“Spider-Man: Illuminate The Darkness Or Whatever” doesn’t officially open until March 15th (or at least that’s what they said the fifth time they delayed the opening), but most of the major critics published their reviews yesterday (which was supposed to be the debut prior to the most recent delay). They decided the 66 “preview performances” were more than enough preparation, so it’s time to review this $65 million production already. The reviews were not kind. Patrick Healy at ArtsBeat did a good job summing up several of these reviews in one place using excerpts, our favorites of which we’ll post below:
- “It’s by turns hyperstimulated, vivid, lurid, overeducated, underbaked, terrifying, confusing, distracted, ridiculously slick, shockingly clumsy, unmistakably monomaniacal and clinically bipolar. But never, ever boring.” [NYMag]
- “After all this expenditure of talent and money, ‘Spider-Man’ is probably unfixable because too much has gone into making humans fly, which is not what they are good at. It imitates poorly what the ‘Spider-Man’ movies do brilliantly with computer graphics — and without putting live actors in jeopardy.” [Bloomberg]
- “The much-told woes of ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ boil down to a problem that has similarly ensnared far humbler new musicals: an incoherent story.” [ChicagoTribune]
- “Julie Taymor [...] left a few essential items off her lavish shopping list: 1. Coherent plot, 2. Tolerable music, 3. Workable sets. To be sure, Taymor has found a way to send her superhero soaring above the audience. And yet, the creature that most often spreads its wings in the Foxwoods is a turkey.” [meow, WashingtonPost]
- “This production should play up regularly and resonantly the promise that things could go wrong. Because only when things go wrong in this production does it feel remotely right — if, by right, one means entertaining. So keep the fear factor an active part of the show, guys, and 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.’” [NYTimes]
Ouch. I haven’t seen something related to this play as painful as this since they threw a stuntman through my living room window yesterday. Damn it, Broadway, stop throwing Spider-men at us.