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Marvel’s slinging superhero swung himself on to the big stage this week as Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark opened on Broadway. Costing $70m (£43m), the show certainly had the budget to be a spectacular. However, critics slung harsh words towards the musical that not even Spider-Man could fend off.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times branded the show a “bore”. The show went “from jaw-dropping badness to mere mediocrity” continues Brantley.
The musical was set to open six times since last November, but an array of technical and financial issues halted its progress.
Critics have been quick to pounce upon the budget of the show. Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News said, “The show reportedly cost $65 million and that’s clearly gone into mechanics, hydraulics and aerial rigging. It seems only 10 cents has gone into the confusing story and humorless dialogue.”
Peter Marks claimed the show was “a definite upgrade [from the preview shows]” but still “a distance from good”.
One would think that music by Bono and The Edge from rock superstars U2 would inject some much needed energy into the musical, however critics did not let up on their words of fury. Thom Geier wrote that the “score is a mostly lackluster collection of forgettable tunes that play like U2 B-sides”, hardly the encouragement needed for a new musical.
In attendance on the opening night were a plethora of stars including platinum selling artist Jay-Z, former President Bill Clinton, musical veteran Lord Lloyd Webber, actors Matt Damon, Liam Neeson and Steve Martin and former tennis star John McEnroe.
Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark has been selling out the Foxwoods Theatre, a 1,928 seat venue and in spite of the heavy handed criticism, it would certainly be an interesting musical to see performed.