For months, I've been morbidly fascinated by the existence of Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the mega-budgeted Broadway musical that seems destined to get some unlucky performer violently killed. But my schadenfreude at each new setback is tempered by the knowledge that Taymor has pulled off such seeming follies before. The Lion King as a live-action stage musical? With puppets and masks? What crazy ideas, people said.
And somehow she did it, creating a long-running hit that helped solidify Disney's presence on Broadway (well, it's a dubious achievement in some cases, such as Tarzan and The Little Mermaid). It doesn't matter, though, because if you have kids, they will make you take them to see this. That's a rule. The show runs through Jan. 30 (show times vary), and includes UNC grad Tony Freeman as Zazu. —Zack Smith