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'Spidey Project' challenges the B'way musical

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While many have joked that a revival of “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark” is more likely to open at this point than the Julie Taylor-helmed production at the Foxwoods Theatre, no one expected an entirely different “Spider-Man” musical to come along.

Justin Moran, a young writer who penned the satirical “Pope! An Epic Musical” for the Fringe Festival, hasn’t actually seen “Spider-Man” on Broadway. But two weeks ago, Moran made a YouTube video in which he announced his resolve to mount his own “Spider-Man” musical – with no money and no special effects – and successfully open it before the Broadway production.

“I think what really inspired the project was when the first round of scathing reviews came out,” Moran said. “And I thought ‘So just how important was the $65 million anyway?’ I've written shows that could have run for years on just one percent of that.”

With the assistance of numerous volunteers, the show — now titled “The Spidey Project: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” — will be performed at the P.I.T., a 100-seat theater on East 24th Street, on March 14, exactly one day before the slated opening night of “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark.”

The musical, which Moron insists is not a parody, will faithfully observe the superhero’s origin story. “We are setting out to do what they should have done in the first place: write a great musical, only for no money, and in 30 days,” he said. “If anything, it's kind of a 'wake the hell up!' to the people who think that money and famous musicians and named directors and familiar story equal success."

Unlike the Broadway production, Moran does not expect any of his actors to get injured. “While there may be some web-slinging, our focus isn't on the spectacle,” he said. “There will be no acrobatics or special effects.”

As of press time, no one from Marvel Comics had contacted Moron about staging a “Spider-Man” musical without the rights to do so. “If we can manage to get through one performance without a cease and desist, we’ll count our blessings and leave it there,” he said.

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