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February 11, 2011  | by: Jaclyn Hendricks

The promo poster for Spidey's Broadway debut

What do Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Jersey Boys have in common, apart from multiple Tony wins and financial success?  They were well-received by audiences AND critics alike. With Julie Taymor’s mess of a musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark…not so much.  After delay, upon delay, upon delay, the Broadway tale of one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes is finally set to come to life, but the initial reviews from critics have been anything but stellar.

Called “a shrill, insipid mess,” by the Washington Post, and “an inconsistent maddening show that’s equal parts exciting and atrocious,” by the New York Post, the highly publicized show is the “most plagued” show in Broadway history.  Not only did it have to deal with an onslaught of cast injuries, dropouts from a major scene stealer, and of course the never-ending pile of poor reviews from the nation’s top critics, it now seems that most of the drama for this $65 million spectacle isn’t even in the script.

“The PILE-ON by the critics was ridiculous and uncalled for,” said Rick Miramontez, the show’s spokesman to Entertainment Weekly. “Their actions are unprecedented and UNCOOL.”

Despite the “UNCOOL” actions from the media professionals, their opinions aren’t going to turn things around for Spidey’s troubled musical, which looks like it still as a fair number of kinks to work out before the real opening night.  The critics weren’t shy about expressing their feelings about the sorry state of the show in their scathing write-ups:

“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,” comments Joe Dziemianowicz of the Daily News.  But what exactly does this show need?

Can Spider-Man's New Man, Reeve Carney, Save the Day?

From an outsider looking in (and a self-professed theater geek), the show needs to weave itself out of a web of a mess. With a stable cast, including newcomer Reeve Carney and stage alum Patrick Page, extra safety measures, and a crew working round the clock until the show’s actual premiere on March 15, chances are that the show itself could either face the same fate as Julius Caesar on the Ides of March or legitimately make Broadway history…Hopefully for something positive this time around.

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