“I like monogrammed shirts as much as next guy, ” says a jealous, rival reporter at the Daily Planet. “But that? You don’t see J. Edgar Hoover flying down out of the sky.” This Superman indeed has the big red and yellow “S, ” the red boots, padded blue tights, the red cape and even flies around a bit (on wires suspended from metal clips on the sides of his yellow belt that leaves his red briefs in a bunched-upped wedgie with bulges left in all the wrong places when he lands). But that’s the least of his problems. This is a Superman that sings his innermost feelings for us, which ironically, is one all-too-human talent that the guy with superpowers cannot seem to pull off. How did this happen? The year was 1966, and with the campy pop-art Adam West “Batman” the biggest thing on television, somehow it seemed a good idea (too many bad mushrooms?) and even landed some good reviews before audience indifference killed it off. The score, such as it is, penned by the team that had brought us—yikes—“Bye, Bye Birdie,” attempts to lampoon 1960s kitsch through the filter of 1940s musical comedy, but has little understanding of either one. Indeed, the costumes, choreography and chorus numbers come right out of the go-go party scenes from “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” (Dennis Polkow)
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