The Performer and the Performance
- I can definitely see Carney as angst ridden, conflicted Peter Parker. He gives off an interesting combo vibe of sexy rock star and nebbish geek. (I know there are some who are excited by this alone.) Without seeing or reading a single minute of the show or script, I can see why they picked him. With a U2 score to sing, and the necessity of believability that he can be both nerd and super hero is a hard combo to find, and I think, outwardly, at least, he fits the bill.
- I've already heard Broadway people grousing over the style of the song... anyone who thought this would have a Jerry Herman-esque score is, well, not thinking. Those days appear to be slipping away faster and faster. They are clearly going for dark and edgy, not cartoonish and campy. You can't have it both ways. And if you do, the show will be a complete mess.
- I think it foolish to judge one performance of one song out of context of the show and in the context of a rock singer and band performing a gig.
- All of that said, I sincerely hope that Mr. Carney will be made to enunciate better than he did today. That could be a huge problem.
The show's pre-opening troubles are a matter of public record. From notorious trouble raising money, coupled with casting issues due to timing, publicly changing advertising agencies, and design delays, getting the ball even rolling has been a problem. Hundreds of Broadway shows have gone through this and worse, but none in this age of Tweets, email blasts, Facebook and even blogs like mine. But stop and think about it: how does anyone who isn't actually in the rehearsal hall know if the show is "in trouble"? Really. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that rehearsals for this show are so open that anyone not directly involved could really know. The "I heard from my best friend who once sat across the aisle from Jennifer Damiano on the A Train and is now her best friend on Twitter" mentality of truth is destructive and unnecessary.
How about we let it start previewing, fix itself up and open before we already decide we hate it, huh? How about we focus our energy on celebrating the fact that even in these tough times, new, exciting and daring shows are still opening and filling our hearts and souls with artistic nourishment?
I have always said that even if I personally hate a show, I wish everyone involved nothing but the best and long runs and happiness. You all know my general disdain for Jersey Boys and Million Dollar Quartet, but I am thrilled that they are enjoying some success and are keeping hundreds of talented people employed. How it turns out as far as Spider-Man goes remains to be seen. But whether I like it or not, I wish all of them nothing but the best.