So here is a simple question: If a Broadway musical is earning well over a million dollars in previews is it possible to truly refer to the musical as an epic failure? This is the angle lost amidst the news that Spider Man Turn Off the Dark has suffered both injuries to the actors and actresses and the now departed director’s pride.
So while Julie Taymor has stepped down (RE: fired, but with dignity) and accused of pursing this project completely inept of the classic Spider Man source material, seemingly millions of people are in line or online trying to purchase Spider Man Turn Off the Dark tickets. And the show is still in previews! Meanwhile, the much anticipated Spider Man musical is set to take three weeks off to give Philip William McKinley a chance to work his way through the apparently troubled script.
Basically, this all stinks of a media circus whose participants are gorging on every negative detail being emitted like spider radiation from the production. While New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel has anticipated the musical will succeed with the summer tourist crowds before dying in fall, it is perhaps former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich who best represents my point. He saw no way Spider Man Turn Off the Dark to right its course this deep into the preview season. The only caveat to this comment is that he has yet to see the production! (Of course to be fair, neither have I.)
Perhaps the Wall Street Journal is the least partial and most accurate in questioning why Spider Man Turn Off the Dark has already been reviewed in previews when most musicals are given the opportunity to reach opening night before reading the dreaded reviews the next morning. So, while the most expensive vehicle in Broadway history (until the Phantom sequel at least) has had a run of bad press, it seems no press is bad as Spider Man continues to outsell all but two other big Broadway musicals, Wicked and the Lion King.