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'Spider-Man' lashes out at critics who wrote about preview performances

December 29, 2010 |  9:40 am


Who's Spider-Man's biggest enemy? These days, the Green Goblin is being given a run for his money by New York theater critics high on the scent of blood.

The official spokesman for "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is lashing out at critics who recently attended and wrote about preview performances of the Broadway musical. Over the weekend, reviewers from Bloomberg and Newsday attended previews of "Spider-Man" and published reports of the show in which they offered their opinion, though they stopped short of describing their write-ups as reviews. Their actions (and those of their editors) broke with the widely accepted protocol of waiting until opening night to run a review.

In response to those critics, "Spider-Man" spokesman Rick Miramontez has issued the following statement:

"For a major critic to review a Broadway musical, or play for that matter, after only the twentieth preview, is disappointing and uncalled for..."

"...Whatever reason the critic or their editor may have, it does not mask the fact that for decades, musicals have developed in front of paying audiences before critics are INVITED. While we are certainly not naive about the media scrutiny attached to this production, as we have been accommodating throughout, this unprecedented new development is troubling, to say the least."

The official opening for "Spider-Man" is set for Feb. 7, though the show has already missed a few opening nights already due to technical and creative problems. Preview performances began in late November, with audiences being charged full or close to full prices.

The New York Times' cultural editor said earlier this week that the newspaper will wait to send a critic to review the show but added that it won't wait forever.

Culture Monster readers have been weighing in on this latest controversy here: Poll: Should news outlets be running early reviews of 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark'?

-- David Ng

Photo: A theater worker brings out a sidewalk sign for "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" in New York. Credit: Richard Drew / Associated Press


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Comments () | Archives (7)

TWENTY previews? Criminy! When I worked in theatre, we had 3 previews maximum and we opened. I get it that Spiderman is very technical, but by the time Feb 7 rolls around it'll be forty previews. and nobody's supposed to review it till then? seriously?

Consider these reviews a blessing -its about time someone stood up to the big egos of Taymor and Bono and told them like it is. These Producers have millions to lose and one does not have to be a genious to see how bad both the story (book), dialogue and music/lyrics are. Terrible does not even come close to describing how awful they are. Conceptually the sets and flying sequences are great and the concept of a SpiderMan musical is fine however this needs a complete rewrite in both story and score. I dont see this happening. Just for the record, I saw the preview last Sunday night, spen $150 for two tickets ($300 total)and was really hoping it would be good if not great with some technical issues. Not the case - "Train Wreck" in the making. Sorry guys but it needs to be said.

IMJO - You obviously worked in theatre...but not on Broadway. 40 previews are often standard - and that doesn't include the occasional practice of the out of town tryout to polish the edges.

This show will end up in Vegas (where it should have started) and will run there for years.

The issue should be safety of the actors. I am shocked that the Stage Manager is allowing this dare-devil stuff to continue. Somebody is going to get killed and for what ? That millionaires make more money and just get richer. .. Where is Actor's Equity in all of this ? I am shocked that they have let this show continue. When the flying special failed and the actor fell thirty feet into the pit- where was the net? And the effect is using the cheapest cable as per price and will continue to use this type of cable and the result? They are trying to put Cirque de Soliel on in a Broadway Theatre. The Cirque will have nothing to do with Actor's Equity because they know that safety is not the first concern with that union. Oh well , they are only actors and everyone knows that there is nothing deader than a dead actor.

Um, who cares?

I was excited to see this (still am to a degree) but will not buy a ticket until the show actually opens. I'm not paying $100 a ticket (or more) to see a mess of a show. I hope that the problems get worked out and that no one else gets hurt, and the show opens and it a success.
I do agree that this type of show would have been better suited for Vegas...they probably could have gotten some kind of deal with one of the resorts and had their own theater built just for the show (similar to the Cirque and Phantom theaters).

The website and marketing only recently changed to say that the musical was in previews. It had been saying "Now Playing." The producers just got caught trying to have things both ways.


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