November 29th, 2010
04:35 PM ET
The $65 million Spider-Man musical previewed on Broadway Sunday and, judging by most of the reviews, the show was tangled up in more than a few problems.
The New York Post's Michael Riedel calls "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" an "epic flop" thanks to its confusing storyline, on-stage special effects gone awry, and numerous delays that resulted in a 3 ½ -hour running time.
"At various points, overhead stage wires dropped on the audience, scenery appeared on stage missing pieces - and the show's star was even left swaying helplessly midair during what was supposed to be the climatic end to the first act," wrote Riedel.
Indeed, according to the New York Times's Patrick Healy, Spider-Man, played by Reeve Carney, was supposed to lift off toward the balcony area of the 1,800-seat Foxwoods Theater but his cables suddenly got stuck. "Crew members, standing on the stage, spent 45 seconds trying to grab Spider-Man by the foot, as the audience laughed and oohed," noted Healy.
Earlier in the act, actress Natalie Mendoza, who plays villain Arachne, was also left hanging for six minutes. Later in the show, Patrick Page, as the evil Green Goblin, played an extended piano number while the crew fixed faulty equipment.
"I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I feel like a guinea pig today - I feel like it’s a dress rehearsal," shouted one woman during a pause in the production.
Despite the evening's many snafus, Gina Salamone of the New York Daily News called "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" a "rollicking, high-flying performance" and says many in the preview audience believe the show will be a "surefire smash hit" when it opens on January 11.
"It was really good," said one theatergoer. "I was pleasantly surprised."
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