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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spiderman Turn Off the Dark: AKA: Spider-Matt

Spider-Matt (Photo Credit:
There is some thing that makes me positively giddy when very talented people get to showcase their awesomeness. It's partially why I was/am a bit of a theatre junkie, an understudy junkie. Back in the day the gals and I would drop everything at a moments notice to attempt to make it in and see an understudy in our fave shows.

Where as most people would get upset over seeing the understudy, and I admit to occasionally have been among those people, when Tim Curry was out when I saw Spamalot, I was genuinely heartbroken, but a majority of the time, we rejoiced. Understudies mean getting to see a whole new take on a familiar character, or in some cases an old favorite. I'm pretty sure the staff at The Nederlander Theatre thought we were all insane when we flocked to the lotto on Halloween 2002, because we all knew that Joey Fatone had taken the night off to go trick-or-treating with his daughter, and that meant Matt Caplan would be going on as Mark in RENT. The announcement of Joey's absence was meet with a rousing chorus of "YES!".
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Over the years, lack of time and disposable income has severely lessened my one almost weekly theatre trips. I still try to go to as much theatre as possible, but now I have to REALLY want to go, or know someone in it.

Back in March, I went to see Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark to experience the train wreck for myself. The cast included several familiar faces including Jennifer Damiano, Joshua Kobak, but more importantly Matt Caplan. I have been in awe of Matt's talent since way back in the day. I realize that sounds ridiculously corny when written out like that, but that is the best way I can think to explain it. I've seen the man play nearly every male track in RENT as well as seeing him in several other shows, and a multitude of gigs. Whether at The Wreck Room, which was literally a hole in the ground or swankified Joe's pub if Cappy was playing, the gals and I were there.

For the record we are/never were stalkers. Never followed anyone home, got mad/upset about their love lives, imposed ourselves on an actor or anything of that. We did take a lot of pictures...but it was also a different time, and I know I'm dating myself here, but twitter did not exist and facebook was only for colleges. We didn't need to know their every moves, but I'd be lying if I said when they mentioned something "personal" you didn't get the giddy feeling of being "special" for them feeling comfortable enough around you to talk anything other work. We're not crazy, just insanely loyal and supportive.

Despite the fact that I constantly preached it, for a long time I had a hard time remembering that actors, Broadway, TV, Movie and so on, are just regular people. Something about their talent and my adoration of their dedication, and perseverance. I do a pretty good job faking it though.

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Some things you never grow out of. There are still certain people who's success make me giddy, and I am often loyal to a fault. Which is why the past two Saturdays have found me sitting in the Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd street, seeing Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, for a second and third time. Which was two more times then I ever intended to. As I said back in March,"It def falls into the well I'm glad I saw that, but don't really have a need to see it again (the one exception being if Matty Cap should ever go on as spidy because let's face it I'm nothing if not loyal)." To be honest I thought the show would be closed WAY before he ever had a chance to put on the iconic blue and red spidy suit, a lot of people did. But about a month ago he made an announcement, via facebook, that he would be going on at four separate matinees. So I was now going to have to eat my words.
I do believe I may have been giddy with glee, swept over with a weird sense of pride for his accomplishments. Do I really have a reason to be "proud"? I mean, it's not as though I really had anything to do with his career accomplishments, and yet when you have supported someone for so long it comes with the territory. Believe it or not Mr. Caplan, be it his performances, gigs, of simple his music, has been present in my life for the better part of almost a decade, which is why in the past two weekends, I have shelled out way more than I intended too, woken up far to early and found myself seated in the Foxwoods theatre viewing the theatrical event that is Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.

There have been significant changes to the show. Poor T.V. Carpio's role of Arachni has been chopped down to nothing. There are more/better fight scenes, and the scenery and special effects are really breathtaking. But while the show is 100 times better than what it once was, as a shown not so great. The songs really aren't that memorable and the plot is thin. Also I was a little annoyed at the change to Peter Parker's decision to turn to crime fighting. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but removing the small detail that they did took aways something.
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Still, sitting there in the audiance looking up at the vast stage full of scenery, at someone I had know for many years soaring out across the audiance, I couldn't stop smiling. Sure the show, still, needs plenty of work, and unless it was to see someone/something specific I will not be seeing that show ever again, but I just couldn't help myself. Matt's voice sounded beautiful, and his acting was spot on.

I guess part of me will always be a theatre-geek, part of me will always rush off to see the actors I admire taking the stage, because watching Matt up on that stage, beaming during the curtain calls, there was nowhere else I wanted to be.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to share your Spidey thoughts! We're glad you love Matt as much as we do and are even more glad that you were able to catch him not once, but twice swinging across the Foxwoods Theatre.