Spider-Man fans accustomed to the super hero’s high-flying action in the films may wonder how the Broadway production Turn Off the Dark measures up when it comes to stunts.
Of course, on Broadway Spider-Man and his rival the Green Goblin can’t rely on CGI to create the thrilling effects audiences expect from one of the most popular comic book heroes of all time. In the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, every time Spidey slings web or soars through the air over the crowd— it’s all real. And to make it possible (and avoid injuries for lead actors like Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker) there are as many as nine stuntmen who play Spider-Man nightly on Broadway.
Each is, of course, a highly trained professional stuntman capable of Olympic gymnast-level agility and strength. Wearing customized, padded Spider-Man suits, lightweight Puma sneakers, grippy gloves, and two different harnesses that rig to wires for flying as high as 30 feet above the audience below, these stuntmen bring Spider-Man to life in physically demanding scenes that easily eclipse anything you would see in a usual Broadway show. (Just try to imagine any other musical in which fight scenes actually take place suspended above the crowd. Only Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark features that kind of high-flying action).
But that doesn’t mean Spider-Man on Broadway is all jaw-dropping special effects. The Broadway show originally created by Tony Award-winning Lion King director Julie Taymor also features a score of soaring rock ballads by Bono and the Edge of U2, award-winning costumes and scenery, and a story that tells the origins of America’s favorite superhero. While Peter Parker begins the musical as a bullied teenager in Queens, New York, by the end of the first act he’s accepted his fate as New York City’s most remarkable crime-fighter (thanks to a bite from a genetically altered spider, naturally). The second act sees Spider-Man challenged by a host of villains — even as he’s falling in love with Mary Jane.
So how would you feel to be seated directly below Spider-Man and the Green Goblin as they tussle mid-air?