Carney readies himself for Spider-Man 

Reeve Carney — who brings his outfit Carney to The City next week — has explored almost every artistic avenue in show business. And all before he turned 15.

This son of a jingle-writing father had, by age 10, trilled choir-based backup for stars such as Michael Jackson and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Then he became a world-published print model. “I did everything,” says the sharp-cheekboned chap. “I was in Italian Vogue, and then I sometimes did silly stuff like wearing a Sonic the Hedgehog costume. Then I finally got an acting job when I was 14.”

Carney viewed that role — playing young Ishmael Chambers in the 1999 drama “Snow Falling on Cedars” — as a lucky one-off.

He already decided music was his calling, and was busy learning blues guitar in local L.A. clubs from benefactors such as Coco Montoya, then Jonny Lang.

“I ended up playing in Jonny’s band, which is so crazy,” he says. “Because that was a dream of mine that I never thought would come true. But it seems to have been that way for a lot of things in my life. I’ve been very fortunate.”

It’s quite the understatement. With his guitarist brother Zane, the bandleader is officially launching Carney with a Gothic folk-rock debut, “Mr. Green Volume 1,” and its spooky flagship single “Love Me Chase Me.”

Soon fans will have to travel to New York to catch them. In the fall, Reeve will star as Peter Parker in Broadway’s “Spider-Man — Turn Off the Dark,” with his bandmates backing him from the orchestra pit.

Carney couldn’t help it: You don’t say no to Julie Taymor. After catching him in concert, the film and theater director approached the frontman backstage. She was filming her surreal take on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and she thought he’d make a perfect Prince Ferdinand.

“I said to her ‘Well, you know I’m not an actor, right?’” he recalls. “And she goes ‘I think you are.’ So I auditioned and got the part, which was a great surprise.”

Taymor also was directing “Spider-Man,” and she wanted a favor: Would Carney demo some of the show’s songs — penned by U2’s Bono and the Edge — for its prospective investors?

His impromptu performance was so impressive, he instantly won the lead. Currently, the acting-coached newbie has been familiarizing himself with the production’s daunting high-wire contraptions.

Carney already knows who he’ll be this Halloween: a singing webslinger.

“I haven’t seen my costume yet,” he says. “But if they let me occasionally wear it out, I’ll definitely do it. It’ll be awesome!”


Where: The Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., San Francisco
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Tickets: $8 to $10
Contact: (415) 546-6300,

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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