Thursday, August 20, 2009

U2: Spiderman, Spiderman, does... what-evah

Bono and The Edge has been talking about the Spiderman musical like it isn't a financial nightmare.

Sorry, did I say musical? Oh, hush my mouth:

The guitarist was keen not to describe the production, directed by Julie Taymor, as a musical, but rather an "opera".

And what makes the musical not a musical but an opera?

Now, you or I might answer this question "generally, an opera will be sung throughout, while a musical has dialogue; and in a musical the characters will dance." But The Edge seems to use a separate distinction, which is "if I am involved, the show will be whatever is cooler":
"It is a new challenge. The thing is we don't really like musicals. Most musicals are really pants. They're really not very cool," said The Edge.

This is, of course, arrant wasp toss, to borrow David Quantick's phrase. Musicals are pants and not really cool? A man who is churning out eye-podge like the Zooropa tour and the current U2 "Oooh, look, we've got a big mechanical crab" effort is suggesting that the work of Oscar Hammerstein is "pants"? Seriously?
"It is much more like opera than a straight musical. We're actually not calling it a musical for that reason because we don't want to put people off."

Oh, yes - protect that all-important audience of Spiderman fans who are more likely to go to an opera than a musical.
"We just thought, 'Well if we're going to do this we should do something that knocks it out of the park and hits on every level with great tunes'."

Ah, yes. That's exactly making it sound like an opera and not a musical.

So, with The Edge tossing wasps left, right and centre, you'd have thought Bono would be able to take the day off. But, oh no - if there's a self-aggrandising bar being raised, Bono is going to be keen to be having a go at that target:
Bono explained the characters won't be the same which appeared in comic or the film adaptations of the original Marvel comic series.

"Our Peter Parker is much more…not Kurt Cobain, but a kind of slacker, a more kind of shy sort of guy," said Bono.

Now, I read The Amazing Spider-Man, in three panel chunks, when he replaced Modesty Blaize in the Evening Argus, and the one thing about Peter Parker in that was that - yes, he was nothing like Kurt Cobain, but he was quite shy and something of an under-achiever. I await Bono reinventing Batman as some sort of millionaire with a fetish for teenage kids, or Superman as - hey, how crazy - a bloke from another planet who's allergic to Gordon Burns' Krypton Factor.

But just when Bono has done one big reveal which turns out to be dud, he turns out to have another sleeve with nothing up it:
Bono said: "We've got a new villain, it's a girl. It's a very extraordinary role. We've taken it to a much more dizzy place than you'd expect."

Oh, you've got a female villain? What an extra-ordinary twist you have come up with, Mr. Bono. A bad female? Whoever else would have had the sheer gall to suggest a lowly female could be the bad guy? You certainly have shaken all my preconceptions, like a man shaking an Etch-A-Sketch so hard it will never show another drawing.