June 15, 2011

"Poetry, not special effects, is the engine that drives lyric theater, and 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' is as unpoetic as you can get."

"[The] book is flabby and witless. The score, by U2's Bono and The Edge, sounds like a double album of B-sides ("Don't think about tomorrow / We've only got today"). Not only are the songs forgettable, but they never succeed in generating any dramatic momentum—all they do is get louder."

Says Terry Teachout, observing that "no stage show, even a multimillion-dollar extravaganza, can offer anything remotely as believable-looking as the digitally generated magic that moviegoers have been taking for granted for the past couple of decades."

Why see a stage show, when there are movies? The makers of stage shows need to have an answer to that. And it really should be a better answer than: this combination of glitz and familiar names will trick the rubes into handing over their money.

17 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

The theater, when it works, cannot be beat.

But if I am dropping a couple of hundred bucks for a seat, the show better be friggin good.

Scott M said...

I saw ABC interviewing Bono and Mr. Edge last night in which Bono mentioned hubris. I believe this is a far bigger story than all of the accidents, delays, rewrites and general suckiness.

Bono...mentioned...HUBRIS.

gerry said...

Bono: Ireland is calling and wants its tax dollars from you and your band.

E.M. Davis said...

Or you can go to the movies on June 15 and see Sondheim's Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patti Lupone, Christina Hendricks, and Stephen Cobert — which is a stage show.

edutcher said...

Other than that, Mrs Lincoln...

This is what people get for trying to do a musical based on a comic book, scored by some hack rockers.

Scott M said...

scored by some hack rockers

I'm no fan of Bono the man and I'm a marginal U2 fan at best, but speaking as someone who was in the music business for years, you have to stretch pretty damned far to label U2 as "hack rockers". Is it hacky because they're using guitars, drums, and a bass, and other have done that before?

nevadabob said...

Your gay betters do not go to the "movies," madam.

nevadabob said...

"Ireland is calling and wants its tax dollars from you and your band."

The elite do not pay taxes.

Taxes are for the little people ... like you.

Phil 3:14 said...

Well Neil Patrick Harris says "Broadway's not just for gays anymore"

but this sounds pretty

gay

PS I remember watching a 14 year old Neil Patrick Harris sing in a church "musical". He's come a long way.

Joe said...

I heard some clips of the songs on the radio the other day. They were dismal. Most musical theater is dismal with forgettable, churned out songs that appeal only to the truly devoted.

cassandra lite said...

Why would you invest in a Broadway show knowing that one of its main revenue streams--licensed productions in other locales--is all but eliminated because of the elaborate rigging necessary for Spidey? Seems ill-conceived from beginning to end.

Penny said...

Having been raised on Saturday matinees, where all the stars were GIANTS on that screen, I was totally underwhelmed by my first Broadway show. The stars were all about my height..5'8". Give or take a few inches.

Sigivald said...

I don't comprehend the appeal of either; almost all films and almost all stage productions lead me to wonder why I should waste my time and money on them in the first place.

Christy said...

Live theatre can be glorious. The connection between audience and cast is magic when it happens. I remember one King Lear production in which the actor playing Edgar made me feel he was playing directly to me and me alone. Such a frisson! And brought new interest in a previously despised and dismissed character.

Then again, I'm not a big fan of big theatre entertainments which Spiderman sounds to be. I'm much fonder of dramas.

For me, movies are but a poor second to the magic of theatre.

Michael said...

I can see why they thought a musical that had the live acrobatics of Cirque de Soleil could be a big hit, and give you something CGI couldn't.

The problem is, they never admitted that as it happens, they couldn't give that to you either.

ricpic said...

Big Broadway extravaganzas are turned into touring companies that travel the whole world and make a ton of money, so there's clearly an appetite for theatrical spectacles even though they can't duplicate the computer generated effects of movies. Real live bodies wanna see real live bodies, I guess.

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