Spider-Man Musical: 'Sheer Ineptitude'

Problem-plagued musical not worth your time, money: critics
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2011 8:33 AM CST
'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' Reviews: Musical Is 'Sheer Ineptitude' From Start to Finish
In this theater publicity image released by The O and M Co., Reeve Carney, center, portrays Peter Parker in a scene from the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," in New York.   (AP Photo/The O and M Co., Jacob Cohl)

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark hasn’t officially opened yet, but people are already shelling out up to $275 a ticket to see it—and considering its opening has already been pushed back five times, many news organizations “skirted Broadway protocol” and reviewed the show today, since its last official opening date was last night (before it was postponed). The verdict: not good.

  • The only way to make the money they spend worth it for theatergoers is to let them in on “the national joke that this problem-plagued show has become,” writes Ben Brantley in the New York Times. “Stock the Foxwoods gift shops with souvenir crash helmets and T-shirts that say 'I saw Spider-Man and lived.' Otherwise, a more appropriate slogan would be 'I saw Spider-Man and slept.'" Everything, from the music to the sets and the plot, is “sheer ineptitude.”

  • “If you're going to spend $65 million and not end up with the best musical of all time, I suppose there's a perverse distinction in being one of the worst,” declares Peter Marks in the Washington Post. An incoherent plot, intolerable music, and unworkable sets add up to “170 spirit-snuffing minutes.” The show “is a shrill, insipid mess, a musical aimed squarely at a Cub Scout demographic,” and even the music by U2’s Bono and The Edge “is an ineffectual bystander,” “loud and pulsing and devoid of personality.”
  • Sure, there are “breathtakingly beautiful” scenes, including the much-touted aerial stunts, acknowledges Elisabeth Vincentelli in the New York Post. But those scenes are followed by “laughable” ones … also including the aerial stunts: “The flying sequences can be thrilling … other times, they look barely good enough for Six Flags.”
  • “The show reportedly cost $65 million and that's clearly gone into mechanics, hydraulics and aerial rigging. It seems only 10 cents has gone into the confusing story and humorless dialogue,” writes Joe Dziemianowicz in the New York Daily News. “What I saw is a big production going in too many directions and in need of a lot of work to make it entertaining, satisfying and understandable.”
Click for more on the problem-plagued musical.
(More Spiderman stories.)

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