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Tag: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (1-10 of 49)

This Week on Stage: Ethan Hawke and Sarah Jessica Parker return, Spider-Man swings out

After three years on the boards, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has decided to call it quits on Jan. 5 after a tumultuous, headline-grabbing ride on Broadway that will result in a reported $60 million loss. Will producers be leery of investing in the next wave of in-development super-musicals (including a buzzed-about King Kong that is eyeing New York after a successful run in Melbourne). Meanwhile, this week’s openings are significantly less costly, including Ethan Hawke’s first Shakespeare turn on Broadway in 10 years, Tony winner Jefferson Mays in an eight-role bonanza, a first-time play by actress Amanda Peet with some heavy-hitting leads, and Pretty Little Liars’ Keegan Allen and ubiquitous movie heavy James Badge Dale in a new bro play (click on the links below for full reviews):

The Commons of Pensacola The Madoff scandal influences another play, this time the playwriting debut of actress Amanda Peet. The biggest coup: Stage and screen titans Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner play the leads. Senior writer Jessica Shaw was less than enchanted by the results, though she has great things to say about Ms. Danner: “The show belongs to Blythe Danner… she brings class and wit…even when asked to pass gas.” EW grade: B-

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder  Wodehouse farce and classic musical theater blend together for this regional smash that has made its way to Broadway, with Jefferson Mays in arguably the toughest workout on Broadway playing the eight members of a homicidally unlucky family. Senior editor Thom Geier calls Mays’ performance “jaw-dropping” and adds, “no one is likely to get sick of the black comedy in A Gentleman’s Guide, which remains winsome and charming despite an alarming surfeit of devious and devilish characters. Quite simply, it’s a bloody good time.” EW grade: A

Macbeth In Lincoln Center’s bold new take on The Scottish Play, Ethan Hawke plays the beleaguered king and Anne-Marie Duff makes her Broadway debut as his scheming wife. According to EW’s Melissa Rose Bernardo, the Witches take center stage in this revival. “The craggy all-male trio of Malcolm Gets, John Glover, and Byron Jennings — pull all the strings, popping up in minor roles and causing toil and trouble at every turn” she writes. As for Hawke, she adds: “Though his scruffy, still-boyish looks suggest the prototypical Hamlet, Hawke makes a very convincing (and wonderfully sleazy) Scottish king.” EW grade: B-

One Night…  True Blood’s Rutina Wesley, who had a fiery turn a few seasons ago opposite Jonathan Groff in The Submission, returns to the stage in Charles Fuller’s new Off Broadway play about traumas facing women in the U.S. armed forces. Melissa Rose Bernardo cops to finding this new work overstuffed: “Operation Iraqi Freedom, hallucinations, PTSD, homeless veterans, rape, sexism, arson, and broken families. How do you pack all that into a 90-minute play? Not very tidily, as it turns out.” EW grade: C

Small Engine Repair  A quartet of guys with questionable histories meet up for a fateful evening in a New England auto repair shop, but senior writer Adam Markovitz wasn’t completely in tune with the Off Broadway play by John Pollono. “It’s a savvily written piece of punchline theater — the kind of play with 60 minutes of talky preamble leading up to one scene that’s funny, nerve-wracking, and ballsy enough to justify the whole show,” he writes. “For more ambitious work, you’re better off looking elsewhere.” EW grade: B-

Taking Care of Baby  Dennis Kelly — who won a Tony this year for his book for the smash musical hit Matilda — enjoys the American premiere of his 2007 British play about a young mother implicated in the deaths of her two young children, and the media circus that surrounds it. The “verbatim play,” as it is known, proved a mixed but worthy affair per my review: “For about half of the play’s two-plus hours, the gimmick is genuinely compelling…. but the production is blessed with a laser-focused principal cast.” EW grade: B

Too Much, Too Much, Too Many  A family copes with loss in this new work at Roundabout Underground, which highlights new works by up-and-coming scribes in an intimate Off Broadway black box space. “The cast gives passionate performances,” Stephan Lee writes, though he adds: “It’s a play in which a character says of another, ”He’s got loss in his voice,’ without a hint of irony.” EW grade: B

'Spider-Man' musical runs out of web; Broadway show to close in January

After two smooth, drama-free years on Broadway, the massive musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark will play its final performance at the Foxwoods Theatre on January 4, 2014. And for what it’s worth, it lasted a whole lot longer than anyone expected it to.

