With its record-breaking $65 million budget, numerous production delays, and A-list collaborators (U2's Bono and the Edge wrote the score), Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been an object of fascination for months. Although sneak previews finally began on Sunday evening, the first performance was marred by technical difficulties that repeatedly brought the show to an embarrassing halt. Is it too soon to write Spider-Man off? (Watch a CBS report about the Spider-Man musical)
No. It's a disaster: The show's debut was an "epic flop" that "dragged on for nearly 3½ hours," says Michael Riedel at The New York Post. The production's "high-tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script."
"First Spider-Man preview filled with problems"
There are plenty of positives here: "There's still much to be done," says Baz Bamigboye at The Daily Mail, but the show is "visually stunning." And Natalie Mendoza delivers a "stand-out" performance as the new character Arachne — the spider who gives Peter Parker his superpowers.
"Broadway's Spider-Man musical show is visually stunning"
The effects wowed — when they worked: It took a bit of time for the show to justify its enormous cost, says Patrick Healy at The New York Times. But eventually, the multiple flying sequences, which mostly "went off without a hitch," left "children and some adults squealing in delight." And despite one notable catcall, "the audience was warmly charitable for the most part."
"Spider-Man musical's inaugural flight is a little rocky"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
Subscribe to the Week