Reeve Carney
Reeve Carney
Rising star Reeve Carney is making his Broadway debut in the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the highly anticipated musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, now in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre. He is also the frontman for the up-and-coming Los Angeles-based rock band Carney, whose first album, "Mr. Green," was released in May. TheaterMania spoke with Carney about taking on the role of a superhero and his musical influences and career.

THEATERMANIA: You did some acting as a child. Did being on Broadway ever cross your mind while growing up?
REEVE CARNEY: Not at all. I never thought of Broadway. I have seen musicals and I enjoyed them, but I always thought I would be a musician. For some reason, Broadway seemed more unreachable or untouchable to me than being in a band or being cast in a film.

TM: You have an interesting story of how you landed this role, right?
RC: My friend, T.V. Carpio [who now plays Arachne], introduced me to Julie Taymor at The Mercury Lounge. My band was playing that night. She thought I would be good for her movie of The Tempest [in which he plays Ferdinand], and then I auditioned for Spider-Man over the course of three months.

TM: Did you study Tobey Maguire's performances in the film version?
RC: No, but I've seen all of the films. The best thing for me is reading the comic books. I have found that to be the most helpful. I liked watching the movies for the flying scenes and for seeing the posture of Spider-Man.

TM: What did you like about the idea of being a superhero?
RC: Even at my age now, I see a movie and I think I am one of the characters. When I watched superhero movies, I felt I had their powers. Until I was 12 years old, I thought I would be a cartoonist. I was doing sketches as a kid. Then, I discovered the guitar. I played the piano at an early age, not seriously enough to become a strong player. My parents took me for lessons. I also liked that Spider-Man is very human. In the comic books, if he gets sick, he has to stay home. In another issue, he had a sprained ankle.

TM: How is it being part of a show that is garnering so much attention?
RC: I am happy with it, for the most part. It's exciting being part of a show everyone knows about.

Patrick Page and Reeve Carney
in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
(© Jacob Cohl)
Patrick Page and Reeve Carney
in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
(© Jacob Cohl)
TM: How has the cast morale been throughout the whole process?
RC: Considering all of the work we have done and everything that has happened, everyone has a great attitude. Everyone is excited. We have been working on this for almost seven months. It is getting better every day.

TM: What has changed during previews?
RC: We are improving Act II to make it clearer. There was a lot of confusion. Julie likes the aspect of mystery. Some of the arrangements are changing, as well as some of the lyrics, but nothing drastic.

TM: What is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to the role?
RC: I don't want to give anything away, but there are very detailed things and a detailed way you have to go about transforming from Peter Parker into Spider-Man. It's something I am trying to refine every night. You want to take the audience on a ride with you. The audience cannot have any doubts that Peter Parker and Spider-Man are the same person. Going from being a science nerd to a superhero is a drastic transformation.

TM: Are you doing any of the stunts yourself?
RC: Yes, there are three or four major stunts that I do. Thankfully, we have about ten Spider-Man characters.

TM: You're only doing six shows a week. Why?
RC. This is the most physically demanding principal role on Broadway. It is almost impossible to do two shows in one day. So, this was always part of the plan. Matthew James Thomas, who is my alternate, is awesome.

TM: On another note, your band, Carney, is playing part of the orchestra for Spider-Man. How cool is that?
RC: Yes, they are all in the orchestra pit and they are all excited. I am happy my brother is there as well.

TM: Which bands influenced you while growing up?
RC: The Beatles and Queen were a big influence. Aerosmith is my favorite band. I grew up in the 90s, so I also like Nirvana and Oasis.

TM: While you are doing six shows per week on Broadway, will you be able find time to book gigs with your band?
RC: Yes, we will start on Valentine's Day at The Mercury Lounge, and we are trying to decide our plan after that. Once the show opens, we will have more time and it will be easier to sit down and start booking gigs.