But the Bono and the Edge-penned show (which has been the subject of SNL spoof, copious lawsuits, an off-Broadway musical parody, and a tell-all memoir, among other things) won’t be disappearing completely — a spokesman for the production says that the show’s “next destination” will be “the entertainment capital of the world: Las Vegas.” More details about Spidey’s Vegas run will be announced in the weeks to come. READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: 'Matilda' joins 'Motown' and 'Lucky Guy' as a new hit

Matilda has emerged as a Dahled-up hit of the new Broadway season. In its first full week since its April 11 opening, the rapturously reviewed musical earned $1.13 million for the week ending April 21, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a 51 percent increase in ticket sales from the previous week, and represents nearly 89 percent of the potential gross from the Shubert Theatre.

Matilda is one of four brand-new shows that joined this week’s Million Dollar Club of high earners on the Great White Way. The Tom Hanks-topped drama Lucky Guy raked in $1.41 million, fully 124 percent of its potential earnings due to premium-priced ticket sales; Motown the Musical pulled down $1.15 million, 81 percent of its maximum; and the Cyndi Lauper musical Kinky Boots kicked up $1.06 million, about 73 percent of its potential high.

Rounding out this week’s Million Dollar Club are four long-running mainstays: The Lion King ($1.84 million); Wicked ($1.81 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.67 million); and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.06 million).

Five more shows are slated to open this week, including a high-profile (and high-flying) revival of the musical Pippin, which last week earned $683,911 (a strong 74 percent of its potential gross).  And there are early indications of box office staying power for Bette Midler’s one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last, which broke a new record last week for the relatively small Booth Theatre with $686,031 in sales. What’s even more impressive is that the Divine Miss M is playing just seven performances a week (most Broadway shows do eight).

Some other star-driven nonmusical newbies — including The Nance with Nathan Lane, Orphans with Alec Baldwin, Macbeth with Alan Cumming, and The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. — have yet to spark much box office heat. Each show may have to hope for a strong critical embrace (several have only just opened or will be debuting in coming days) and the even stronger embrace of the Tony nominating committee (which announces its picks on April 30).

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read More on EW.com:
This Week on Stage: Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, The Rascals, and a slew of new openings
See Opening Night Video for The Nance
Listen to three tracks from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
EW Stage hub

Julie Taymor settles 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' litigation

The very long, very involved legal battle between Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark creative teams past and present finally has been resolved: Julie Taymor, Glen Berger, and 8 Legged Productions LLC have settled all their pending claims against each other, they announced today.

“We’re happy to put all this behind us,” 8 Legged’s Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris said in a statement. “We are now looking forward to spreading Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark in new and exciting ways around the world.”

According to the statement, “The parties’ settlement agreement resolves Ms. Taymor’s claims against 8 Legged in connection with her work on the book of the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, with respect to both the current New York production and subsequent productions.” READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: Scarlett Johansson sells tickets -- but Jessica Chastain has star power, too, post-Globes

January is typically a slow period on Broadway, given the seasonal dip in post-holiday tourism, but shows headlined by Hollywood starlets are bucking the trend this year. In its first full week since its Jan. 17 opening, the Scarlett Johansson-led revival Cat on a Hot Tin Roof clawed in $886,531 for the week ending Jan. 27, according to the Broadway League. That’s a modest 5 percent dip from the show’s premiere week and represents a strong 67 percent of the potential gross for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Since reviews for Rob Ashford’s production were generally mixed, the popularity of the 28-year-old Avengers star (and improbable doppelganger for a young Christopher Walken) will be a big factor in the revival’s fortunes during its limited run through March 30.

Meanwhile, the recent Golden Globe win for Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain has proven to be a sudden box office bonanza for the actress’ Broadway debut, The HeiressThe drama revival, which opened last November and will end its limited run Feb. 9, grossed $604,765 last week, a nearly 36 percent jump from its total two weeks ago and two-thirds of the potential haul for the venue. (Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that her costar Dan Stevens is back in the public eye with the return of Downton Abbey on PBS.) READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: Christmas comes early as 12 shows top $1 million

For Broadway producers, Thanksgiving brought some extra trimmings this year. According to figures from the Broadway League, a dozen Broadway shows topped $1 million at the box office for the week ending Nov. 25 — the first time that’s happened all year. Perennial musical hits led the list: Wicked ($2.3 million), The Lion King ($2.1 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.8 million), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.78 million). The fifth slot went to the just-opened revival Annie (pictured above), which took a stroll down Easy Street by selling $1.5 million in tickets, 105 percent of the show’s potential gross and a house record for the Palace Theatre. (Premium ticket charges spiked the average ticket price to $116, from $89 the week before.) READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Bring It On' waves its spirit stick on Broadway

A high-flying, basket-tossing new musical based on the 2000 teen cheerleader comedy Bring It On took an unusual (backward-somersaulting) path to its Broadway opening this week. Instead of launching a national tour after a splashy New York run, the energetic tuner (which is only loosely based on the Kirsten Dunst film, plot-wise) played in 13 cities starting last November before bowing on the Great White Way. In my B+ review, I noted the youthful cast and a score, by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), with lyrics by Miranda and Amanda Green (High Fidelity), that actually “sounds like it was composed in this century.”

