Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark Preview Night Falls Apart

I’ve been bitching and moaning about Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, the Spidey musical from U2 founders Bono and The Edge for the last month, mostly due to a bad first song preview and costume designs that left me baffled. Well if the very expensive to produce Broadway show ends up at all like the first preview night the rumors and my assertions were definitely warranted.

The NY Post and NY Times attended the show and here are just a few of the issues they witnessed:

NY POST: The show had to be stopped four times in the first act alone for various snags.

NY POST: As the character [Arachne], 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.

NY POST: As the Goblin — played by Patrick Page of “Grinch” fame — sat down at the piano for a scheduled number, he was left to continue playing on . . . and on . . . as stage workers openly rushed around to fix faulty equipment. Page finally started vamping it up for grateful audience members, riffing on the tune, “I’ll Take Manhattan.”

NY POST: Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane, was supposed to be saved from atop the Chrysler Building. But part of the building was missing, and Mary Jane was no where in sight.

NY POST: In its last 10 minutes, the show was completely stopped for at least half that time to work out kinks.

New York Times: At 7:23 p.m., an aerial scene began in Peter Parker’s bedroom to the delight of some audience members — yet it was halted two minutes later with the first of four pauses in Act I, apparently to free the lead actor, Reeve Carney (who plays Peter Parker and is one of those playing Spider-Man), from an aerial harness.

New York Times: Crew members, standing on the stage, spent 45 seconds trying to grab Spider-Man by the foot, as the audience laughed and oohed. When they finally caught him, Mr. White announced intermission, and the house lights came on.

New York Times: Act II began shortly after 9 p.m. and unfolded fairly smoothly until about 50 minutes later, when Mr. White called for a pause. After a few minutes, as some audience members were stretching, a woman in the audience suddenly shouted, “I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I feel like a guinea pig today — I feel like it’s a dress rehearsal.” She was met with a chorus of boos.

So those were just the technical issues. What about the music?

New York Post: Last night’s opening preview of Broadway’s most expensive production ever, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” was an epic flop as the $65 million show’s high-tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script, theatergoers griped.

Now I FULLY UNDERSTAND that technical issues occur during dress rehearsals, but the number of them during the preview night, along with the fact that Peter Park is bit by a radioactive spider which in turn is a guy in a spider costume is just a little bit too much for me to handle.

On the positive side? They made a pretty flashy trailer, here it is:

I did find one outfit to look pretty cool, Carnage! Who admittedly in my last Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark post I picked on.

The biggest concern, despite bad music concerns is whether or not such a high flying show can work out the technical issues. Personally when the biggest concern in a Broadway music isn’t the bad music it leaves me feeling a little less sure footed about how the show will translate to success.

Did you happen to catch the preview night show? If you did feel free to leave us your comments about the pro’s and con’s from the show.

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