The House of Yes, a performance company and venue in East Williamsburg, produces a number of artful and exciting aerial, burlesque, and variety shows within its walls. Each performance just as titillating as the last. This month, the House of Yes went all out with the production of $piderman! Turn on the Lights! And though the show was inspired by the already notorious new broadway production based on the superhero, $piderman was billed as anything but a “spoof.”
The House of Yes describes itself on its website as “more than just a venue.” Given the various events and productions the company hosts/produces/runs, this is no understatement. The House of Yes is home to Skybox, the aerial training facility; Make Fun, which produces costumes, props and other art; and many other creative organizations which can utilize the rigging, lighting, sound devices, and everything else the space has to offer. And with 30 feet of aerial rigging capacity, the House of Yes stage certainly offers a unique service to performing artists and technicians alike.
The House of Yes show $piderman! Turn on the Lights!, as one might have guessed, is a play on the broadway production Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Spiderman, despite being one of the most iconic superheroes in the Marvel and every other comic book universe (if I do say so myself), has caused producers to bang their heads into walls for decades. There is little more visually stunning than watching a man launch himself through the air, swinging and twisting on adhesive string shot right from his hands. Unfortunately, this is one time when the director’s vision and the rigger’s logic tend to violently bump heads.
Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark has been postponed, reworked, and riddled with technical issues due to the complex aerial work required, as well as the enormous physical demands placed on the performers. Even the Hollywood production of Spiderman was physically trying on the actors. And despite this daunting challenge inherent in creating a live Spiderman adaptation, the House of Yes decided to throw its proverbial hat in the ring as well.
And in a matter of weeks, $piderman! Turn on the Lights! was up and running. The performance featured a plethora of classic Spiderman characters including the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Morbius, Black Cat, and others. The show also featured grounded as well as aerial fight (and flight) scenes, choreographed dances, musical numbers, and even an upside-down kiss (much like the one seen in Spiderman the film).
The design and effects of the show were truly inventive, giving life to the classic superhero tale of Peter Parker. The House of Yes also added their own special flair to the show, giving it a more sexy, and even raunchy feel. All in all, the company seemed to do exactly what I would expect them to do with a geeky, superhero story: have a lot of fun.
If you missed $piderman! Turn on the Lights! at the House of Yes, you are encouraged to visit the House of Yes website, familiarize yourself with the event calendar, and sign up to their email list. That way, you’ll be kept abreast of all the new shows running in the space.
House of Yes
342 Maujer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
*Note: This article is part of Eric Eliacin’s “Circus Arts in New York” series.
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