Sunday, March 6, 2011

theatre review, SPIDERMAN TURN OFF THE DARK, second visit 2/24/11

Scott and I returned to Spiderman on February 24th.   As some of you may know, we saw this show for the first time on December 20th- but that was the night that Chris Tierney, the main stunt Spiderman,  accidentally fell into the pit beneath the stage and they had to stop the show about 10 minutes before the end.   Fortunately it appears that he is having a quick recovery and will be back in the show soon.  The Foxwoods Theatre was kind enough to let us return and we actually ended up with better seats then we had back in December.

So, the good news is that the show is improved from December.  The bad news is that there is still a lot that needs to be done to make this show into a crowd-pleasing musical that gets great word of mouth and warrants repeat visits.  Even though we didn't get to see the original ending back in December, what I was told about it was that it was very anti-climatic.   Well, it appears that they've spent the majority of the past weeks coming up with an action packed ending that ends the show on a high note.  SPOILER ALERT:  Reeve Carney who acts and sings the part of Spiderman/Peter Parker now actually flies out into the audience, up to the mezzanine and even up to the balcony- all to huge cheers from the people in those sections,   They've even added in a nice bit during the curtain call that should further increase the positive word of mouth for this show.  But, I still think the book scenes need large amounts of dialogue editing and re-writes and that a couple of the songs need to be edited down or eliminated.  

The strange thing is that both times we saw the show we weren't fairly impressed by the score.  But, on further review (cough, cough) I have to admit that there are a lot of songs that I really like and that after hearing the songs numerous times now, I actually understand the lyrics (which you can't always make out in the theatre, either due to the sound design or the fact that there is sometimes a lot going on that takes your focus away from listening to the lyrics)  and so I think I now understand what Bono and Julie Taymor are trying to do, and am actually impressed with their efforts.   I just hope that they are able to fix this show for the better- as all of the effects, the imaginative set pieces and the amazing use of video screens, mainly in act two, that are constantly moving, are all very impressive - now just get the book and score up to speed and they will definitely turn this around.

I'm going to post below some song lyrics- would love any thoughts you guys have on them and what Bono is trying to do.  Can't guarantee these are all accurate- but they should be close. (in progress...more to come...)

sung by Peter and Arachne right after Peter's Uncle dies

And the ones who run the firehouse are the ones who start the fires
And the lawless make the laws and every preacher is a lier
And the ones that damn the innocent? Well they own the nightly news and front page
And the old man said to me "it's not who, but what you know"
And "knowledge isn't wisdom without control"
But it's still to be the changes that you want to see but they come slow, I know
And you said "Rise above," open your eyes up
And you said "Rise above" I can't, I can't

And every heart that bleeds will color your world red
And the sorrow in the night will be the blue you cannot shed
But your strength will be a vision beyond visibility
And the gift I've woven for you will give you new worlds to see
That you can rise above, swing through the skies above
And you shall rise above yourself.

Here is the performance of "Rise Above" from Letterman...this is a slightly different version than what is in the show.

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