Spider-Man show could get Tony nod

Patrick Page and Reeve Carney in "Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark." The show was once the laughing stock of Broadway, but now it may be up for a few Tony Award nominations.

Kai Ryssdal: Tomorrow's a red-letter day in American theater. The Tony nominations are gonna be announced in the morning. And it's entirely possible that "Spider-Man" -- the Broadway show that was once the laughing stock of the theater world -- could wind up with a couple of nods. How's that possible after all the bad press, accidents and critical shellacking?

We sent Marketplaces' Adriene Hill to find out.


Adriene Hill: Critics hated "Spider-Man" when it first came out. The New York Times Ben Brantley said it was like “watching the Hindenburg burn and crash.”

Chris Caggiano blogs about musicals and teaches at the Boston Conservatory.

Chris Caggiano: A year ago, if you’d told me that we were looking at the prospect of "Spider-Man" actually getting a nomination for Best Musical, I’m not exactly sure what I would have said. Laugh.

"Spider-Man" has been reworked from its original “burn and crash” version into something more straight forward that crowds seem to love.

Michael Schulman covers theater for The New Yorker. He thinks the show could garner a nomination for technical production.

Michael Schulman: Certainly what they are doing technically is groundbreaking, but at the same time, can you really reward someone for flying technology that has caused concussion and herniated discs and whatever else has befallen the people in the show.

But Broadway isn’t the end-game for "Spider-Man," says NYU professor Laurence Maslon.

Laurence Maslon: I think in this day and age, they wanted to open it on Broadway, get a toe-hold on Broadway and then use that as a springboard to do it in Las Vegas, internationally, in arenas.

Maslon says it’s time to leave "Spider-Man" alone, let it spin its ticket-selling web and let its audience just enjoy it.

I’m Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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