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

December 29, 2010 |  9:40 am

Spiderman

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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