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Spider-Man Weaves a Web of Excitement as New York Gets Caught Up In an Energetic and Ethical Tale

by Rich and Laura Lynch

"...a thrilling show for the whole family..."

Early reports from the multi-million dollar production had Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark tangled in a complex web of its own making. Negative reviews and a notable on the job accident were all over the news when the show made its preview run debut in late 2010. But, as they say, there's no such thing as bad press - now, all the publicity and a brand new re-hatched version of the play have made Peter Parker's tale of love and loss the hottest ticket on Broadway.

Spider-Man: Turn off The Dark caught the 8 p.m. showing on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at the elegant Foxwoods Theater located in the heart of New York City. The recently restored multi-tiered venue allowed for varied and comfortable perspectives of this lavish production. Anticipation was in the air as patrons waited for the much-hyped performance to begin.

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark turns on the dark early and often. In act one the varied and serious themes of suicide, corruption, bullying, murder, alcoholism, war and genetic manipulation were explored as the energized and entertaining musical began to unfold.

The curtain rose a little after eight as Peter Parker was giving an oral presentation on "The Myth of Arachne" to a jeering room of fellow high school students. This is one of a number of storylines that are intertwined in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Other plots include the importance of family, good versus evil, scientific discovery, romance and the power of love.

Although there is a prevailing positive message to the play the darker themes of greed and guilt that are woven throughout help to reveal the light underneath. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is first and foremost a musical and the story is spun through a wide web of song and dance numbers. Despite the depth of the darkness this is ultimately a thrilling show for the whole family.

The Spider-Man tale has been taken to new heights by U2's Bono and The Edge who composed the lyrics and music for the Broadway show based on a Spider-Man book. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark weaves elements of art, circus, dance, opera, pop rock and theater into one captivating and extravagant event.

The production is the most technically complex show to date on Broadway, with many aerial sequences of characters flying and engaging in mid-air combat. In addition to skillful stunts there are a multitude of moving sets that puts the audience in the center of the action. A full orchestra that is hidden provides the dramatic soundscape for the show.

The music spans the gamut from traditional show tunes to stadium rockers ("Bouncing Off the Walls") that reflects the composer's signature style. There was subtle use of U2 songs in the play along with many orchestrated compositions and the beautiful ballad "If the World Should End."

The costumes are colorful, well coordinated and creative especially in the case of the villains. The shifting sets add complexity, depth and dimension - most notably during the closing scene that takes place at the top of the Chrysler building.

Excitement peaks when Spider-Man flies and performs acrobatic feats around the theater and over the heads of the audience. On a number of occasions he aptly lands on perches by the balcony seats or among the aisles. The skillful stunts are thrilling and add to the timeless themes that the tale touches on.

New York's newest heart throb Reeve Carney was earnest and eager in his demanding dual role as Spider-Man and Peter Parker. The lovely under-study Kristen Martin was engaging an endearing as Spidey's red-haired love interest Mary Jane Watson. Patrick Page was commanding and believable in his role as the sympathetic half-man half-monster and genius gone mad.

Following the evening's engagement actor Carney reported via Twitter: "Just got to meet one of my heroes, Al Pacino! He came to see us tonight in @SpideyonBwy! :)" Super heroes of the big screen, celebrity A-Listers and the glitteratti are doing their part to spin additional excitement by turning out in force to be seen in attendance.

Sighted on opening night were a slew of stars including Matt Damon, Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro, Steve Martin and Liam Neeson. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is a big hit with the Hollywood elite and from our vantage point Scarface himself seemed to be really enjoying the show as well.

It looks like Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is going to stick around for awhile. Even though early versions of the play were mired in production delays and the painful invective of venomous critics - the multi-million dollar show has been revamped and the end result is an energized and entertaining musical. This play is the perfect cure for Arachnophobia and its future now looks as smooth as silk!

Related Links: For more information on SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Spider-Man on Broadway | Foxwoods Theatre

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