Superheroes On Broadway?
The buzz the last few days has been all about Spiderman, Turn Off The Dark and the less than stellar preview that ran on Sunday. It doesn’t actually open until January, but by all accounts, unless you were a little kid, the performance was so full of glitches that it was laughable. Broadway tickets aren’t cheap and comic book fans aren’t forgiving, neither of which bodes well for the show’s success. I couldn’t help but wonder if something like Spiderman is really the best choice for a musical. He’s a web-slinging superhero taking back the city from evil baddies and their assorted minions. How, exactly, does that translate into song?
I could only find one other superhero comic that was turned into a Broadway musical, It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman back in 1966, and it lasted just shy of four months. I can’t help but imagine a muscled man in spandex, hands on hips, cape flapping singing “Here I come to save the day!” which I know is Mighty Mouse, but it totally works for a Superman musical. Otherwise, Broadway has been humming along quite nicely without trying to turn the heroes of Geekdom into singing sensations. I think that as much as we Geeks love our superheroes, there are some mediums that just don’t work for their stories.
Let’s try to imagine what would happen if we took Batman and gave him a musical. I can see the Joker singing, and the Penguin, and pretty much all the villains because they’re crazy nutters and that suits them. But can anyone picture The Dark Night standing on a building, gazing at the Bat-Signal and singing? Or how about Captain America, or Wolverine or Buzz Lightyear. Alright, that last one just might work, but you get my point. There are plenty of properties ripe for the Broadway picking, but I just don’t think that Superheroes should be on that list. On a related note, I just found out that there is an Evil Dead Musical. It even has a splatter zone warning for the first few rows. This is a musical that I just might have to see.