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’60 Minutes’ and CA Readers Weigh in on ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ Musical [Video]


Much has been made of the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’s debut preview performance last night, and reasonably so. Reviewers from io9 and the New York Times took different things away from the preview, as did a CA reader, who weighed in with us after the jump. But most sources have converged on the impression that the musical is both completely insane, and (provided a few stunts can be worked out) also super impressive. Most fans will have to wait until January to judge these early impressions for themselves, but last night’s 60 Minutes feature on the production helps tide fans over with plenty of eye candy.

Hit the jump to see if your evaluation of the teaser footage and images fits into what the critics are saying.ComicsAlliance reader John Falcetti was at the preview and gave the show a lot of love in an e-mail to CA, despite a confusing second act and some wonky details.

I loved the show. The sets and stunts were amazing, the story was alright, the acting was great, and the music was fantastic. One small gripe though: they say Peter goes to Queens High School and Columbia University in the play. He went to Midtown High and Empire State University in the comics. I don’t know why they said he went to those schools in the play and not the ones he went to in the comics.

Critics have reported a number of technical issues that stopped the show, but Falcetti and many others have been forgiving of the problems and characterized the audience reaction as positive despite at least one hater in the audience:

I don’t really remember why they stopped in the second act. It was right before the climax. I’m guessing it was another harness issue. At this point though some woman in the audience took it upon herself to loudly announce to the entire theater her displeasure with the show saying “This seems more like a dress rehearsal than the final play and still needs work.” At which point everyone in the audience began to boo her. I was in complete shock when she said this. The balls on that lady to say that while the actors are on stage waiting to start again; they must have been very shocked and upset by hearing her yell this. I hope though they realized the majority of us did love the show and their spirits were uplifted by the entire theater booing this obnoxious woman.

Falcetti did take some issue with the show’s “geek chorus,” which has inspired some skepticism from comic fans since its announcement:

The first act was so good, but the second act was kind of a letdown. The story was hard to follow, especially in the second act. I wasn’t crazy about the “geek chorus.” They had these four “geeks” sort of acting as the narrators of the show telling the story of Spider-Man, often filling in parts of the story that were impossible to do in a live play (i.e. Spidey jumping off the side of the building to catch MJ and release her from the piano she was tied to before hitting the street). The problem I had with the geek chorus is that they weren’t really introduced as narrators and they were sometimes included in the scene talking to Spidey and Osbourne which made it confusing to me at least whether they were outside the show as the narrator or part of the story itself.

60 Minutes produced most of their feature pretty far in advance of the show’s preview, but images of Reeve Carney as Peter Parker (and a blazer-wearing Spider-Man), Patrick Page as the Green Goblin, Collin Baja as Carnage and Sean Samuels as Swiss Miss seem in line with what’s been previewed thus far.

Especially surreal, though, is Gerald Avery as Swarm, who makes his first real appearance in outside media. A dude covered in bees with a face like Popeye (is he supposed to look swollen from stings?) seems to fit in with the rest of the show at this point, but is still kind of crazy to see dancing on a stage.

The feature also shows footage of Taymor sculpting the show’s masks for the show. We’ve poked our share of fun at them, but from an objective perspective, it’s kind of nice to see her getting hands-on with the designs. Carnage’s head even looks proportional in these new images, which is a welcome shift from his initial goofy Annie Leibovitz debut.

New music can also be heard in snippets, which gives fandom a wider perspective of Bono and The Edge’s contributions to the show. Each jam still seems pretty U2, but considerably more diverse than the “Boy Falls From the Sky” theme that’s permeated previews up to this point.

See select images from the 60 Minutes feature below:

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