Thursday, May 12, 2011

“Face front, True Believer!” A Blog Entry by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Co-Book Writer)

As I write these words, it’s twelve hours until the first preview of the new, revamped, revised, and otherwise rebooted “SPIDER-MAN Turn Off the Dark.” Last night we had our final dress rehearsal, in front of a few invited guests, the production staff, the marketing team, the front of house staff, the press department, the show’s producers and management team—and a few extremely eager high school students in the balcony. (Possibly from Midtown High, where Peter and MJ go to school, someone joked.) The orchestra seats were covered with tech tables; seats were piled high with electrical equipment, discarded script pages; aisles were crowded with music stands, yards and yards of cable, pieces of scenery that have been cut—you name it. You think, in those last moments, as the lights start to dim, and the pre-show announcement begins, There’s no way we’re going to pull this off. We’ve only had three weeks to remount what is, without a doubt, the most ambitious show in Broadway’s history. Before that, we only had three weeks to rehearse the new material with our tireless, super-star cast—while they were performing “Spidey 1.0” (as folks have begun to refer to it) and while that new material was constantly being rewritten, revised, and (seemingly) endlessly tweaked. With new dialogue, new staging, new musical numbers, new lyrics for existing musical numbers, new costumes, new lights, new flights, new—basically, just a lot of new stuff. You think, We need more time. You think, We’ve done so much, but there’s still so much on the list. You think, How can that magic that only happens in the theatre—how can that possibly happen tonight?  But then the lights dim, and the overture starts, spotlights sweep across the stage, a nervous high school senior named Peter Parker steps out on the stage, and—somehow—the magic does happen. Oh, there are bumps along the way—how could there not be, two hours before that final dress rehearsal we were still putting in big changes—but like our red-and-blue hero, the show takes flight… (And, judging from the high school kids’ response, it soars.) Afterwards, of course, when the house lights come up, more notes are taken. Of course, more adjustments are made and will be made. Big and small, expected and unplanned. Meetings are convened, plans are made for rehearsal the next day. (Today, as I type these words, we’re putting in even more changes.) Then, tonight, in eleven hours now…we’ll be starting our first preview performance, as scheduled. We’re expecting bumps, yes, but also…we’re expecting magic. As Stan Lee, co-creator of the Amazing Spider-man, would say, “Face front, True Believer!” (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)


  1. I'll be there tonight and I couldn't be more excited! I went to the second preview of Spidey 1.0 and I loved it, but I could definitely see where it's flaws were. I've been very eager to see the new version, only a few hours left now! :)