Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark - Broadway Experience

My wife, standing on raised stairs
outside the Foxwood Theatre.
The Foxwood Theatre on the 43rd street side
I recently told a friend that I had attended the Broadway play, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. He chuckled and then said, "Why?", as if to insinuate that the play was a horrible joke.

Sure, the Spider-Man show had some trouble getting off the ground with injuries and production delays. But let me assure you - the show is no joke.

The musical is playing at the Foxwood Theatre in New York City. The Foxwood Theatre is between 42nd and 43rd streets on Broadway, right near Times Square. That alone tells you that this show is no joke. It's been playing to sold out crowds for over a year now. Sure, it took $75 million to get this show off the ground (compared to the normal $10 million or so for a Broadway show) but that's because the show's creators were doing things that nobody else had done before. Whatever you say about Spider-Man,  you can't say it isn't ambitious! Besides, the show is taking in healthy box office totals (In its best week it took in nearly $3 million!).

I was so thrilled I tried to webswing (Webs away!).
We were going to the early show on a Saturday so we arrived early to pick up our tickets at Will Call. No problems at all there. We were in-and-out in no time at all.

During our wait until the show started, we toured around Times Square and even encountered Spider-Man himself at the three-story Toys R' Us! You could get your picture taken with Spider-Man for a "small" fee but we declined.

Upon returning to the theater we were shocked to find a long line winding down the street. It was completely blocking the fronts of multiple stores on that same side of the street. Apparently, we weren't the only ones anxious for the show either! You can actually enter the theater from either side - 42nd or 43rd streets.

My wife and I dressed up for the show as we normally would for the theater but the vast majority of the crowd was dressed casually. I noticed a lot of Spider-Man tee-shirts, of course.

My wife also tried to webswing... kinda
The crowd had a good deal of families in it. There were a lot of young kids in attendance. I found this hard to believe, especially since the cheapest seats in the house would cost you around $100 with the most expensive seats going for about $300! So a family of four could easily drop $600 on tickets alone!

We finally were let into the theater. The first thing you walk past after the box office windows is a little station selling Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark merchandise. Of course the prices were a bit jacked up but I couldn't resist buying the CD for the show. There are a good half dozen or so little merchandise kiosks throughout the theater, all offering the same basic merchandise. I would have loved to buy a T-shirt but they were just too much. They even have a full bar available!

Inside the Foxwood Theatre
After the merchandise desk we were greeted by Spider-Man himself! If you're willing, they take your picture with Spider-Man and they give you a card so you can check it out (and potentially purchase it) after the show. I've got to say, when it comes to things like this, I'm a kid again. It was so cool to get my picture taken with Spider-Man!

Finally, we made our way inside the actual auditorium of the theater. It's an impressive theater. The theater itself is awe-inspiring, both inside the auditorium and out. Don't think of your typical movie theater which has a flat floor. This theater is tiered into several layers and has balcony seating on the sides.

My wife and I sat in the upper balcony and we weren't disappointed. They say there isn't a bad seat in the house and I think that's mostly true, especially for this production when the action not only happens on the stage but also all around the whole theater. I'm sure shorter children might have difficulty seeing from some seats, the design of the theater is such that you can see the stage from any vantage point. It was only when the actors were at the extreme front edge of the stage that my wife and I had any impaired vision at all and even then we could still see the actors from the waist up.
The beautiful lobby to the Foxwood Theatre

I won't tell you about the show itself. I'll save that for my multi-part review coming in the next few days. I'll be reviewing and dissecting every aspect of the show - music, acting, costumes, action, etc.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark's Playbill
 But let's just say that fans, both young and old, were delighted by the show. I, of course, will never forget going. And I don't think I'm the only one. I remember, on our way out, seeing one young fan clutching something in his closed fist. His mother asked him, "What do you have there?" He cautiously opened his hand to reveal a tangled bunch of white string confetti. "Spider-Man's webbing," he said with awe. I am quite positive that the young in attendance will surely become lifelong Spider-Man fans.

More to come from One Lost Road's continued report from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark tomorrow!


  1. For the record, I was NOT trying to webswing...that was just a silly pose...ha!

    1. That was my wife... I think she hacked my account!