SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark – show review & special offer by Margaret Hart
When “SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark” first opened for previews on Broadway in 2010, I wanted to get tickets, and not because I’m a big fan of the story, but because I’m a big fan of the group U2, and I knew that Bono and The Edge had created the music and lyrics for the show. This past week, I finally got my chance, and the music did not disappoint. The show was, in a word, phenomenal!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard how amazing the show is: technically, I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy live theatre on Broadway. Okay, yes, I saw “Mary Poppins” fly, and that was fun, and I’ve seen actors get hoisted up or down, very simply, in a few productions, but nothing even begins to come close to the high-flying stunts in SPIDER-MAN. In fact, I was trying to describe the show to a girlfriend who wants to take her kids, and I told her it was like Broadway meets Cirque du Soleil. It’s part musical theatre (with high-energy dance and choreographed fight scenes), and part high-flying acrobatics—at a level I have never seen before.
Going into the show, I knew that Spider Man would fly, because I had seen some of the early publicity photos and news reports from reviews when it opened in June 2011. But both Spider Man and the Green Goblin fly, and well, not to give it all away, but I wasn’t prepared to be completely blown away. And so was the audience, which erupted in loud cheers and applause after every scene, and stood at the end for a very long ovation. I loved it. My 8 1/2 year old son loved it. My husband loved it. We left the theatre feeling as if we had just participated in an event that would become one of our family memories of a lifetime.
Beyond the jaw-dropping stunts, the sets are feats of engineering that I’ve never seen before in a Broadway production. The lighting, and the music were equally spectacular. If you are a fan of comic books in general, you will get a kick out of the visual effects and the costumes—again, I don’t want to give too much away for those who have yet to see it. Try to get orchestra seats if you can, anywhere to the right or left of the stage, but all the seats are great, and below the “fly zone.” My son and I sat in Orchestra Row R, Seats 12 and 14, and they were excellent. My husband sat in a box, where you’d think the President and First Lady might sit if they attended (and actually, an usher confided in me that Mrs. Obama was recently at the show, but she sat in the Orchestra, along with a cadre of secret service personnel.) My husband’s seat was Section BBXRT, Row A, Seat 1, and he felt like a celebrity with a bird’s-eye view of the action. And he paid a lot less for his ticket.
My only criticism of the show is that I felt it was a little long at 2 hours and 45 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission. Maybe it’s the editor in me, but I thought that some of the scenes could have been shortened, or maybe even eliminated; but I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool aficionado of the story. So the purists may beg to differ. But, as evidenced by the whining toddlers behind us, and the sleeping ones in the arms of parents ahead of us, it might not be the best show for kids under a certain age. The show’s publicity folks say it’s recommended for age six and up.
My son loved it. And some of his best friends saw it last year, when they were age 7, liked it so much they are begging their mom to take them back again. Several kids about the same age as my son, who we chatted with over a burger and fries at a nearby restaurant afterward, were buzzing about the show. Their grandmother told me she enjoyed it, but that her grandson’s “weren’t big fans of the lovey dovey stuff,” but her granddaughter loved it. My son replied, “I was okay with it.” So there you have it. Different strokes for different folks, er, kids.
Tickets for SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark are priced from $49 to $147.50, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929. A select number of premium tickets are available for purchase. Tickets are also available at the Foxwoods Theatre box office (213 West 42nd Street), which is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Schedule varies, please check spidermanonbroadway.com for details. Photos © Jacob Cohl.
Back-to-School Backpack Promotion
Celebrate back to school with Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark! Right now, Spider-Man will be giving away limited edition Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark backpacks to all children who attend the show!* Buy a ticket today and collect your backpack at the Foxwoods Theatre. You might even be the lucky winner of the weekly golden ticket that gets you and your family/friends a tour backstage and a meet and greet with the webslinger himself! (Note: Backpack is available while stocks last.)
Thanks to NY Metroparents (Local activities, resources, and advice for families in New York City, Long Island, and the NYC suburbs) for arranging the tickets.