I can recite all of Rent word for word (it’s an embarrassing artifact from my youth). Seeing Billy Crudup and Jeff Goldblum in The Pillowman was one of the best entertainment experiences of my life. And a performance of Aveneue Q can send me into a nostalgic daze, craving adolescence for at least a day or two. But that’s around where my emotional connection with the theatre begins and ends.
I’m not, for instance, a frequent visitor to BroadwayWorld.com. Well, unless the site is providing behind-the-scenese footage and interviews for a $65 million Broadway show, based on a Marvel comic book conceived by Stan Lee, with music and lyrics created by Bono and the Edge, and riddled with production setbacks and difficulties.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has one theatre’s most high-profile cast lists (headlined by two U2 frontmen and Tony Award-winning director, Julie Taymor), centers on one of America’s most popular, commercial heroes (who doesn’t love Peter Parker?), and is by far Broadway’s most expensive production ever (it costs more than twice as much as Shrek: The Musical’s reported $25 million).
The music, the subject matter, the price tag, and the hiccups have garnered the production a lot of attention, from fanboys to Conan. They’ve also got me watching Broadway World’s behind-the-scenes series, Spider-Man: Behind the Web.
Paige Davis (of Trading Spaces fame, who also happens to be the wife of Patrick Page, who plays the Green Goblin in Turn Off the Dark) goes inside the Foxwoods Theatre to interview the show’s cast and crew. It’s not exactly a hard hitting expose or Taiwanese animation, but it gives you a better idea of all that goes on behind the curtain in one of the theatre world’s most highly anticipated productions of all time. It’s also kind of interesting to see what sort of videos and questions count as “behind-the-scenes” for an industry publication about Broadway.