CATEGORIES Music & Musicals, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Trailers and Clips, Trailers and Clips, CinematicalJust a few months ago, many were still wondering if Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark was ever actually going to happen. We finally got word in August that Spidey's Broadway musical will premiere on December 21st after the previews, which are set to begin on November 14th, and that means the cast and crew had to get together right away to really fine tune the piece. Sure enough, that must have been what was going on the past few weeks because just the other day Good Morning America was taken over by the production featuring a performance by Reeve Carney, the man who'll don the Spidey suit, and appearances by Bono and The Edge, who are responsible for the show's music and lyrics, as well as director and co-writer Julie Taymor.
Slash Film caught clips of the interview with the trio and it's packed with information concerning the highs and lows of the show's development as well as images of the set and the costumes. Taymor offered a peek at the stage's pop-up-like representations of New York City as well as glimpses of the Green Goblin costume and the design for another evil character, an entirely new one created for the show, Swiss Miss. Taymor explained, "She's made of all Swiss Army knives and cuts New York to pieces." I guess cutting New York to pieces will be done through her performance rather than more literally because Taymor mentioned that Swiss Miss is one of the show's primary dancers.
It's difficult to imagine the woman playing the character doing anything quite so outstanding because the costume seems awfully difficult to dance in. The costumes were all designed by Academy Award winner Eiko Ishioka, who's certainly one of the most talented individuals in the industry, but based on these images, the Turn Off the Dark attire looks a little, well, strange. Perhaps it's only because I'm used to the far sleeker looking film version of the Green Goblin, but the only power he looks like he'll have in this getup is to poke someone's eye out. And forget poking an eye out, the Swiss Miss suit looks as though it has the ability to impale anyone who gets in her way. Hopefully there's plans for some more alterations on the designs, otherwise let's just keep our fingers crossed they'll look a little more appropriate in context on stage.
One thing that seems to be spot on is the casting of Carney. Not only does he have the look and the experience -Taymor recently worked with him on The Tempest - but now he's got some stellar music to bring to life. On top of that, Bono and the Edge have opted to hold on to Reeve's band for the show. The Edge said, "We've got the sound of a real authentic rock and roll band performing at the show, which for us, being a band, that's great." And it really is great. Based on Carney's performance of the song "Boy Falls From The Sky," it seems as though the music won't just be stage-appropriate, but something people might want to listen to after the curtain closes. If alternative rock isn't your thing, no need to worry, as Bono explained, "You've got the big rock and roll tunes, melodrama, big melodies, there's orchestral stuff, too."
Perhaps I'm just overeager to give the production the benefit of the doubt, but this looks as though it could really be worth the wait. I'm still a little disappointed about the cast swap; I would have loved to see Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming on stage, but Taymor really knows what she's doing, so I'm sure Jennifer Damiano will do a fine job as Mary Jane as will Patrick Page as the Green Goblin.
What will ultimately make or break the show is the story and, according to Taymor, the stage production puts Peter Parker's iconic tale to use. During an interview with MTV Taymor revealed the origin story is part of the show, but that it'll be "a little different than what you're used to." She continued, "Our Doctor Osborn is more of a conglomerate of Doc Ock [and] of Osborn; he's not a businessman." This Osborn, like Doc Ock, will be a scientist and one with drive to save the world from environmental disasters. "When he turns into Goblin, it's a very different Goblin," Taymore said. "Then we have this thing in act two, where Spider-Man's powers keep rising and rising and you meet what we call The Sinister Six/Seven. We have Kraven, Carnage, Lizard, a new one we've created, Swiss Miss." And that's not even all of it. Taymor went on to say that there's an additional something, but that something she won't reveal, a story twist.
Even with all the bells and whistles of a Broadway production, the new characters and the music, what it all comes down to is that Spider Man: Turn off the Dark revolves around the same subject the franchise has focused on all along; "With great power, comes great responsibility," and how will Peter handle it? There will undoubtedly be diehard fans eager to criticize the show for deviating from the source material, but as long as it stays true to the original message, that should be enough to hold on to the long time fans and bring in those looking for a fun Broadway experience.