About This Blog

I really like theatre, and I like writing and talking about it.

This blog is mostly about my relationship with theatre, the moments that make me fall in love with this art form, and the times when we don't always get along.

I'll be writing about things that I like, that I think are good and interesting and want to share. I will probably also write about things that I don't quite get, or think are wierd. I may also write about things that aren't theatre, strictly speaking, because it's my blog and I can.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spider-Man Turn Off The Marquee

Please excuse my being a little late in this post; Last week I had to finishing rehearsals and then perform It's A Wonderful Life, then finish my Christmas shopping, while squeezing in viewings of Tron: Legacy, Emmett Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. If I can manage to watch Muppet Christmas Carol before heading out of town, the Muppet portion of my holiday viewing will be complete. Although I am a bit irritated that I can't find anyone running a performance of The Nutcracker on TV. PBS usually has this one covered. Ovation TV runs its Battle of The Nutcrackers every year, but I don't get that channel *pout*.

So back to the theatre news: Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark pushed back it's opening from January to February 11. It's not that surprising that a show with huge technical challenges would need extra time to iron things out, but what is surprising is that the delay is in order to work on the book and music.

For a show that the creators say they've been working on for seven years, that's a pretty bad omen. How did they get this far without realizing they had major problems? This is why we workshop new material, people. In a medium that's meant to be performed, sometimes you're not going to find a problem until you're actually running the material. Which is also why out-of-town tryouts are preferred, because sometimes you only discover that a moment doesn't play the way you thought it did when you put it in front of an audience.
Honestly, with a show so based on spectacle and the marquee value of the creators, I'm a little surprised they're even taking time to work on the story.

I was talking with a friend of mine last week who is working on an idea for a show she'd like to produce some day, and is kicking around some staging ideas in her head. But she's worried about the kind of shows that are doing well these days, and that maybe you can't be successful without being visually on the level of Spider-Man or Wicked or something like that. I reminded her that Next To Normal has six actors and basic unit set (and a very personal story about a family dealing with mental illness) and won a Pulitzer and a pile of Tonys.

I'm reminded of a quote I saw with Disney animation legend Glen Keane after the film Tangled was released: ‎"Who cares about all of the icing on the cake, if the cake isn’t tasty?"

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