Also on Broadway, it’s the final curtain this weekend for three shows: Fela!, a short-run musical revival that has been doing anemic box office; Harvey, the comedy revival ending its limited summer run so star Jim Parsons can return to L.A. to shoot The Big Bang Theory; and Memphis, the 2010 Tony-winning musical that is expected to recoup its $12 million investment this weekend after 30 previews and 1,166 performances over the course of nearly three years. (At that rate, imagine how long it might take Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to break even.) READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2012: We predict the winners

Now is the time for Newsies fans and theater geeks everywhere to seize the day! It’s Tony time! This Sunday, Neil Patrick Harris will be donning his tux once again to host the annual celebration of Broadway’s finest moments (and we’ll be live-blogging the Tony Award ceremony, so please watch with us!). In a repeat from last year’s NPH-led event, expect another rash of jokes at the expense of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Fellow EW critic Melissa Rose Bernardo and I here offer our predictions in all the Tony categories (you’ll see our names after each of our picks). Disagree? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section. (For more Stage coverage, go to EW.com’s Stage hub.)

Best Play
Clybourne Park (Thom)
Other Desert Cities
(Melissa)
Peter and the Starcatcher
Venus in Fur

It’s one of the strongest years in recent memory for new American plays. While Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities won wide acclaim when it opened last year, I give the edge to Pulitzer winner Clybourne Park.

Best Musical
Leap of Faith
Newsies
(Melissa, Thom)
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once

This is a two-way race between movie-based hits that each have an underdog story: Once and Newsies. The former is charming but relatively small-scale. And since a sizable number of Tony voters handle Broadway tours throughout the country, a more traditional, broader-based hit like Newsies is likely to win out. READ FULL STORY

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ to offer free tickets to people named Tony on Tony Awards Sunday

Here’s something you’ve never heard before: The producers of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark have decided to offer free tickets to a performance on June 10 (the same day as the Tony Awards) to anyone with the first name Anthony, Tony, Antoinette, Toni or Antonio. The reason? So that when Tony Sunday rolls around, Spider-Man will technically have “more Tonys than any other show on Broadway on Sunday, June 10,” said producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris in a joint statement. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Julie Taymor vs. Bono, a capella in New York

Julie Taymor’s back, she’s saved her emails, and she’s not afraid to use them. News broke this week that the fired Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark director filed new documents—which include private emails and recorded conversations—in her $1 million lawsuit against the show’s producers. Let’s just say the papers don’t portray Spider-Man’s composers Bono and the Edge as Broadway’s best collaborators.

Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, half the town was holding a court of their own at the star-studded (think George Clooney and Brad Pitt) reading of Dustin Lance Black’s 8, which chronicles the federal trial over same-sex marriage in California. And in non-law-related theater news, Universal Pictures Stage Productions announced that they were adapting the cult film Animal House for the Main Stem. (Doubters, before you say “ugh,” remember that the Greeks did invent drama.)

Our writers also reviewed five new off-Broadway shows. Writer Stephan Lee awarded Nina Raine’s Tribes an A- for the “incisive writing and superb acting” in the family drama about a deaf man’s struggle to discover himself among his hearing relatives. “There isn’t a weak performance in the bunch,” he said about the cast.

The off-Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque earned an A- from correspondent Keith Staskiewicz, who called it “two hours of intentional discomfort spewed out of some dark and recondite corner of Albee’s mind, adorned in grim irony,” adding that “the production is also absolutely riveting, which is the right word because it indeed feels like someone has affixed your body to your chair.”

I gave the off-Broadway a cappella show Voca People a C- for trying to cram over 70 songs and a thin sci-fi plot into 90 minutes, writing that “someone appears to be laboring under the misapprehension that more songs and more variety will appeal to more people (and more tourists).”

An Iliad “can occasionally be a bit of a slog” admitted stage editor Thom Geier about Denis O’Hare and Stephen Spinella’s one-man readings of Homer’s war epic (the actors alternate performances), but he found it notable “as a showcase for the acting skills of two accomplished stage veterans.” He graded the production a B-.

The revival of Tina Howe’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning Painting Churches also scored a B-. Critic Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote that the “esteemed portrait of an artist and her aging parents is as relevant today as it was when the award-winning play premiered,” but felt the drama’s dialogue (who still says “at sixes and sevens”?) showed its age.

For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.

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