'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' spokesman reacts to reviews -- EXCLUSIVE

Spider-Man-Turn-Off-the-DarkImage Credit: Jacob CohlNews outlets including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times broke with Broadway tradition last night by running reviews of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark before its official opening on March 15, prompting a spokesman for the show to publicly speak out against their actions. “The PILE-ON by the critics was ridiculous and uncalled for. Their actions are unprecedented and UNCOOL!” said the show’s spokesman Rick Miramontez in an exclusive statement to EW. Many of the the critics noted that the date of their reviews, Feb. 7, was supposed to have been opening night for the long-delayed, notoriously troubled Spider-Man musical before a third postponement last month pushed the official premiere to March 15.

The reviews have been largely negative, with sharp criticism directed at the show’s storyline, conceived by director Julie Taymor and writer Glen Berger, as well as the rock-inspired score, composed by U2’s Bono and the Edge.

Read more:
‘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 (133 total) Add your comment
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  • jfms777

    Yet, tickets are selling out. It’s like the “Jersey Shore” of Broadway.

    • Allen

      hahaha!! That’s awesome. I’m stealing that.

      • bb

        I guess this means no Tony Award nominations for this Best Critical Broadway Flop !!

      • Gigi

        The preview process is to fine tune a show that has been rehearsed. Charging top dollar for audiences to watch a show pretty much starting from the groud-up stinks.

      • JR

        SPIDERMAN: TURN OFF THE DARK is also SPIDERMAN: TURN ON THE LIGHT.

    • Jack

      Spiderman is the #1 show on Broadway week after week and most of the people that are interviewed coming out of the show have liked it…what does that tell you?
      it tells me that critics biased little rats who don’t like being told they have to wait to give their reviews of a show and so they will usually pan the show as a result…look at Michael Riedel of the NY Post that jerk broke all protocol and reviewed the first preview show just so that he could get his two cents earlier than anyone else..I don’t listen to what critics say..never have,never will and the biggest snobs are those critics who review Broadway shows

      • The Obvious

        “I don’t listen to what critics say”

        And yet, here you are.

      • Tom

        It tells me that the expectations of Broadway have dipped to new lows since it got Disney-fied.

        Look… THE SHOW CANNOT TRAVEL… why? Because the book is bad, bad, bad. It may be Spidey, but it is UNCOOL Spidey. And that’s “uncool”. And being uncool is the uncoolest thing of all.

      • @Jack be Nimble

        The producers “broke all protocol” by failing to deliver the goods in an appropriate time frame !

      • Mike

        Michael Riedel is a gossip columnist, NOT a critic or even a reporter. He had absolutely no obligation to refrain from writing about the show. Oh, and where are these audience interviews of which you speak? I’d love to see that data.

      • JR

        Settle down there, Ms. Taymor.

      • Tonic

        Who are you talking to? Every person I know that’s seen it says it’s awful.

      • Marcy Runkle

        “Most of the people that are interviewed coming out of the show have liked it.” Wait…what? I have yet to hear of single person who thinks it’s anything more than a complete trainwreck. Not just the failed stunts…moreso the book, score, and general plot. Do you work for the show??

      • Sabrina

        Um, I saw it. I really was holding out hope that all of the buzz was wrong, but it wasn’t. I sat there with my jaw on the ground…frankly I was shocked at just how horrible it was. Ben Brantley’s review was right on the money, and I don’t normally agree with him. It’s a shame, really. I love Julie Taymor and U2 – I had high hopes. But it really is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. No cohesiveness whatsoever, and that has nothing to do with failed stunts.

      • Greg

        Spider-Man has not been the #1 show week after week. It beat out Wicked one week.

      • cc

        Wait. Did I just read a post about how critics are elitist jerks? Woah!! How original! I’ve never seen that before. What a rebel!

      • lauren

        Actually it hasn’t been the #1 show every week. It has been flipflopping with Wicked. To be honest, the tickets are overpriced – especially since it is still in previews. If the prices were comparable to actual normal ticket prices, this wouldn’t be the case.

        The show is detrimental to the health and safety of the cast. The music is awful and the story is confusing to people. These are the reports I am hearing from people who have seen it and not the critics, although I am getting a kick out of what the critics have to say. It’s a joke. Not a great piece of work. Safety of the cast and crew should come before the almighty dollar.

  • Mole

    Everybody should check out Scott Brown’s review on vulture.com, where he coins the term “Spidenfreude” (describing why we all want to see it) and labels the piece as a gargantuan piece of meta-art that exist forever in a constantly evolving state. Basically, it sounds like this show is Julie Taymor’s version of a Charlie Kaufman film.

    • Mole

      *should exist. Ugh.

      • Brad

        Agreed. This really is the most interesting, considered review out there. Thanks for pointing me to it, Mole. It doesn’t praise the show but it certainly tries to deconstruct what the hell is going on there.

