Looks like Spider-Man might be adding New Yorker mascot Eustace Tilley to his list of arch-enemies: The magazine’s Jan. 17 cover features a cartoon skewering the seemingly jinxed Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The drawing imagines a hospital wing populated by convalescing Spideys — presumably inspired by the mishaps that have injured multiple Spider-Man castmembers over the past few months, most notably Christopher Tierney, the dancer who fractured his skull and several vertebrae in a terrifying on-stage fall that became a highly watched YouTube video. Of course, the cartoon — drawn by Barry Blitt, the artist behind the infamous Obama fist-bump New Yorker cover, which was parodied by EW in 2008 — is as much a compliment as a taunt. While it mocks Spider-Man‘s misfortune, it also proves that the musical has become part of the nation’s cultural conversation, a rare feat for a Broadway show. The New Yorker issue also contains an article by Michael Schulman addressing the potential link between the show’s misfortunes and its box office success. “[Are] people paying to see calamity?” he writes, quoting several theatergoers who were eager to see a goof.
Directed by Julie Taymor with music by U2’s Bono and the Edge, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is currently in previews on Broadway in anticipation of a Feb. 7 opening night.
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in