Sunday, January 09, 2011

Does Whatever A Spider Can

Week 1: January 4As I alluded to before, Boy and I saw Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark earlier this week. I won't review it, both because I don't do that here and because (say it with me, and half the press most people don't care about) it's not open yet, but I will say that my expectations were 100% met. I guess that's a bit of damning with faint praise, given the press so far, so I'll say a bit more: that as a theatre tech nerd and a puppetry nerd, I was beyond satisfied. Leaving aside the script and score (please!), cool shit just kept happening! The flying has gotten all the press, but I was way more impressed by the sets and costumes, and particularly by the simpler tricks and illusions. Most of them required some seriously high-tech mechanics to make them work, but the effects were striking. (Jump to 3:40 in this for a quick glimpse of my favorite thing in the show.)

For a full-on review, with a pretty spoilerific blow-by-blow, I can't recommend this piece by Isaac Butler strongly enough. I can't argue with a single thing Isaac says on its merits, except that we obviously had completely different experiences at the show (in that I enjoyed it and he sounds like he wanted to kill himself).

I'm pretty sick of all the overload (I'm curious – if you're outside of New York or outside of the theater business, has this made any impression on you at all?), but since my last post there have been some things worth linking to. So here they are:

Even though I think everone should back off, this take from The Onion was my favorite.

A fun (?) piece from TDF about stage injuries and onstage and backstage dangers, which backs up a lot of what I said in my last post.

An interview with Tierney, who among other things talks about the dangers of dancing: "I’ve been in shows with people whose legs pop out of their hips. An ex-girlfriend of mine has four concussions. People tearing their A.C.L. And for a show that’s this technically complex, four injured performers is just not strange."

NY Times theater critic Charles Isherwood on the whole to-review-or-not-to-review thing. And a similar piece from NY Magazine's Vulture blog. And one by the mother of one of my friends in the cast! Somewhere, after a couple of reviews did appear (in major old-school publications – not to discount the online people, but the rules do seem different), I saw a count of the actual number of previews the show had had. Because they were never scheduled to do a full 8 shows a week during previews (which is not usual), they hadn't actually done all that many more than a typical show. It just felt like forever.

And finally, a reward if you're still reading: I found all of Fool's Fire, the film I linked to a terrible clip of last time. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, and it's been many many years, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that it's still awesome. Part 1 below. Click through for the rest.

1 comment:

mcm said...

In response to your question - while my mother was here over Christmas (from Tucson... where she does not see much theater...) she asked me what I thought about all the controversy. Suffice it to say, I did a bit of a double-take... but clearly the news has spread quite a bit.