Web of controversy can’t stop ‘Spider-Man’

Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” makes headlines for two reasons.

The first reason is how much money it cost to make. It is believed that the producers spent over $75 million to make the show — that is over twice as much as any production in Broadway history, according to The New York Times. The same article said that in order for investors to make the money back that they funneled into the production, the show would have to run for over seven years, a milestone few plays ever reach.

The musical breaks box office records and a few bones. (AP Photo)

The second reason the show is well-known is because of how many injuries there are on the set. During a preview performance of the musical, stuntman Christopher Tierney fell approximately 25 feet to the stage, fracturing his skull and cracking his vertebrae. Since this initial injury, several more actors and dancers have seriously injured themselves due to the set and stunts.

But more importantly, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” should be making headlines for how entertaining it is.

The play’s storyline is quite similar to the 2002 film adaptation of “Spider-Man.” Peter Parker is bitten by a spider, becomes the masked superhero, falls for the girl-next-door and battles the Green Goblin. But there are two main differences that the play offers, including six new villains — The Sinister Six  — and a plot revolving around Greek mythology.

The beginning of the play was a little slow. The Greek mythology didn’t seem to fit and the voices were hard to hear — at times unintelligible over the loud rock music. But once the story picked up speed and the audience could hear the actors clearly, it was nonstop action and fun.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” had the best, most creative sets I have ever seen of a Broadway production. While most shows stick to one background, “Spider-Man” had a new graphic-novel-inspired set for each number. An expensive prop would be used once and never be seen again. The costumes were amazing and detailed. After seeing the play and how much time and effort went into making the set so colorful and lively, there is no wonder how producers spent $9 million on costumes and shoes alone — the same it cost to produce the sets in “The Book of Mormon” in their entirety.

One could also understand why so many actors have been injured on the set once they see all of the Spider-Men swinging over the audience, landing at the edge of the mezzanine and running through the aisles.

Along with the fantastic sets, costumes and stunts comes incredible music. Of course, really nothing else can be expected once you find out that U2’s Bono and The Edge wrote the music and lyrics. For a laugh now and then, a sample of several U2 songs were sneaked in throughout the show as well.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” was refreshing and unlike any other Broadway production out there. While it might not be the most original or best plot that Broadway offers, the intricate set and costume designs, the edgy music and the jaw-dropping stunts are definitely top-notch and make the higher ticket price well worth it.

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