Green Day is a pretty safe bet to write music for a rock show.

So, I’ve been excited to see where this new trend takes us. I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground. Then, in what was called “one of the greatest anticipated Broadway shows ever,” Broadway revealed its masterstroke.:


That’s right, folks, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has left the silver screen and is returning as the hometown hero. In a musical.

This is a great idea.

Not only is it completely revolutionary to have the leading man sing behind a sound-muffling mask, but that singer will, in fact, not have ever been on Broadway before. Instead of someone who knows what he’s doing, the creators of this groundbreaking musical have cast the role to Reeve Carney, singer for the band creatively named “Carney,” as the web-slinger. I don’t see how this can miss.

In addition to the typical Broadway singing, dancing, and acting, Spider-Man will add another, more spectacular element to the Broadway show. You can’t have a web-slinger without a little web-slinging, and naturally the best way to do this is to have Spider-Man, the Green Goblin and just about everyone else hurtle through the sky. Not just on stage, mind you, but over the audience.

In fact, the stunt double — yep, Broadway is using stunt doubles now — for Spider-Man was injured in the practice for one of the flying sequences. It would, though, be a pretty spectacular end to the show if Spider-Man beats Goblin by snapping his wires and sending him plummeting to his death, crushing several audience members in the process.

The story will follow the creation of Spider-Man, radioactive spider-bite and all, through to Spider-Man’s saving Mary Jane from the clutches of the Green Goblin. It will include such highlights from the original comics as the fight with Bone Saw McGraw and the death of Uncle Ben. Never fear, though, it won’t be an exact copy of the movie. Broadway is making a few minor tweaks to the original Spider-Man story to make it more Broadway-ish.

Spider-Man is reportedly going to come up against The Sinister Six, a gang of five traditional “Spider-Man” baddies — who were all actually in The Sinister Six; so far so good — plus the world’s newest super villain, “Swiss Miss.” Yep. It’s a superhero versus the Swiss Miss girl, the most evil entity in the history of hot chocolate. It should be noted that Swiss Miss is transgendered, as Sean Samuels will play him.

I, for one, am very excited to see this corporate icon of comfort turn evil.

The real focus, though, as with any Broadway production, is the music. This particular rock extravaganza is being written by none other than Bono, who also came up with the name of the production: “Turn Off the Dark.” He will be assisted by The Edge, and, so far, the musical numbers are actually sounding pretty decent, all things considered, with a very U2-esque sound to most of the songs. And despite all the experience he doesn’t have with Broadways, the Reeve is, at least, a competent singer.

So, this is the supremely anticipated Broadway production of the year? Apparently. In fact, it’s already sold more than $1 million worth of tickets to opening night. It’s set to open in January, and has the primetime spotlight: 8 p.m. showings Monday through Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. With all of this risk, there is at least one bright side: It will almost certainly be better than “Spider-Man 3.”