To Tell Only Two Jokes About the Spiderman Musical Takes Self-Restraint

Despite dreadful notices, repeated delays and a series of actors either being strung up over the audience or dropped upon the audience onto the stage or into the orchestra pit (ht: Swift Loris), “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” is raking in over a million dollars a week. This calls to mind the apocryphal military officer’s fitness report:

“His men would follow him anywhere. But only out of curiosity.”

As for Julie Taymor, the artiste who seems almost a self-parody, Neil Innes said it best (while mocking Bob Dylan, I think):

“I’ve suffered for my art. Now it’s your turn.”

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

8 thoughts on “To Tell Only Two Jokes About the Spiderman Musical Takes Self-Restraint”

  1. Nevertheless Julie Taymor seems to me to be a genuinely talented director / costumer / designer. And you have to admire their ability to capitalize on people’s interest in the spectacle of a train wreck.

    Anyway I’ve seen worse with less real accomplishment and I bet you have too.

  2. For the record, no Spiderman actors have been “dropped upon” the audience. There’s always a first time, of course, but so far all the various accidents have happened either backstage or onstage. No audience members have been harmed in the making of this musical…yet.

  3. I actually attended “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” and while it wasn’t “My Fair Lady” it wasn’t totally terrible either. Problem wasn’t Taymor, it’s the music from Bono and Edge, which was utterly boring.

  4. I’m thinking that live drama might not be the best way to tell the Spiderman story. Maybe a graphic novel or something like that.

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