I've got nothing against "Brooklynite," an insubstantial but cute and often enjoyable comic book-style musical about a team of Brooklyn-based superheroes, but why on earth is it being produced at Off-Broadway's prestigious Vineyard Theatre instead of a children's theater like the New Victory?
The Vineyard, like New York's other major not-for-profit theater companies, has had its share of hits and misses, but you can typically count on it to produce artistically risky fare -- and not a low-budget "Spider-Man."
"Brooklynite" sports a light rock score by the unknown Peter Lerman, direction by Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening") and choreography by the ever-popular Steven Hoggett ("The Curious Incident").
It depicts an alternate reality where Brooklyn has been hit by a radioactive blast, leaving a few everyday citizens with special powers, who unite to form an X-Men-like troupe to protect the borough.
The main plot concerns a Peter Parker-esque hardware clerk (Matt Doyle) who longs to be a superhero himself, a beloved female superhero (Nicolette Robinson) who is ready to lead a normal life and an untalented and unbearable guy (Nick Cordero), with a special ability to spot good parking spaces, who turns villain.
"Brooklynite" offers some harmless, fast-paced fun, resembling the 1960s "Batman" television series peppered with Brooklyn references. Kids ought to like it even more than adults.
The cast is appealing, and the songs are tuneful, though the momentum dies down in Act Two as the plot machinations take over.
It's a shame that the creative forces behind "Brooklynite" weren't in charge of the ill-fated Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Their zest, combined with a bigger budget, might have yielded a crowd-pleasing result.
If you go: "Brooklynite" plays at the Vineyard Theatre through March 22. 108 E. 15th St., vineyardtheatre.org.