Despite numerous problems including actors being injured and delays in its official opening, the Broadway production of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” is getting nothing but the highest praise from media giant Glenn Beck who believes the show will be a massive moneymaker for at least the next 20 years.
“Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” is still in its preview phase on Broadway. Its official opening is scheduled for Feb. 7.
“Give a kidney to go see ‘Spider-Man,'” Beck said today, after having seen a preview performance Saturday. “This is, by far, the best show I’ve ever seen. When people ask, ‘Was it worth the price of the ticket?’ Let me answer it this way. This show is not only worth the price of a ticket here on Broadway, which is pricey, it is worth the price of an airline ticket from Los Angeles or Hawaii to come to New York to see it. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The storyline is fantastic.”
The $50 million production has been receiving some less-than-glowing reviews from critics in the Big Apple who have described it as a “work in progress,” but Beck thinks that may have to do with a “snotty” attitude among the artsy elite, who frown upon the comic-book story being brought to stage and music by Bono and the Edge, the singer and lead guitarist for the Irish rock band U2.
“Here’s my problem with it,” Beck said. “They spent $50 million. It will have to be sold out, every ticket, for two years to break even. My problem with this is I didn’t invest. It will run for two decades. … The only thing that will stop this is the federal government saying it’s too risky. I said to my wife when they jumped off the stage and they were fighting, ‘Good God, what does the insurance cost? Who is insuring this thing?’ And then I realized we own AIG! We are!”
Just one reason for his optimistic outlook is the way the story takes on current, politically correct attitudes in the news.
The villain is a philanthropic madman called the Green Goblin. According to Beck:
He’s anti-God, he believes he is God, and he’s doing all these animal experiments, and he’s doing it because the world is going to heat up. Global warming is gonna happen and we’ve got to have people with fins because we’ve got to be able to have them to swim and they have to see and they have to have spider-like reflexes. It’s all global-warming, this scientist, an atheist, godlike scientist who’s in bed with the giant government that is using the global-warming scientist and all the global-warming for their own purposes. …
When he is killed and Spider-Man is saving people, the newspaper, of course, comes out against Spider-Man because Spider-Man can’t be saving people. No, the scientist was right. He was a philanthropist, for the love of Pete. He was trying to save people from global warming. We can’t question his motives, the press says. So you have the press in collusion with an out-of-control-scientist madman who is just trying to save the world by stitching on wings to people and a government that is out of control and using all of them.
Despite his admission he was not a fan of U2, Beck called the music “brilliant. It is hit after hit after hit after hit after hit.” He said if U2 releases a CD of the music, “it will be one of their biggest-selling albums.”
Perhaps the most impressive aspects of the show for Beck were the high-tech aerial fight sequences and the stage movements.
They were doing stuff that I’ve never seen before. It starts in the first three minutes like Cirque du Soleil like you see at Disney, and then it just goes up from there. The acting, the acrobatic, the physicality of this is – it’s athletics. It’s unbelievable. …
They’re not only flying, they’re fighting over the audience. At one point, Spider-Man is standing on the back of the other guy, of the villain, over the audience and they are just slugging it out. You’ve never seen anything like it. It was breathtaking. …
The stage is the Eighth Wonder of the World. … At one point, the Chrysler Building comes up, and then Spider-Man jumps off the Chrysler building and the entire stage moves and now you’re seeing the streets of New York on the back wall of the stage with moving cars and you’re looking at the point of the Chrysler Building, and so you’re like hovering above the city of New York as they are flying in between the buildings and fighting. …
It is wrong for the theater and for the cast to take a bow and not have the people of the stagehands come out and take a bow. I would pay money to sit behind the scenes and just watch the stagehands.
The show is still in its preview phase, with the official opening now slated for Feb. 7, after several delays. The New York Times reported the musical made more than $1.5 million in ticket sales during the first week of January, the highest-grossing show on Broadway. Its average paid admission was $102.86.
Despite the hurdles the show has had to face so far, Beck, who’s been attending Broadway shows for 30 years, is urging people not to wait if they have any desire to see the show.
“You buy your ticket now if you’re thinking about coming to New York because when this thing opens and gets starting to run, you will not be able to get tickets to this for a year. This is one of those shows. This is the ‘Phantom’ of the 21st century. This is history of Broadway being made. I sat next to the casting director, by chance, and I told him at the end, I said, ‘You, sir, are part of history.'”