Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bad Day for Spider-Man

Looking gloomy, Spidey?
Theatre  critics filed their reviews of Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” for publication on Tuesday, even though that musical had not yet opened.
The reviews by the 12 critics including those from major dailies and tabloids were largely negative, in some cases emphatically so. Taken together, the notices yielded a consensus that the musical is hamstrung, in the words of the Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones, by “an incoherent story” that is hurt more than helped by music, flying sequences and sets that neither live up to the creators’ estimable pedigrees nor to the show’s $65 million price tag.

Spider Man will save the day!

One review was particularly negative, saying the musical may “rank among the worst” in Broadway history. But another did mention the show was “unpredictably entertaining” and said that “even in the depths of ‘Spider-Man’s’ certifiably insane second act, I was riveted.”Some praises, however were given based on the creativity of the technical crew.

Asked if the early reviews set a precedent, several Broadway producers and theater owners said that the show was an exception, given its long preview period and high cost. (Most musicals have three or four weeks of previews and cost an average of $10 million or so.) A spokesman for Jujamcyn Theaters, said he was more interested in the extent to which amateur critics were changing the editors’ and professional critics’ decisions. He said he was watching “how the forces that they felt necessitated these pre-opening reviews — that so many people had already cast judgment on blogs and social networks and other coverage — will ultimately affect the dynamics of criticism in American culture.”

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