‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Opens To Mixed Reviews By Critics

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The much-anticipated and revamped version of “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” officially opened on Broadway Tuesday night to some interesting reviews from critics.

It’s been dubbed the most expensive and perhaps most controversial show in Broadway history. It’s been marred with injuries to several cast members, multiple production delays and the firing of the show’s director, Julie Taymor.

Spider-Man” has also broken the record for the longest preview period in Broadway history after a complete rewrite of the show.

So what did the critics think of the new and improved show?

The New York Times calls it “a bore” saying the revised version only slightly resembled what it was before and not necessarily in a good way.

116173062 Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark Opens To Mixed Reviews By Critics

Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano on stage at 'Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark' Broadway opening night at Foxwoods Theatre on June 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Columnist Ben Brantley says “Unfortunately, traditional niceties like a comprehensible plot and characters got lost in the stew” of the show’s rewrite, adding “‘Spider-Man’ now bears only a scant resemblance to the muddled fever dream that was. It is instead not unlike one of those perky, tongue-in-cheek genre-spoof musicals.”

The New York Post says “Spider-Man” tries to be, “fun and accessible” and while any old issues with stunts have seemed to be worked out, the story-line has become simply, “conventional family entertainment.”

The Wall Street Journal says “If beauty were really only skin deep, then ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ would be the perfect musical.”

The Journal’s drama critic, Mr. Teachout, says that even with every cent of the shows $70 million budget clearly visible, you’ll still get better special effects at any movie theater.

He also says you might recognize the new story-line, which he says now closely resembles the 2002 “Spider-Man” film.

“Poetry, not special effects, is the engine that drives lyric theater, and ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ is as unpoetic as you can get,” he says.

But the New York Daily News seems to think better of the new “Spidey” show.

Joe Dziemianowicz says “Spidey 2.0 is more cohesive, streamlined and funnier than before, and its thrills are still intact – though it is still weighed down by so-so songs” adding that the aerial stunts and acrobatics are “dazzling.”

So what do these mixed reviews mean for “Spider-Man’s” future? It’s hard to say, but the success or failure of the new Spidey will be up to its hardcore fans and theatergoers.

Have you seen the new “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” or will these reviews keep you from seeing it? Tell us what you think in our comments section…

  • Super Laundry Bag

    So I travelled 2400 miles twice to see “Spider-man Turn Off The Dark” 4 times because it was lame? Sorry, this is where I draw the line. I dare anyone who has any additional negative comment about “Spider-man” to get hooked onto the flying harness, and see how many hours of practice it takes to make yourself not look like a total fool. New York is the pinnacle of The Arts in America today, not what the critics think. Professionally, Super Laundry Bag (Super Hero For The Arts).

  • nyc

    This show belongs in Las Vegas, not broadway !

  • Randy Innes

    Judgment Day for “Spiderman: Turn it off”

    Welcome to Jesus’ Judgment Day Corner. Today topic will be Bono’s and the Edge’s (change your names boys) play off Broadway called “Spiderman: Turn it off, turn it on again!” (Surely copied from one of Genesis’s songs).

    First of all, the wardrobe; Get rid of the wires! They are too visible! Have the actors float for the fights in the air! Change Spiderman’s costume between acts; get the best comic book designers on it!

    What a fine actor this newcomer to Broadway is! Grover is his name and his rendition of Spiderman was excellent especially during the love scenes. Next stop Hollywood!

    Where were Bono and the Edges songs like “Elongation” or “Where the streets have my name”?
    A special mention to the look alike celebrities at the premiere where a nice touch, except Steve Martin. Who would believe that Steve would not laugh out loud at all the not so hidden jokes in the play… Get real!

    Anyways, in conclusion, been there done that.

  • Craig

    Many other critics you have NOT mentioned gave the show a good review. Accross the board it opened to mix reviews

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