'Spider-Man' the musical on '60 Minutes': A first look at a big hit or a big turkey?

60 Minutes gave us a first look at the Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Sunday night, and it looked great… or goofy. The music by U2’s Bono and The Edge sounded terrific… or bombastic. The frequently-delayed, hugely expensive musical, directed by Julie Taymor, got the best possible commercial it could have before opening: A sympathetic profile by correspondent Lesley Stahl, footage of Bono powering through some of the songs he’s co-written, and some cool shots of various Spider-Men on wires zooming around the theater.

The 60 Minutes report was timed to the show having its first preview performance on Broadway on Sunday night. It would be pointless and unfair to pass judgment on Spider-Man based on the 60 Minutes segment, but this glimpse was fascinating, no matter how the musical fares at the box office. Taymor, who defied skeptics who never thought her stylized take on a theatrical version of The Lion King would be a mass hit, admitted to being scared and thrilled at the challenge of bringing the ol’ web-spinner into yet another medium.

The songs as sung by Bono this night sounded rousing, and that’s what U2-derived music does, right? — it rouses listeners. The thing is, Bono won’t be singing those melodies on Broadway, and it remains to be heard how Bono’s heroic anthems will sound when executed by Broadway performers.

Based on the 60 Minutes segment, Turn Off the Dark isn’t going to be afraid to show the wires when Spider-Man swoops over the paying customers — probably a good thing: reassuring to any ticket-buyer fearing that Spidey will drop on them a bit heavily. And the mere fact that not once during the segment did anyone utter the phrase “With great power comes great responsibility” suggests that the musical might be making a fresh break from the movie franchise, which would be a smart move.

Plus the Green Goblin and other villain masks created by Taymor looked pretty cool.

Are you looking forward to the Broadway Spider-Man? What did you think of the 60 Minutes segment?

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  • kramer

    Big Turkey. No disrespect to U2 and all, but this looked ridiculous.

    • Nathan

      Yeah, this should make everyone forget how bad Spider-Man 3 was!

      • Jackie

        Whoa, let’s not get crazy here – NOTHING could make me forget how bad ‘Spider-Man 3′ was.

  • MWeyer

    I cannot shake the feeling that after twenty-two years, “Carrie the Musical” is no longer the biggest turkey in Broadway history.

    • jaker

      Yeah this is gonna be an EPIC flop

    • Paul

      I was one of the lucky few to see Carrie the Musical. We saw the last performance, front row of the balcony, Debbie Allen, the choreographer sitting right behind me. We had bought our tix 6 months earlier, and said “no” when asked if we wanted a refund. Despite the backlash of everything British at the time, unlike the Webber juggernaut of shows that were everywhere, Carrie didn’t succeed, and that was a shame, since it had the great Betty Buckley in it. As far as I was concerned, that was enough to see it. The first 2 songs that she sings were so astonishing, it was worth the price of admission. I still hate that they never made a cast album. Also, it’s kinda cool to know that I was one of the rare few to see the “worst musical flop” in Broadway history. Julie Taymor did something amazing with The Lion King, and I hope she succeeds with this new show.

  • Fluffy Fingers

    I still think it will be a turkey…but musically I’m actually liking it, if this was a new U2 album I’d suspect a hit or two in the works, that not being the case…

    Bono’s singing easily makes the songs work, based on roughly ten seconds of hearing the lead guy singing near the end…not gonna be nearly the same. It’s unfortunate because of the talent involved, but some things just are not meant for the stage.

  • Tye-Grr

    Ugh, the two Lipitor commercials in a row almost made me give up on this video.

    Anyways, it looks and sounds pretty damn cool. I’m officially intrigued.

  • Eddie

    If the music is as good throughout the show as in the 60 Minutes preview, we should be in for a treat. Though Bono sang for us, I can see that the style will work well with the “Broadway voice”. And then there’s Taymor. I’ll certainly look for a ticket!

  • HD

    I would love to see this!

    • Nathan

      Better get your tickets soon, this show won’t last 2 months.

  • Greg

    I wouldn’t bet against Julie Taymor. I remember thinking how dumb the Lion King sounded, too. I said to myself, “Beauty and the Beast or even The Little Mermaid would be better than The Lion King.” Beauty and the Beast was OK but it didn’t have Julie Freakin’ Taymor.

    And, ditto the previous post, this is basically an unreleased U2 album. That women singing with Bono in the studio sounded great. Whoever is cast as Peter Parker has to be an acrobat first and a singer second. Mary Jane, however, could carry the singing… I’m optimistic.

  • tg

    I guess I’m in the minority, but I think it looks amazing. Julie Taymor is a genius, and I have nothing but total trust in her. U2’s music is just icing on the cake. Can’t wait.

  • brian

    Looks great, hope it’s a hit… I’d like to see it.

  • TJ

    OMG! I cant wait to see that!!!

  • Alex

    If the musical is anything like what the 60 min ep previewed this musical is going to be the most innovative musical in years. Get your tickets now bc seats will be hard to get. I can see it getting every technical musical tony in 11′. Skip American Idiot, this is my new musical to keep a deeper eye on; & i’ve been following it’s story for the past 2 yrs.

  • JGabe

    I’m excited. This production has been riddled with bad luck, death, injury, lack of funding, actors dropping out, I’m amazed it survived. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is good, and not a hot mess. I’m still yet to be convinced about Reeve Carney, he was rather flat and mumbly at the ending segment of the clip.

  • Brian

    The villain costumes still look bad to me and I’m not crazy about the songs. They don’t sound right for Spidey IMO…too emo, like they came right out of Rami’s movies. It’s like they keep forgetting that Spidey is supposed to be Peter having FUN and an outlet for his confident side. Yes, the guilt is there, but Spidey’s not Batman.
    However, the sets are interesting and the wire work sounds amazing.
    Also, EW, “With great power comes great responsibility” is essential to all versions of Spidey. There’s no way they’d leave that out.

    • Rob Grizzly

      Agreed with basically every word said here.

  • Molly

    I am really hoping that this is a success, because it looks really intriguing and entertaining. I love U2, and the music sounded amazing. I hope that it doesn’t bomb!!!

    • KRibbons

      I hope this doesn’t fail simply because I’m in love with Reeve Carney aka Spiderman

  • Beto

    “Danger and Risk” well said Julie, love her work she did in Frida,wish you the best, best regards!

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