That Wacky 1960s Superman Musical is Getting an Off-Broadway Revival, Man

Illustration for article titled That Wacky 1960s Superman Musical is Getting an Off-Broadway Revival, Man

Soon enough, we'll be seeing a fully updated Superman in The Man of Steel. But if you're feeling nostalgic for the Silver Age version, full of gee-whiz optimism and silly storytelling, then you should head to City Center in New York. While you can.


According to the New York Times, a new production of the 1966 musical It’s a Bird ... It’s a Plane ... It’s Superman is having a short-lived revival, through Sunday. Having watched clips of the 1960s run on Youtube, I can attest that this is one of the silliest pieces of musical theater of all time, and it's incredibly dated in its attempts to be "relevant" in the hippie era. Superman learns to "rap" with the youth, and so on.

Here's a video of the recent rehearsals:

As the Times says of this latest production:

Though in some ways the quintessence of the 1960s sensibility called Pop, “Superman” is also an affable throwback to the old-style song-and-dance show that asked only to entertain you... But these days, when our ever-recycled fictional superheroes come burdened with angst and apocalypses, “Superman” provides the relief of a glass of plain old soda pop after a diet of amped-up energy drinks. I’d certainly rather spend a couple of hours in its amiable company than be trapped in the torturous web that is “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

This isn't the only revival of It's a Bird lately — a few years ago, a Dallas company did a revival featuring the original songs but a whole new book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a playwright and writer of several Marvel Comics titles. Which makes it even more interesting that the New York production opted to go with the original book, rather than the updated, and possibly more self-aware, revised version. Anyway, see it if you can!



I remember my parents taking me to see this at Starlight Theatre (outdoor in a park) in Kansas City back then. It was quite a spectacle for a 10 year old. In fact, seeing Superman "fly" with cables and a blackened crane lifting him above the crowd was so fun! I still smile when I think about it! (And this was before Cathy Rigby soared through the air in the 80's)...