With great power, comes great responsibility! Justin Matthew Sargent will replace original star Reeve Carney as Peter Parker, the young outcast who becomes the amazing title character in Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark. In a special ceremony at the Foxwoods Theatre on September 15, Carney, who played his final performance, announced the news. Sargent, who has been performing as the alternate lead since August, will officially take over the role on September 16.
Open casting calls were held during the month of August to find Carney's replacement in the blockbuster musical. "We looked for our new lead in L.A. and New York," said Spider-Man producers Michael Cohl and Jere Harris in a statement. "During Justin’s rehearsals as the alternate, we realized this is the guy to take over for Reeve. He is one of Broadway’s great rockers."
Sargent is best known for playing Drew in Rock of Ages and also appeared on Broadway in Bonnie & Clyde. For his Fresh Face interview with Broadway.com, Sargent said Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark is what brought him to the Big Apple. "I flew to New York and I got to audition for [original director] Julie Taymor and they suggested that they thought it would be a good idea if I moved here," he said. "Six months later, my girlfriend Celine and I packed up with the dog and moved up here. I got called in for Rock of Ages nine months later."
Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark follows the story of Peter Parker, whose ordinary teenage life takes a turn for the extraordinary when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and suddenly finds himself endowed with superpowers. Parker quickly learns that with great power comes great responsibility as he tries to juggle the demands of high school and home life, while battling the Green Goblin (Robert Cuccioli) and his band of super villains. Peter must fight to save everything he holds dear, including the beautiful girl-next-door, Mary Jane (Rebecca Faulkenberry).
Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark features music and lyrics by Grammy Award winners Bono and The Edge, direction by Philip William McKinley, original direction by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, and a book co-written by Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Spider-Man opened on June 14, 2011. Carney made his Broadway debut in the blockbuster musical and has led the cast since the show's first preview on November 28, 2010.