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Theatre Critics Anger Spider-Man Reps With Early Reviews

| Filed under: Broadway BabiesMedia Minute

critics write early reviews of spider man musical

Looks like the folks associated with Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark are NOT happy with two theatre critics who have released reviews while previews are still running.

Jeremy Gerard from Bloomberg News and Linda Winer from Newsday have made some enemies by releasing Spider-Man reviews over five weeks before opening night.

Here's what Spider-Man spokesperson Rick Miramontez had to say about it:

"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."

Winer's Newsday review complimented the show for its flying effects, but also said it had a weak second act, and she included interviews with audience members, some of whom had less-than-positive things to say about the show, and its music.

Gerard's Bloomberg review complimented the sets, lighting, and choreography, but it referred to the show itself as "an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department."

On the one hand, it certainly seems like these critics crossed some lines by releasing these early reviews, but on the other hand, we haven't been overjoyed with the Spider-Man folks themselves, given all the drama and injuries that have taken place during the previews.

What do U think? Team Critics or Team Spider-Man?

[Image via WENN.]

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7 comments to “Theatre Critics Anger Spider-Man Reps With Early Reviews”

  1. 1

    The show keeps pushing the opening date further down the road, all the while having done some major PR stuff (60 Minutes) and charging full price for seats, even though it is only in previews and a mess. The show has only itself to blame…

  2. 2

    This troubled/cursed play just screams to be reviewed. Heck, everyone is wondering what the heck is going on.

  3. 3

    As someone who's actually a theatre critic I think Elphaba hits the nail on the head. If you're going to charge full price for a ticket to a preview then you get what you deserve. Face it, this show is still a work-in-progress, and it's run into any number of technical issues along the way. What I've run into as a critic is that no one actually wants criticism of their show-we're invited because they're hopeful we'll gush and give them a quote they can use in their advertising. I canvas audience response from time to time as one of the critics did, and I feel that's a good barometer of how the show is doing. I've been met with nasty remarks when I've been honest about the shortcomings of a particular production, but you have to be thick-skinned and committed to your opinion when you do this kind of work. Of course, the same thing applies to the actors and production team. If the Spider-Man folks are having problems with the reviews then they're just being dishonest with themselves. It's certainly difficult for people close to a production to be as objective as they probably should be. Obviously, I side with the critics here.

  4. 4


    I live in the city and LOVE going to Broadway as often as possible. I'd be ENRAGED if I paid full price for a show "developing in front of an audience." If the show is in development then the audience should be paying half price.

  5. 5

    Spider Man - Turn Off the Show

  6. 6


  7. 7

    This show isn't really Broadway. It's and an entertainment/hybrid show. It will never get critical acclaim. It's the dumbing down of the Broadway play. If it's developing still, then audiences should also be paying lower prices for tickets. How hypocritical that it can't be reviewed, but it can command full price tickets.