Broadway Pulse: NY Times Says 'We'll Wait, But Not Forever' to Review SPIDER-MAN
Update: The New York Times has now weighed in on the early reviews of SPIDER-MAN, in which they spoke to Manuela Hoelterhoff, the Executive Editor of Bloomberg News about their decision to review the show early. "I worried that by the time the show opened," Ms. Hoelterhoff wrote, "I might be in a rest home with Jeremy. You know, in India, they teach elephants to fly in less time, while painting pictures and humming a capella."
Jonathan Landman, the Culture Editor of the Times weighs in as well saying that "It's easy to see why they did it and completely understandable and I admit that we've been tempted. After all, these guys are raking in the cash, charging some people more than $200 a ticket. Still, it's clear that the producers really are making significant changes and a review that's out of date when the show opens isn't all that useful. So we'll wait, but not forever."
Well, last night Newsday, which normally hides Linda Winer's reviews behind a pay-wall, but made an exception for the sure traffic grabbing piece, published their critics take on SPIDER-MAN, in which she didn't so much express many of her own opinions, as she did talk to audience members. As to why she was not respecting the status quo of waiting for the show to be frozen and to invite critics, as is normal, she cited both the full-price cost of tickets being sold during previews, the multiple delays to opening night and the press attention.
This evening, Bloomberg News has taken it one step further, with Jeremy Gerard, editor and critic for 'Muse', the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg, seeing the show and giving it his full report. He begins noting that "I was attending "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," the $65- million show that has been previewing for a month and is expecting critics to wait until Feb. 7 before weighing in. This, while asking full price for tickets (my orchestra seat cost $292.50 and it wasn't from a scalper) and having begun performances before a complete second act had even been written.
On the evidence of what I saw, the second act still has yet to be completed. We might expect more of a show that has been in the works for almost nine years."
He goes on to review the show in full, and slams the score, book and more...
The first question that comes to mind is - Is this a dangerous trend? A one-time exception for the most expensive Broadway production ever? Is it appropriate?
I myself attended the show's first preview, as did a lot of press and familiar faces from Michael Riedel (until now, the show's biggest enemy in the press), however I won't be revealing my thoughts until the show is frozen and I see a finished product.
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Past Articles by This Author:
Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 30 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more.|
The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.
Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)
As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.
Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week.
Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also writes weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.
In December of last year, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.