A representative for the troubled SPIDER-MAN Broadway musical has lashed out at theatre critics who have reviewed the show weeks ahead of its official opening and written scathing reports.
Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has suffered a number of setbacks since preview performances began in November (10) - a series of onset accidents and further safety inspections forced producers to push back the official launch date until 7 February (11).
And the critics aren't helping the show, which is playing to sell-out houses, despite the problems.
While it's common practice on Broadway is to invite reviewers to one of several “critic’s previews” right before opening and embargo the write-ups until after opening night, heightened interest in the $65 million (GBP43.3 million) production has prompted some critics to file intermin reports.
And show bosses are seething after Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News and Linda Winer of Newsday published their takes on the show earlier this week (begs27Dec10), more than five weeks before the creative team deems the show suitable for an official opening.
Bloomberg's Gerard, while praising the sets, lighting and choreography, came down hard on producers, calling the show “an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department."
Meanwhile, Winer dubbed the show's flying effects “exciting and scary, in a circus way,” adding that director Taymor was “said to be making much-needed changes to the meandering book, especially in the weak second act.”
And show spokesperson Rick Miramontez has been left doing damage control.
He tells the Hollywood Reporter, "For a major critic to review a Broadway musical, or play for that matter, after only the twentieth preview, is disappointing and uncalled for.
“Whatever reason the critic or their editor may have, it does not mask the fact that for decades, musicals have developed in front of paying audiences before critics are INVITED. While we are certainly not naive about the media scrutiny attached to this production, as we have been accommodating throughout, this unprecedented new development is troubling, to say the least."