BroadwayWorld.com was the first to report that multiple critics from major newspapers have indeed purchased tickets in recent days to SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark, and they have come out in force. All but a few papers have filed reviews timed to tonight's performance which was, until the most recent delay, scheduled to be the show's opening night. Here are all the reviews for SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark to date and we'll keep updating as new ones come in.
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: The sheer ineptitude of this show, inspired by the Spider-Man comic books, loses its shock value early. After 15 or 20 minutes, the central question you keep asking yourself is likely to change from "How can $65 million look so cheap?" to "How long before I'm out of here? Nothing looks truly new, including the much-vaunted flying sequences in which some poor sap is strapped into an all-too-visible harness and hoisted uneasily above the audience. (Aren't they doing just that across the street in "Mary Poppins"?) This is especially unfortunate, since Ms. Taymor and her collaborators have spoken frequently about blazing new frontiers with "Spider-Man," of venturing where no theater artist (pardon me, I mean artiste) has dared to venture before."
Peter Marks, The Washington Post: What's apparent after 170 spirit-snuffing minutes in the Foxwoods Theatre - interrupted by the occasional burst of aerial distraction - is that director Julie Taymor, of "The Lion King" fame, left a few essential items off her lavish shopping list: 1. Coherent plot 2. Tolerable music 3. Workable sets. To be sure, Taymor has found a way to send her superhero soaring above the audience. And yet, the creature that most often spreads its wings in the Foxwoods is a turkey."
Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News: Neither Taymor nor her co-writer, Glen Berger, have found a way to improve the book, a protofeminist stew that foolishly decants the myth of the weaver Arachne into a story that's incoherent to begin with. After all this expenditure of talent and money, "Spider- Man" is probably unfixable because too much has gone into making humans fly, which is not what they are good at. It imitates poorly what the "Spider-Man" movies do brilliantly with computer graphics -- and without putting live actors in jeopardy. They are fine actors. In addition to Carney and Page, I liked Jennifer Damiano, who has little to do as girlfriend Mary Jane Watson, but does it winningly, and Michael Mulheren as crass Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Maybe the show eventually will run for several performances in a row without having to stop to untangle someone. Some triumph.
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: What has been less widely reported is this: Beyond the offstage drama and lavish budget, and all the feats and flash accompanying them, lies an endearingly old-fashioned musical...For more, tune in again in March. But know this for now: Spider-Man's creative team is trying to bring musical theater back to the future. And that's a mission worth rooting for.
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: What I saw is a big production going in too many directions and in need of a lot of work to make it entertaining, satisfying and understandable.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: A breathtakingly beautiful scene is followed by a laughable one. The flying sequences can be thrilling, as when Spider-Man first takes off over the orchestra; other times, they look barely good enough for Six Flags, the harnesses making the movements clunky.