'Spider-Man' previews on Broadway with a few bumps
November 29th, 2010
04:35 PM ET

'Spider-Man' previews on Broadway with a few bumps

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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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mark NYC

    please read "previews" instead of "reviews. Freudian slip.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark NYC

    These are reviews and I don't think it should be judged as having been opened. Glitches happen in reviews. i've seen many shows during previews that have had glitches and stops and all kinds of snafus. That's what we come to expect. And unless you live on Mars, you know that this particular show is working out the immense glitches in public.
    This is an incredibly original vision that is unprecedented anywhere. Let's give it the full scope of opportunity to realize their dream – and then praise or criticize it based on the full execution of their vision.
    It might just be on one of the most moving, inspired theater experiences you'd ever seen.

    November 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Retrofresh

    Well, Kenny Ackerman, I think it's preposterous that theatergoers are PAYING to see this glitchy DRESS REHEARSAL. IMO, anything that's for sale ought to be reviewed in a public forum so consumers can make an informed purchase.

    November 30, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. cheefsfury


    November 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny Ackerman

    I think it's preposterous that a REVIEW of a PREVIEW performance is nowadays being shared with the public.
    In our hyper-information hungry world, we have forgotten how to suspend disbelief and cherish anticipation... and considering the show is supposed to appeal to kids and adults alike, it's sad that we can't preserve some mystery, suspense and hope towards opening night anymore when a show is professionally ready to premiere.
    Slap on hand for media-persons who are sharing their thoughts.
    And slap across face for those who invited them to a PREVIEW to begin with.

    November 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • B=Dog

      It doesn't say so in the article....but this preview was 50% by invite only including TONS of press.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • kirk

      Well said! This was a frigging Preview! The show doesn't open for another month and a half. To call it a flop due to staging mishaps that can be cleared up by then is ridiculous.

      November 30, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |

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