Spiderman: he can defeat the Green Goblin, but Broadway poses problems

Meagan Riley ('12)/Eastside staff

Spider-Man is coming to Broadway, but it seems he is having trouble getting there. There has been much anticipation over the new play, produced by Julie Taymor—who won a Tony award for her production of The Lion King—and with music by Bono and the Edge. However, the number of mishaps and injuries that have surrounded this production are equally as astounding.

Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark plays heavily off of over 40 years of Marvel comics, bringing a new twist on the familiar tale of average Peter Parker turned superhero. The show is packed with aerial stunts and spectacular lighting arrangements that are designed to give the audience a 3-D experience without the glasses. The production also features a classic rock score provided by Bono and the Edge of U2. Many critics and fans alike have called all of the elements spectacular—that is, when they work.

Since the very start of rehearsals, Spider-Man on Broadway has hit snag after snag. In the very first preview show, there were numerous problems with both the lighting and the rigging for the harnesses that suspend actors directly over the audience. One actor was left suspended in the air for eight minutes, and Spider-Man himself even had trouble getting down from his harness. Since then, several injuries and technical difficulties have been reported, but nothing too serious—until one of the preview shows. On December 20, 2010, actor Christopher Tierney—who was the dancer and stuntman for Spider-Man – fell 30 feet towards the end of the show. He was rushed to the hospital and required back surgery. Spider-Man, which was set to open on January 11, 2011, was pushed back to get safety precautions in order.

So far, Spider-Man has proven to be the most expensive show ever produced on Broadway. The writers may even be considering pushing back the debut to February, to allow for re-writes to the script to allow for new dialogue and possibly some more music arrangements.

For some, it may be a stretch to stay loyal to the show after all the problems, but Spider-Man still promises to offer a great time—if, of course, the production’s curse can somehow be lifted in time for opening night.