Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spider-Man Musical is (Thus Far) a Trainwreck

In news that shouldn't be surprising to any reasonably sane person, the first preview for Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was an abysmal mess.  Granted, they have plenty of time to turn it around.  Sunday night's performance was something of a test screening for the main event, which isn't set to open until January 11, 2011.  They have a whole six weeks to corral their technical difficulties, which are rumored to be massive.  The New York Times review claims the show has obvious potential.  With Julie Taymor (whose previous work includes The Lion King musical, Titus, and Across the Universe) at the helm, the show is predictable stunning.  However, numerous sources have reported that Sunday's show was halted no less than five times, with Act I cut short after the actor playing Spider-Man got stuck mid flight suspended above the audience.  Embarrassing.  You've got to wonder how much this thing costs to insure, right?  Anyhow, before you start buying up tickets for the Broadway show of the season, you might want to check out some of what's being written.  It ranges from tepid uncertainty to out and out disappointment...

From the New York Times:
"The show stopped five times, mostly to fix technical problems, and Act I ended prematurely, with Spider-Man stuck dangling 10 feet above audience members, while Act II was marred by a nasty catcall during one of the midperformance pauses. … Most of the night’s major flying sequences — which make up a relative fraction of the show — went off without a hitch, with children and some adults squealing in delight. And there were no signs of injuries, which had been a point of concern after two performers were hurt during an aerial sequence this fall. … After the show, several audience members said in interviews that they would hold off on recommending the show to friends until improvements were made. But Marc Tumminelli, 30, who runs a Manhattan acting school for children, said he was concerned that the musical’s problems were too fundamental to be corrected quickly. “The story-telling is really unclear and I found it hard to understand exactly what was going on and why certain things were happening,” Mr. Tumminelli said. More delighted was the 6-year-old boy sitting a row ahead. “Parts of it were really exciting,” said the boy, Jack Soldano, whose parents brought him. “I’ve never seen people flying before.”"
Read the other criticisms collected on /Film.

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