So as I am sure you have heard the new $65 million “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” resumed previews after its fourth major accident occurred. It has been reported that more safety measures have been put in place. Well that is good, I am glad after four people were injured, they finally put better safety measures in. And the show hasn’t even opened yet!
I can’t help but wonder why do we need so many stunts and special effects in musicals? It all started with that darn chandelier in “Phantom of the Opera.” Was that beautiful music and story line not entertaining enough that they had to add a huge chandelier coming out into the audience and crashing down?
Did “Miss Saigon” really need a live working helicopter? Was the tragic story — based on the opera “Madame Butterfly” — of a young woman who kills herself to save her son, not story enough that they needed a big old helicopter to fly out and distract us? I mean this show had war, death, love, and random stripper like dancing. Even the average guy who hates musicals would be entertained by this show with or without any helicopters.
Did the “Titanic” musical really need an almost-full-size ship to sink on stage to tell that story? OK, maybe that one did, but the point is, since when did we have to start putting in movie-like special effects into Broadway musicals? Why can’t we leave that to the movies? Why do we need to see dancers (not professional stunt men) plunge 30 feet to near death on a stage? Aren’t these stories dramatic and poignant enough without all the extra foo foo? And why can’t society today leave more things to the imagination? Oh right, this is the same society that has to have dolls that talk, walk, pee, poop, and pick up your groceries for you. Whatever happened to simply playing with refrigerator boxes?