Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Isabel Keating Part 2

In part two of our chat with Isabel Keating, we asked her what the cast does during their downtime at the theatre. She said, “Well, the only time we have downtime is during rehearsal breaks at the theatre. During the show, the only downtime for anyone really is at intermission, and even then that is a quick bathroom break! Usually the breaks are spent talking to each other, discussing current events or family, or (need I say?) SPIDER-MAN Turn Off the Dark.”

We also wanted to get a sense of what kind of shenanigans are going on behind the scenes. “By all means there are pranksters and cut-ups! But not in the usual, run-of-the-mill short-sheeter way. There is a heavy dose of intelligence and talent running around the Foxwoods, therefore a ton of wit. Usually the cut-ups are verbal and get coupled with some way-out physicalization (since we have so many crazy dancer/tumbler/aerialist types in our midst). All kinds of spontaneous dance-jams and word-games break out (Jeb Brown sets the bar quite high with his throw-down challenges in games of all stripes), and Ayo Jackson and I have an ongoing rap jam that has to be seen and heard to be understood.”

Finally, we asked her what the most thrilling part of working on SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has been. “I have been in seventh heaven throughout technical rehearsals,” she told us. “The coming together of all the work that all of the artists have been doing, the piecing together of sound, lights, sets, projections, LEDs, flying, book, choreography, costumes, make-up, hair, masks: all thrilling! Then when we added our brilliant orchestra and band, that was another thrill. And then the most recent thrill was adding the ultimate ingredient: the audience!"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Isabel Keating Part 1

We chatted with SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark cast member (and Tony Award-nominee!) Isabel Keating to get some backstage dish.  She told us that the view from the stage can be as thrilling as the view from the seats, especially when she witnesses particularly interesting audience reactions.  According to Keating, when Spider-Man took his debut flight at a recent performance, “a vocal child in the house shouted out, ‘Daddy!!!  SPIDER-MAN!!!!’ at the top of his lungs.  The audience laughed and roared, and it made me smile throughout the scene.”  She also has noticed that some folks find the experience an emotional one, “I’ve heard a few sniffles here and there in response to the enormity of the images and the story.  That is very gratifying.”
She also described the excitement that takes place at the stage door each night: “Since our first preview, audiences have crowded around the stage door in such supportive attendance!  It is so great to see all of the tiny ones in their Spidey costumes, and the parents and young-at-heart who appreciate the artistry and talent in the show.  We love to say hello and know who those people are who came to see us that day. We feel everyone out there in the audience, but to put faces and names to it is all the better.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“Idol” Worship

A slew of stars have been spotted in the audience since SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark began performances in late November, including Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Angela Lansbury, Michael Moore, C.C. Sabathia, Sean Hayes, Lesley Stahl, Neve Campbell, Ryan Zimmerman, Katie FInneran, among others.   Two of the most recognizable faces to grace the show with their presence (and who manage to still turn heads wherever they go) belong to “American Idol” alums Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.  “Idol” fans know that Allen bested Lambert in the finale to take the coveted title.  True to form, Allen also won the “who saw it first” competition by catching the show on December 8;  Lambert finally saw the show this past weekend.    Both Idols came backstage to tell stars Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano how much they  loved the show, and both walked out with some Spidey merchandise (Allen took home a t-shirt while Lambert snagged a special edition dog tag).         

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Late night television can’t get enough of SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark!  This past weekend “Saturday Night Live” parodied the production on Weekend Update.  “Conan” has also started spoofing Spidey regularly, and other late night hosts have worked it into their monologues.   It seems SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has officially entered the realm of mainstream American pop culture, and a full month before it even opens!  All this attention sure is flattering and, for the record, we can indeed take a joke.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Another sold out, standing-room-only crowd swung into the Foxwoods Theatre on Wednesday night for the second-ever preview performance of SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.  People hoping to score a last minute seat were roaming 42nd Street searching for scalpers, asking if anyone on line had an extra ticket to sell.

Spotted among the crowd were Emmy-winner Jane Seymour and her daughter.   Tony-winner Katie Finneran was also in attendance, and was overheard telling a friend at intermission, “When Spider-Man started flying, I cried!”  

Ms. Finneran wasn’t the only audience-member to have a visceral reaction to the aerial stunts.  A woman in the balcony, seemingly unable to control herself, yelled out, “Oh no! … YAY!,” during one particularly eye-popping moment.

Outside the theater, after the show, news cameras and radio reporters stood poised to capture audience reactions.  One excited fan (dressed almost entirely in Spidey paraphernalia) was having a tough time expressing his emotions to a reporter, leaving it at, “Whoa – that was really intense.”

Monday, November 29, 2010


The mood outside of the Foxwoods Theatre was electric on Sunday night, moments before the start of the first ever performance of SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.  A line of excited ticketholders (many dressed as their favorite, web-slinging superhero) snaked all along 42nd Street and down Broadway, while a “cancelation line” full of hopeful fans trying to score a last minute seat, wrapped around the block in the opposite direction.  It was literally a traffic-stopping scene!  A slew of Broadway’s brightest were spotted in the crowd, including Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean Hayes, Tony-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, director David Leveaux, and cast members from just about every show in town.  “60 Minutes” correspondent Lelsey Stahl, whose story on SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark aired nationally on CBS just moments after the curtain rose, was also in attendance. 

The scene was no less harried after the show, when press photographers and fans created a crush at the stage door as the show's cast emerged smiling, one by one.  Reeve Carney (Peter Parker himself) spent more than an hour signing autographs and posing for pictures with excited fans.  He was overheard telling one fan, "I am so glad we got this first preview under our belt, and I am looking forward to next week's shows!" 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Even if you’re not part of the audience when SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark arrives on Broadway this Sunday evening, you can still catch a first glimpse of the hotly anticipated new musical.  Lesley Stahl, of CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” has spent the better part of the last two years following the journey of SPIDER-MAN from the page to the stage for a piece set to air on Sunday, just moments after the show’s first performance will begin.

Featuring rare, behind-the-scenes footage of the rehearsal process and interviews with creative team members Bono, The Edge, and Julie Taymor, the piece will give viewers an all-access backstage pass to one of the most talked about shows in Broadway history.

If you can’t be at the Foxwoods Theatre on Sunday evening, be sure to tune in to “60 Minutes” at 7:00 p.m. on CBS.