Will “Spider-Man” Be Better in an Arena?

This story says there’s a good chance that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will go on an arena tour at some point in the future. We already know that the Broadway run is closing and that plans are in the works, and have been for some time, to develop a sit-down performance in Las Vegas. But news about an arena tour is new.

I have two concerns about this, but I don’t really know anything about what’s planned for the arenas, so who knows? My first concern is the scale of an arena versus a Broadway theater or theater like the one where the show will be performed in Las Vegas. One of the truly great things about Spider-Man on Broadway is that some very dramatic and exciting action and stagecraft is happening very close to you. The same would be true in a Las Vegas performance, even if the stage was somewhat bigger. But if you go from a 1,000 to 3,000-seat venue to an 18,000 to 22,000-seat venue, the apparent scale of the action shrinks by 10 times. Either that or the production itself grows a lot.

The second concern I have is that in order to make the production portable enough to tour arenas most of what I found to be so compelling about the original Spider-Man production would be lost. Some of the great stuff there would be very difficult to move. That’s why it always made so much sense to me to go to Vegas, where a permanent home could be established and an evergreen source of appreciative audiences would exist.

Still, as I said, a lot of these plans could still be up in the air, so we’ll see how it evolves.

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