Out With A Whimper – Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

Justin Matthew SargentPlaybill covered the final performance of the Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. A show that started with so much fanfare and expectations that there was no way it could possible live up to them. Between music written by Bono and The Edge of U2, the direction of Julie Taymor and such a popular character the show was a proposed hit before it even opened.

The problem was it needed to open. It went through the longest preview period in Broadway history, it had a series of well publicized accidents, the director got fired and it is said to have lost millions as it closes. Though other than the monetary losses, after the show finally opened you really didn't hear much about it and it ran for three years.

As the show took its final curtain call, many of the original cast members returned to watch including original Spider-Man Reeve Carney and original Green Goblin Patrick Page. The audience was engaged and enthusiastic. And the cast and crew felt the sadness that comes with a show ending.

Justin Matthew Sargent and Rebecca Faulkenberry"It actually kind of reminded me of the audiences at Rock of Ages," Spider-Man leading man (and former Rocker) Justin Matthew Sargent said following his performance, "wild and rambunctious and yelling! It was absolutely incredible. It was the best audience that I've ever been in front of."

"Of course, emotions were high," Sargent continued, "but this company is just such a close-knit family that we were all there to support each other. Everybody was watching from the wings — which I've never seen before — so that was just so cool."

"Tonight was so many different emotions," Rebecca Faulkenberry (Mary Jane) said. "I've never closed a show —certainly not a show like this… It's always been a limited run, or I've left a company to move to another show. This was a mix of me finishing a job, a mix of this incredible, creative [production] ending and [the cast] that I work with all ending together. It's very bittersweet."

Tramor, Bono or Edge were not in attendance. I can understand the fired director not showing… but you'd think the guys who were so hot to write the music would be there for the final curtain.

I guess once the newness faded and the accidents stopped making headlines it just turned out to be a show like any other show… audiences enjoyed it and the actors loved to do it while it lasted. So how will it be remembered? Does it deserve a spot on the Wall of Shame?

"What happened a couple of days ago that really just warmed my heart," explained director Philip Wm. McKinley. "It was Joe Allen. When they asked him about the Wall of Shame, and he said, 'Three years — it provided hundreds of jobs. It had the top weekly box-office record on Broadway…' That was so warm and so warm-hearted of him to say that. I think that was the truth, and I'm so glad that someone had the courage to just say it."



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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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