Spiderman – Turn the lights back on please!

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Theatre
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Oh. Dear. Me. Julie Taymor’s left, dark clouds are gathering, how long will it be now before closing notices are posted? I admit that the moment I heard that a Spiderman musical was in the works, I wasn’t filled with excitement, though admittedly when Julie Taymor signed on as director I thought maybe MAYBE it won’t be so bad after all? And after all if you put aside storyline, and creative integrity just for a moment and consider that ‘spectacular’ can be enough to sell an idea… Michael Flatley’s Celtic Tiger… Which completely bastardised Irish culture and arguably trivialised huge sections of Irish history, BUT still draged in thousands of punters, and millions of pounds/dollars/euros; And it did this by creating an unimaginably HUGE show with quite literally the biggest video wall I have ever seen on a stage. So yes spectacular sells. Celtic Tiger never got the critical panning that Spiderman has got, infact have we seen panning that bad since The Pirate Queen on broadway!? (Written by Boublil and Schonberg and produced by Riverdance creators Moya Doherty and John McColgan The Pirate Queen closed after 7 months on broadway -by no means a terrible show)

But even the business of Spiderman is wrong. I read somewhere that it will have to run at capacity for five years before it even breaks even! Not even Wicked runs at capicity every night, certainly not for a sustained period of FIVE YEARS! I want Spiderman to work, but now Julie Taymor has gone (to work on the new Spice Girls musical presumably) I can’t see the Spiderman team successfully implementing the changes and recovering now. I have been wrong before. Then of course the subject choice is an odd one, a superhero live performance event!? I thought it would be a one off, that nobody else would bother flogging a live performance out of a very tired super-hero franchise, particularly when the films are so graphic driven… you can imagine my surprise therefore when a close friend of mine showed me his tickets for Batman Live UK Arena Tour… Maybe Spiderman should be touring rather than trying to crack the nortoriously difficult broadway scene?

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