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Superheroes Hit the Stage

The world is thrilled by all the superheroes flying around these days! If they’re not talking about The Avengers movie, setting all sorts of national and international records, they’re talking about The Dark Knight Rises, the last installment of the ingenious, crime drama take on the Batman mythos. And while Joss Whedon (of Buffy fame, who also directed The Avengers) and Christopher Nolan are the two biggest names in comic book movies right now, the two biggest superhero names in comics are Spider-Man and Batman.

And they are both on the stage! Spider-Man has been reimagined as a rock musical with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. The musical is precisely what you’d think–a production based on the comic book mythology as well as the popular trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. The production is downright notorious in fact, since there have been so many problems with it, mostly because of the many visual effects the show calls for. Yes, Spider-Man actually swings around the stage in some very intense combat scenes. There are no camera tricks when it’s live!

Batman is also getting into the Broadway scene with Batman: Live, a special effects laden circus of a comic book show, of interest to children and adults. The show started touring in the UK, and is making its rounds in America for the summer of 2012. Unlike the dark and cerebral movies, this production focuses on the fun elements of Batman, and so delves more into the subplot of Batman’s relationship with Robin. Along the way, viewers also see evil Arkham villains like the Joker, the Riddler, Penguin and Harley Quinn.

Think superheroes are too gay for Broadway? (Or is it the other way around?) Actually, superheroes in general are much more gay-friendly than you might anticipate. While Marvel Comics is busy celebrating the gay marriage of Northstar, the first openly gay X-men and superhero in American comic books, DC has been busy announcing a “coming out” issue, which will detail one major superhero character being reimagined as a gay or lesbian character. Speculation has centered on Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern and Superman as the most likely to be outed.

Regardless, superheroes are certainly dominating entertainment headlines these days, from print to movies to music and stage productions!

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