I'll admit that hearing a song out of context is not the best way to sell a Broadway show. Still, I was underwhelmed by the debut of a song from Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on Good Morning America.
First of all, the cameras should have taken us inside the Foxwoods Theatre for a tour and an interview with director Julie Taymor. Having her sitting in the GMA studio, holding still photographs of the set and costumes on her lap, didn't do much to convey the tremendous scope of this production.
I mean, according to an interview in The New York Times with lead producer Michael Cohl, the musical has a price tag of $60 million, making it the most expensive show in Broadway history. C'mon, show me how spectacular that set looks. Make me think I need to get my ticket now.
(Interestingly, the article notes that Cohl got his big break as chief promoter for the Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels" tour, which I saw in Syracuse in 1989. I remember it was a big deal - everyone I know went - and I think I still have my bootleg T-shirt somewhere.)
There are two reasons I'm interested in Spider-Man. One is Taymor, whose work on The Lion King I loved. And the other is the music, written by Bono and The Edge, from U2, a band I love (at least their early stuff).
The musical's Peter Parker, Reeve Carney, performed "Boy Falls From The Sky,'' backed by his band, Carney.
It was different from a traditional show tune and I like the idea of mixing up the sound on Broadway. There ought to be all different kinds of music on the Great White Way.
But it struck me as a generic slow rock song from a slight twentysomething with his hair falling in his eyes. Plus, Carney was slurring the lyrics so much that I could hardly understand them. And he's not exactly a commanding presence onstage. Hope he's got enough stamina for eight shows a week.
You can watch his performance here:
Having a national television audience, I was hoping the creative team would come up with something a little more jaw-dropping than what I saw. Don't get me wrong, I'm still interested. But I think they hit a single when they should have been trying for a home run.
Spider-Man begins previews Nov. 14 and opens Dec. 21.