The Not So Amazing Spider-Man

I went to see Spider-Man on Broadway and I was not impressed.

Let me explain.

The set was amazing! One of the best sets I’ve seen on Broadway. Think of a comic book panel; now pull that panel out so that it’s three dimensional. Add some lights, some flash, some bang. This was the set for the show. Spectacular! I loved it a lot. The set was impressive.

The acrobatics was breathtaking. Spider-Man (or men, since there were about 9) swinging over the audience was a sight! I can understand why they had so much trouble opening this show and so many accidents, the actors really do swing over the audience just like you see in the movies. The action was impressive.

What almost killed the show for me were the songs. Personally, when I think of Broadway musicals I think of singing and dancing – a memorable score, maybe a nice dance, but mostly wonderful singing. This was greatly lacking in the show.

I do want to point out that the actors could sing, however, the downfall was not their singing as much as it was the songs that they had to work with. The songs fit more into a rock concert setting than a musical. Some of the songs were a little on the low side (scale-wise) and I can only assume that they were played that way to be edgy, however, by doing so it lost its stage appeal.

There were a few songs – mostly the ones Mary Jane sang – that were good, this was because they were in a scale that matched her voice. I’m not sure I’m explaining it correctly, after all I loved American Idiot (a play based on Green Day songs from the album of the same name) but in American Idiot the actors sung the songs in scales and styles that fit their voices as opposed to trying to be a Green Day concert and that made a world of difference. They owned the music, and I didn’t get that feeling from the soundtrack of Spider-Man.

At first I thought it was just me, but I turned to my friends during intermission and we were all equally baffled at the music. If you must see the show, just make sure you’re not going for the music.


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