PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Dec. 28-Jan. 3: Spider-Man Honored Prior to Closing and New Plays Set to Open Off-Broadway

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03 Jan 2014

Reeve Carney
Reeve Carney
Photo by Jacob Cohl

Though it is set to close Jan. 4, the Broadway production of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark continues to generously provide the press with stories. Over this quiet New Year's Eve week alone, the troubled musical churned out two news items.

Producers announced that no lesser museum than the Smithsonian Institution would induct the Spider-Man costume worn by the musical's original star, Reeve Carney, into the permanent collection of its National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Well, when you think of it, Spider-Man is sort of a historical production.

The honor will coincide with the production's final performance on Broadway, taking place Jan. 4 at the Foxwoods Theatre.

Carney's custom-printed spandex suit was designed for his exact dimensions by the late costume designer Eiko Ishioka, who was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award for her work on the show.

Producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement, "The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History is the premier archive of iconic American artifacts. We are honored that they have decided to cement the production's place in the American popular culture canon."

A smaller, but even more entertaining Spider-Man story came from Joe Allen, the famous Times Square restaurateur. Though Spider-Man, which underwent the longest preview period in Broadway history and faced many obstacles on its road to opening night, will close at a monumental financial loss, Allen said it will not join the ranks of the infamous "flop wall" of his eponymous restaurant in Manhattan.

A statement from Joe Allen read, "A lot of people have been asking if we are going to put Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark on the flop wall, so let me say, once and for all: absolutely not. Any show that plays for three years on Broadway, providing steady employment to members of the theatre community and pumping money into the local economy, is no failure in my book."

Honored by the Smithsonian; not honored by Joe Allen. Chalk this up as a good week for Spider-Man.


Playwright Samuel D. Hunter had a sleeper hit with his 2012 Off-Broadway play The Whale at Playwrights Horizons. A modest critical success, it nonetheless went on to receive several awards nominations at the end of the season, including a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. 2014 will be a busy year for the writer.


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