Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark is set to go dark — for good — in January, 2014 after a turbulent three year run on Broadway that was hampered by negative press at the start. The highlights included an actor tumbling 20 feet into the orchestra after not securing his harness (one of five injuries sustained by the cast); deep budget overruns for the multi-million dollar project and a major rewrite of the plot after the original was universally panned. The show ended up becoming a punching bag at the 2012 Tony Awards, as the show set a Broadway record with 182 previews before it finally opened.
So now that the background is out of the way, I figured I’d start with the good: There are about 15 total minutes of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark that delivers a spectacle unlike anything seen around Broadway. The death-defying, high-wire stunts left the audience squealing in delight as Spider-Man and the Green Goblin had it out 50 feet above the floor. The fights were well choreographed and was done in such a way as to enhance the plot as opposed to overtaking the show. Gimmicky? Sure. But you can’t deny that the gimmick is wildly entertaining. The sets are also grandiose and does well to add to the visual candy the musical already has. I wouldn’t splurge for full price based on these 15 minutes, but I didn’t, so my discounted ticket went a long way.