Success! Broadway’s $65 million, actor-fracturing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark made it through its first preview last night without any major casualties. The Bono-scored, Taymor-directed musical was, however, interrupted five times for technical difficulties, some of which left actors dangling above the audience as stagehands worked to ground them. But even after three hours and forty minutes, nobody had broken any wrists or feet.
So what did go wrong?
• The show started “24 minutes late” and included “few of the [planned] special effects.” [NYT]
• It opened with a song, “Rise Above,” from the show’s eight-legged female character Arachne (Natalie Mendoza), but when she finished, “an apparent wire malfunction left her stopped in midair — where she remained for an embarrassing seven or eight minutes as stagehands worked feverishly to figure out the problem.” [NYP]
• “Overhead stage wires dropped on the audience [and] scenery appeared on stage missing pieces.” [NYP]
• A scene began in Peter Parker’s bedroom, but was “halted two minutes later … apparently to free the lead actor, Reeve Carney, from an aerial harness.” [NYT]
• At one point, Mary Jane was supposed to be rescued from the top of the Chrysler Building, “but part of the building was missing, and Mary Jane was nowhere in sight.” [NYP]
• The night’s biggest screw-up: At the end of Act I, Spider-Man was supposed to fly off dramatically over the heads of audience members. Instead, he was left dangling a few feet above theatergoers while stagehands leaped into the air, trying to grab his feet. “When they finally caught him, the stage manager announced intermission, and the house lights came on.” [NYP, NYT]
• “A fifth stop an hour into Act II caused some theatergoers to walk out.” [NYDN]
• Green Goblin–portraying Patrick Page’s big number went “on … and on … as stage workers openly rushed around to fix faulty equipment.” [NYP]
• There were hecklers: “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel like a guinea pig tonight!” “I feel this was a dress rehearsal!” [NYP]
Not too bad, all things considered.
‘Spider-Man’ Takes Off, With Some Bumps [NYT]
After many delays, ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ nets first Broadway preview to excited audiences [NYDN]
First ‘Spider-Man’ preview filled with problems [NYP]