This morning as I ate breakfast and readied myself for the pre-NY Comicon press briefing, I was listening to the radio and heard the first ad for SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, the upcoming Broadway musical. This thing has been in development for quite a while and has famously suffered a number of setbacks, so it looked like it was going to go tits-up before it even got out of the gate. But no, it's actually opening on November 14th for previews and if I can possibly swing it I have to attend. Though I have utmost respect and admiration for director Julie Taymor, there are many reported aspects of this show that simultaneously fill me with a deep dread and a sense of elation as a fan of "bad" culture. Among those aspects:
- First of all, the title. SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. What the fuck kind of title is that, anyway? It sounds like a "take back the night" march, and simply drips with emo pussification.
- The involvement of Bono and the Edge from U2 as the writers of the music. Those guys have been the biggest pair of overblown buying-their-own-hype douchebags in pop music for a long time, and while their brand of cruddy tunes may fly on CD or in inexplicably sold-out stadium shows when performed by them, but on Broadway? The Broadway critics and audience are an unforgiving lot, so this could get interesting.
- The first song from the show to be given public performance is the unimaginably douchey "Boy Falls from the Sky," and rather than comment on it at length I'll let you judge for yourself.
And here it is as performed in concert by Spew 2 themselves:
It's still awful, but I must admit that I like that guitar riff, but that's it.
- The villains of the piece are the ubiquitous and utterly played-out Green Goblin and a new creation, Swiss Miss (I shit you not), so named because her body is more or less a living Swiss Army knife. The realization of the two for the stage looks like a head-on collision of WICKED, a revival of THE WIZ and a mid-1970's Parliament show. I mean, look at this:
"Swiss Miss..." Oh, for fuck's sake...