After months of rehearsals and well-documented delays, the mega-musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark flew on Broadway for the first time on November 28. Broadway.com chatted with the show’s two young stars Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano, who play Peter Parker/Spider-Man and sweetheart Mary Jane respectively, immediately following the performance.
“I’m really excited,” said Damiano, who earned a Tony nomination in 2009 for Next to Normal. “I got a little anxious at some points [during the show], but the audience was very supportive so their energy knocked that out pretty quickly!”
Although the first preview performance was stopped a handful of times for technical issues, Broadway newcomer Carney said spirits were high backstage. “We all tried our best to stay focused,” he said. “That was the first time we’ve gone all the way through the show. We were writing some new stuff today. Now that we’ve run through it, I’m excited to know where it stands.”
The two stars were also happy that audiences finally got to experience the extraordinary visuals created by director Julie Taymor, including a dazzling Act One finale that sets a dramatic high-flying fight between Spider-Man and his nemesis the Green Goblin right over the heads of theatergoers in the Foxwoods Theatre.
“We’ve been rehearsing for so long that at this point, I forgot which stuff is really extraordinary at first glance,” said Damiano. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s why they’re cheering. The first time I saw it, I was freaking out as well!” But she added that pulling off the show’s quieter moments, including her dark Act Two ballad “If the World Should End,” are key to the show: “It’s so spectacular otherwise that it’s important to make them work. We have to make people care.”
Carney, who will now don the Spider-Man tights eight times a week on Broadway, is thrilled to be playing everyone’s favorite webslinger. “It’s definitely iconic,” he said. “And it’s an honor to be playing such a hero. To be doing it on Broadway for the first time ever is just amazing.”
Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, which features a score by Bono and The Edge of U2, opens at the Foxwoods Theatre on January 11, 2011.