To be sure, this play is not deep drama and the characters are mostly two-dimensional. The Man of Steel is the Super Boy Scout we knew and loved in the 60s; Lois Lane is the plucky yet love-smitten gal reporter. The bad guys are, well, bad guys. (One lyric has them singing, "We're gonna bring back villainy!") Of course Superman triumphs in the end and the audience leaves in a happy mood.
The staging is excellent; the orchestra, which is superb, actually gets more of the stage than the actors. The action goes quite well with a bit of background and minimal props. And there is a bit of fun for longtime comics fans: The "statue" that is erected at the Metropolis Institute of Technology is a piece of art -- from the cover of Superman #16.
Unlike "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," which has characters swooping around the theater on wires, Superman's flying is done by a cardboard rendition of the character rolling across the stage. In fact, the acrobatics by the members of the Flying Lings are perhaps more impressive than anything in "Spider-Man" because they do it all without any wires.
One disappointing note: The art used on the ads -- as well as t-shirts, mugs and fridge magnets -- has a distinctive Kurt Schaffenberger-esque look to it, but there is no art credit given anywhere. (In fact, the copyright is a rather puzzling "1938 Nat. Pub.") And that means there are probably no royalties being sent.
In his rave review in The New York Times, Ben Brantley calls it "an affable throwback to the old-style song-and-dance show that asked only to entertain you." Indeed, it was two very entertaining hours and well worth seeing if you can get there.