  • BrandonK

    So using all caps and “uncool” is acceptable for official spokespersons now? Hm…I sometimes wonder how long it will be before the president or Senate majority leader or whoever starts throwing casual slang into speeches.

    • Mole

      Like anything else, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it, and here the spokesman just comes off as sounded impudent and whiny.

      • Mole

        *sound-ING. God, what is wrong with me today?!

    • RobNJ

      I think my 10 year old nephew wrote the response. Why can’t they get the Choreography right? I saw Henry IV a few years ago and the fight scenes in that performance on a minimal set were outstanding and felt real. Yeah call me a snob for seeing Shakespeare but if I am going to spend $100 on tickets I tend to go with a good story over eye candy sets.

      Besides there is more sex and violence in Shakespeare than any Hollywood movie these days.

    • Cris

      I believe he also called the critics, “Poopyheads”

    • Jenn

      My review: Worst spokesman on Broadway.

      • bluept

        Only spokesman on Broadway…seriously, what show has a spokesman.

    • Mr. Holloway

      It all made more sense to me when I found out that the spokesperson was Hurley from “Lost.”

      • E.

        Love this comment!
        I know one way they can cut expenses: get rid of the “spokesman” whose best defense of the show is to lambaste critics for being “UNCOOL!”

  • fromMarkHall

    All this insider envy has me thinking… Turn Off The Mind!!!

    • Allen

      huh?

  • Allen

    If you are going to spend 65 million dollars on a musical, then you better bring it. If you don’t? Then you will get ravaged by the critics. Maybe the public will still come, but my guess is the crowds will eventually fade. Meanwhile, untold numbers of talented theater artists can’t get any backing for their projects. The whole thing is indulgent and offensive.

    • Chris

      Thank you for saying that. I’ve been trying to get a Cop Rock musical on Broadway for the past 5 years, and I am about to give up hope.

      • BrandonK

        I can’t tell if this is a joke or not.

      • Chris

        “OK, places for The Defense Rests number! 5,6,7, 8!”

  • Alyssa

    Like other shows on Broadway haven’t gotten unfair reviews.?? I know plenty of shows that got bad reviews -but the audience loved it.
    Most of the Disney shows have gotten mixed reviews just because they weren’t “artsy” enough for them. Well I have seen pictures of ” The Little Mermaid” and have the CD and its beautiful. I’m seeing it on Tour. I’m seeing Lion King in Vegas-though the movie isn’t my favorite. I wish I could have seen ” Beauty and the Beast”.

    • Flyer

      The producer’s complaint isn’t about the poor reviews, but rather the TIMING of them. Traditionally, critics aren’t supposed to publish reviews until opening night, when the show has had all the kinks worked out and is in its “official” format. Most shows use out-of-town previews to develop and finalize the show. “Spiderman” is unique because they’r running the previews in NYC and have pushed back opening night three times. I don’t blame the critics at all. They’re getting impatient because a) there are plenty of reviews already being published by amateur bloggers, and b) they feel an obligation to their readers, who are being asked to pay top-dollar for these “preview” performances.

    • Marcy Runkle

      The photos and music in Little Mermaid are beautiful…but that’s about it. It was rightfully destroyed by critics. Terrible show. Save your money.

  • Caitie F

    Seriously? They are upset because reviews came out early? They came out early because everyone KNOWS it won’t actually open in march. It has been pushed back, what 4 or 5 times already?

    i have a bunch of friends who have seen the show in previews and says it absolutely sucks – the story, the music, everything.

    • Jack

      You lie….I’m calling BS on your comments

      eveyone who says “I have a bunch of friends who have seen the show” doesn’t really have a bunch of friends who saw the show

      I on the other hand go on man on he street interviews that have been done by various websites who have interviewed people coming out of the show and those reviews have been largely positive

      • MM

        Glenn Beck? Is that you?

      • @Jack be Nimble

        Does that include Glenn Beck’s rave review…cough cough. He MUST be an investor.

      • Peter Parker

        Jack, YOU lie. If those websites exist, they’re undoubtedly run by people vested with an interest in seeing the show succeed.

      • JR

        JACK stands for Julie’s Abominable Colossal Kerfuffle

      • Tonic

        I definitely have just under ten friends who’ve all seen the show separately…and all said it was dreck. Even the Taymor fans said that!

      • Marcy Runkle

        Yeah, I know about 16 people who saw it. Not one said a single positive thing. Sorry, Julie. Um, I mean Jack.

      • Caitie F

        No, i actually have a bunch of friends who are actors who saw it on their break from touring the country. WHo studied musical theater and know when a show is good or not. They said they didn’t care how much that show paid, they would never do it, and not just because they don’t want to die

  • Brian

    I have thought the idea a bad one ever since I first starting hearing about and now that the reviews are starting to trickle in, I’m glad I never got excited about it. A friend who did see it called it “a headache-inducing mess” and suggested Taymor go back to putting on puppet shows.

