'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' producer blasts critics -- EXCLUSIVE

spider-man-turn-off-darkIn the wake of the critical drubbing endured today by the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, producer Michael Cohl is speaking up in defense of his show — and in contempt of the critics who he says aren’t giving it a fair shot. “Any of the people who review the show and say it has no redeeming value are just not legitimate reviewers, period,” says Cohl, who claims the show’s detractors (The New York Times and The Washington Post both called Spider-Man one of the worst productions in Broadway history) are out of touch. “It’s hard to have people that don’t get pop culture reviewing a pop culture event, isn’t it?” (Cohl isn’t the only Spider-Man insider bashing the critics — the show’s spokesman, Rick Miramontez, released an exclusive statement to EW earlier today about the reviews: “The PILE-ON by the critics was ridiculous and uncalled for. Their actions are unprecedented and UNCOOL.”)

The costliest show ever mounted on Broadway, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has rarely been out of the headlines in recent months, thanks to the recurring safety issues that contributed to a series of postponed opening dates. Cohl insists that the show will still be a work in progress until it officially opens on March 15. But when asked whether critics would be invited to the show’s official opening night, Cohl declined to give a yes or no response, saying only, “We didn’t invite them this week. They clearly don’t need an invite, do they?” Still, he says the reviews haven’t sunk his spirits yet. “I woke up this morning more determined and more positive than ever. I said, ‘Here we go.’”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ spokesman reacts to reviews
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ actress says ‘major changes’ are under way — EXCLUSIVE
Glenn Beck passionately reviews Broadway’s ‘Spider-Man’: ‘This is better than Wicked!’
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: The first (unofficial) reviews are in
‘Spider-Man’ accident blamed on ‘human error’
‘Spider-Man’ the musical on ’60 Minutes’: A first look at a big hit or a big turkey?

Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Natalie

    Okay, so THE NEW YORK TIMES is not a legitimate publication? These producers are so full of hubris it makes me sick. It is a BAD SHOW. The critics are completely correct on this one.

    • Mr. Holloway

      If this fool thinks The New York Times and The Washington Post are rags, I’m actually curious to hear what publications he thinks have legitimate reviewers. (Is he holding out for a rave from US Weekly?)

    • Jason

      I believe he said legitimate “reviewers”,not legitimate publication,you might want to read the article next time

  • Sabrina

    It was terrible. Good reviews or bad reviews, nothing will change that. It was the worst show I’ve ever seen…and that’s saying a lot.

    • Tom

      “Worst show you’ve seen”?

      I’m betting you never saw the show..just a hunch,but I think I’m right

      • Will G

        Haha you called yourself “Jack” in the earlier thread didn’t you? Why do you insist on calling everyone who says they saw the show and hated it liars?

  • Ali

    This eloquent statement by the show’s spokesman truly is representative of the show’s story and artistic ingenuity as a whole.

  • Armond White

    Personally, I loved “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark”

  • Jason

    I’m afraid there is more than a grain of truth in what Mr.Cohl is saying,critics are dying old breed.
    With the slow death of publications(newspapers and magazines) and the emergence of bloggers and internet reviewers,critics have become biteer and their words don’t carry the weight they once used to and these guys were made to wait much longer to review this show,so they went into this show pretty much knowing what they were going to write before they entered the theater.
    I saw the show and thought it was good,not spectacular…altough the aerial stunts were impressive and there were no delays..again the music was good…folks it aint going to be Rogers&Hammerstein..it was written by two guys from a rock band for God’s sake
    This show was not what these critics have made it out to be..I really think all this bad press is the result the problems this show had before it even opened for previews and everything since has snowballed to a point that there was no way this show wasn’t going to get bad reviews…the delays,the accidents,etc.

  • ken in STL

    I’m with the critics on this one.
    Point 1: Shows regularly get reviewed on their out-of-town tryouts. This show has not gone out of town to tryout, but they’re still charging AT LEAST $125/seat. Folks should know what they’re getting into.
    Point 2: A show spokesperson said in The New York Times that a show shouldn’t be reviewed till it’s “Frozen,” i.e., the creators are done with the writing and directing. From what I’ve read, at least one part of this show is Frozen – the score. Bono and the Edge apparently said, “Here are your songs. We’re outta here.” True theatre pros don’t bail during tryouts. Even Stephen Sondheim, arguably the greatest Broadway composer of the last half century, would throw stuff out and write new songs on the road or in tryouts, and these songs, like “Comedy Tonight,” “Being Alive,” and “I’m Still Here,” often turned out to be the best and most memorable songs in the show. Maybe if Bono and the Edge had read Sondheim’s book, “Finishing the Hat,” they’d know what you have to do to get a Broadway show on its feet. I feel kinda bad for Julie Taymor here, but her show is frozen. Now it’s just about re-arranging furniture.

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