Years ago, when a radioactive nerd bit me and I gained the astonishing superpowers of a fanboy, I promised my dying uncle that I would use those powers for good and never, ever pre-judge any cross-genre adaptations of comic book or action figure properties. I swear! His last words included the phrase cross-genre. Because of this solemn oath, I must refrain from declaring Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark the worst idea ever. And I most certainly will not accuse Julie Taymor, Bono, The Edge, Marvel, Alan Cumming and everyone involved of being absolutely, positively out of their minds. I’ve maintained, and will continue to maintain, a very cerebral and patient “wait and see” sort of attitude. In the interest of gathering all the facts, let’s check out this video of director Julie Taymor describing the Spider-Man musical experience:
Acknowledging that Julie has now probably read more Spider-Man comics than I have, I’ll do my best not to dismiss this whole idea as a parody you might see on The Simpsons (Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!, Oh Streetcar!). I’m certainly not against turning things into musicals, either. Who knew Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables would be so triumphant? (I still sing “On My Own” in the shower.) Or that Hairspray would be so transcendent? And I’m not against rock stars writing musicals. Look at Tommy, Spring Awakening and Chess. (I still sing “Nobody’s Side” in the shower.) I’m just nervous. My geeky sense it tingling. And I want it to be good. No, not just good. Great. Soaring. Inspirational. Resplendent. I want it to be the greatest musical anyone has ever seen or will ever see. With those expectations, how can I possibly be disappointed?
You can see more videos and get ticket information at the official site. Previews for the show begin in New York in February, 2010. See you there!