Basically, this show was a hot damn mess. Months went by without the show opening, and yet the poster remained up in Shubert Alley (which, incidentally, caused Michelle and I to snicker every time we walked past it and say things like "Oh my gosh, can we go see if the understudy for the janitor is on today?"). Spider-man became the punchline of many of our jokes. Then it was revealed that Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming had both been let out of their contracts and had left the show. I began to wonder if this show was ever even going to see the lights of Broadway. After all, so much money had been poured into it that ticket prices were sure to be astronomical just to break even and be able to pay weekly operating costs. It was bound to be flop, if it ever even opened. Honestly, it really just seemed like a lost cause, one of those shows that never were and that, years from now, I would look back on and chuckle at what a disaster the whole thing it had become.
But now... the tides seemed to have changed. Patrick Page has been tapped to take over for the Green Goblin, and one of Michelle and my favorite young performers, Jennifer Damiano (!) has been cast to play Mary-Jane Watson. (Honestly, we're tempted to see the show just to see her, but only if they have a decent rush and/or lotto policy. We're poor college kids here, people). Full casting was recently announced, and the show began rehearsals August 16. Things are definitely looking up, it would appear.
Who knows, maybe the show that almost became one of the biggest snafus in Broadway history will rise from the ashes and become a hit. My bet, however, is that the show will struggle. Ticket prices, from what I have seen, are indeed steep, with premium seats selling for over $130. That's not to say that people won't pay to see the show, merely that the show may have trouble making the money it needs to stay open if people cannot afford or do not wish to pay such hefty ticket prices. While I would be happy if the show were to succeed (mostly, I'll admit, because I want Ms. Damiano to be successful in whatever she does), the odds already seem so stacked against it. It would take a, shall we say "superhuman" effort for the show to succeed, and I'm just not sure if that's feasible at this point.
Still, stranger things have happened on Broadway. Only time will tell if Spider-man will be able to overcome its tumultuous history and have a successful run on the Great White Way. In the interim, I just hope it continues to keep me entertained.