Musical Review: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Details: More information can be found at https://www.broadway.com/shows/spider-man-turn-off-the-dark/

Score: 5.4/10

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a notorious musical, plagued by injuries, delays, and other hurdles. The result was a deeply flawed show that some seemed to enjoy. Even after the reboot, Turn Off the Dark is still kind of flat. It’s unsurprising then that various articles state the investors in this show mostly lost their money.

Turn Off the Dark is a retelling of the origins of Spider-Man, largely following the events of Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie. There are a lot of differences and new additions, including the inclusion of the character Arachne and a bunch of Spider-Man’s other villains. Otherwise, we go through the familiar story beats of Uncle Ben’s death to the birth of the Green Goblin and how Peter gets his powers.

The biggest problem for me was that the show can’t figure out what it wants to be. Does it want to hit some emotional notes? Have some great music? Be a circus act? I don’t know. It kind of tries to do all those things and half asses them all. The result is a mostly unsatisfying show.

I think the strongest and most dangerous part of the show is the acrobatics. Seeing Spider-Man actually swing around the theater was pretty cool, but it made me feel like this would be a better circus act than a musical.

No actor really stuck out to me. I did notice Jennifer Damiano from Next to Normal. Unfortunately, her talents are fully utilized.

Overall, I was disappointed. Part of it is because I was a comic book fan who did not see a story that did the character justice. Part of it is because I’m a musicals fan and the music did not do the character justice. While I did not enjoy it, I think the type of person who would enjoy this show the most is likely someone who knows nothing about Spider-Man. Otherwise, I’m kind of glad the show closed down.

Score: 5.4/10

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