  • Nicole

    This makes my giggle inside.

  • person

    I saw the show, and I’d like to say that Ben Brantley’s review couldn’t be more spot on. The wow factor of the show wore off really quickly, and one of the best parts was the glitch. Watching Reeve Carney (Spiderman) hang awkwardly from a cable while they fixed glitch was hilarious, and it got the most applause of the entire show.

    I don’t know if I agree with the early review, but I think Spiderman deserves it. They’re extending the previews and working the system because they must know they’re going to get these negative reviews. The reviews aren’t negative because of the glitches, though, so maybe they should postpone to show to rewrite the plot and songs.

  • spidermansucks

    Tell the jerk spokesperson that his show sucks, not the reviews. I saw a performance that wasn’t even completed, and the while sucked so bad I wanted my money back. Their greedy response was “but the show now HAS an ending, so come see it again.” No thanks.

    • Jack

      You didn’t see any performance..who are you kidding…I can read right through your bullsh%t

      • bb

        Just like we can read through yours. Your obsession is unbecoming.

      • JR

        Or maybe Bono is Jack. The Edge?

  • Kiki

    Please. They can’t delay and delay and delay, and then complain when reviews come out “early.” Some people deciding whether or not to buy expensive tickets want to read a review before doing so. It’s the show runners’ fault for bringing something to the stage, even for a soft open, that was so far from ready. What, do they think it’s magically going to get a lot better when (if) it “officially” opens on March 15? They need to come back to reality: their show is “officially” on, whether they like it or not.

  • Jack

    The response from the critics was predictable…..who didn’t see this coming???

    Of course the critics are going to give the show bad reviews because they were made to wait for the opening…so they go into the theater already pissed off…theater critics are failed actors just like like music critics are failed muscians…the public will decide whether this show lasts and so far public reviews have been very good…all the negativity by the critics about this show is just fueling the show,not killing it.

    • The Obvious

      Uhm, Jack? It’s ok. The show sucks. I promise you, everything is going to be alright. Just take a breath.

      • Jack

        Another nobody who didn’t see the show offering his two cents…how predictable

      • The Obvious

        Now now, Jack. You don’t want to turn off potential patrons with your terrible PR skills.

      • JR

        @The Obvious. You just beat me to it. It has to be the PR guy.

    • Peter Parker

      EW – Turn Off the Jack.

      • Jason

        Peter Parker thinks he is a comedian,please spare us your “witty lines”

    • Mole

      Look Jack, conceptually I’m behind the idea of a big-budget action piece on Broadway. I saw the 60 Minutes piece and the stunt work looks really cool, at least in 30 second super-cut form. At a certain point, though, you just have to actually read the words the reviews are saying, not just that they’re “bad”. And at a certain point, you do have to acknowledge that maybe the producers are taking advantage of people with their sky-high preview prices and endless delays. There is a huge hit on Broadway that’s been running for months, and is sold out until May. The fact that there are no reviews yet of something like that (well, weren’t until yesterday) is a little bit ridiculous.

    • Montauk

      Jack, you arrogant pr*ck: so if theater critics are failed actors and music critics are failed musicians, then what does that make failed producers and failed directors? Wanna-be stars? You are seriously deluded.

      Why can you just not accept that critics have called the show for what it is? I also have friends (fake ones, of course) who saw it and they said the same thing, it’s onerous, boring and nonsensical apart from a few flashy moments of acrobatics.

      The show’s investors will ultimately decide the show’s fate when the critics’ interest wanes, so let the Spider-Fraud team enjoy their few remaining months of short lived hype and box office success, and they should be thankful for the blitz of reviews to date. As they say in show business, even negative publicity is better than no publicity, which is what they’re going to be getting lots of very soon. Lights out, curtains!

      PS: and please remember to take your meds, you are one waaay on edge dude!

      • DAVID

        It is my opinion that most of these people dumping on SPIDERMAN and attacking anybody that believes its a good production, have way too much time on their hands. Some of these scathing condemnations appear to be due to pure snobbery and/or the deluded belief that they are superior to everyone else. Before you accuse someone of needing medication, please look in the mirror and deal with your own desperate-need-for-dramatitis infection first.

  • MDS

    I feel like the critics have just been salivating to write negative reviews of this for months. I guess they just couldn’t hold back anymore.

    • Tom

      Exactly…that is what happened

  • Tom

    Exactly..spot on with your comments…its a case of critics bent on revenge because they had to wait too long to review the show.

    • Brett

      And of course, the show sucking has nothing to do with it. Look – if you’ve got a C-note burning a hole in your pocket and you live in the NYC area, go see the play. Critics are going to say what they’re going to say. The producers are making bank by putting on an unfinished product at prices that should be reserved for the finished product.

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