Having now seen Spider-man... I don't think it is as bad as people made out. The score isn't imaginative, but the sound is great, and it is the instrumental parts that stick in your mind. It had more of an opera feel than a typical musical. I loved the "style" of the piece, being a fan of the comic books. The ariel stunts were obviously great, though it did appear that the budget had run out in places, unsurprising given the overruns. The book could do with tightening, but on the whole it's alright. A C+.
I think the arena tour is the best option. The show didn't have an out of town try out because it was build into the Foxwoods theatre, so an arena tour would allow it to be set up easier, and find it's audience, whilst increasing the spectacle of the flying bits.
Saw Willemijn Verkaik on Broadway last night. Definitely the best Elphaba I have ever seen. Stephen Schwartz was in the audience and seemed to approve. Would love her to come to London, but don't see it happening.
My apologies lesterf, Ticketmaster have now put up £65 tickets (+ almost 8 quids worth of fees). I wonder how much of the place will be at the £65 range though... And a seat in the upper tier at the 02 isn't worth that anyway, she'll be teeny tiny, more like Barbra Streis-ant.
Don't know how interested you boardies will be with this, but there is a charity gala concert of modern musical theatre in aid of Children in Crisis in South London on Sunday. A great line up of names and up and comers including Sam Lupton (Wicked, Avenue Q), Chloe Heart (Wicked, Hairspray, Les Mis), Luke Striffler (Hairspare, Avenue Q), Katharine Moraz (Avenue Q), Kara Lily Hayworth (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and more, including current members of Les Mis and Book of Mormon. Looks to be a good night, and a good cause to boot.
Lord of the Rings is an interesting one. A lot of the technical people behind it view it as a "concord moment", the pinacle of technical theatre that hasn't been supersede since. Going round Autograph sound they have more pictures of that show than any other.