Julie Taymor's Spider-Man Musical Gets Tangled in Web of Bad Reviews
And you thought only movies could have disastrous screenings! Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark previewed on Broadway last night and the $65 million production went off with so many hitches that the production lasted for almost three-and-a-half hours, contained five stoppages and one almost-revolt. If only Broadway had review embargoes, amirite?
Let's start with the good, if only because it's Monday. According to many, Turn Off the Dark is an ambitious musical, one that will likely get better once the kinks are worked out. But, oh, what kinks! Via the New York Post pan:
As the character, played by actress Natalie Mendoza, finished her big number "Rise Above" while suspended over the crowd, an apparent wire malfunction left her stopped in midair -- where she remained for an embarrassing seven or eight minutes as stagehands worked feverishly to figure out the problem.
The stage manager finally said over the loudspeaker, "Give it up for Natalie Mendoza, who's hanging in the air!"
Nothing like gallows humor to placate a crowd that spent untold hard-earned dollars to watch what amounted to a dress rehearsal. In fact, one irate attendee took to old fashioned heckling during the second act to get that very point across. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like a guinea pig tonight!" a woman shouted from the orchestra. "I feel this was a dress rehearsal!"
That she was summarily booed bodes well for the future of Turn Off the Dark, though perhaps some story tweaks need to happen, too, before it officially premieres next year. "It's basically incoherent, a pageant of Taymor imagery," wrote attendee Ira Deutchman on Twitter. "Set pieces are spectacular, and the flying looks genuinely dangerous, but the music isn't good enough to hold it together." See you when Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark officially opens in six weeks?