Broadway Pulse: NY Times Says 'We'll Wait, But Not Forever' to Review SPIDER-MAN

By: Dec. 27, 2010
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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 Still, it's clear that the producers really are making significant changes and a review that's out of date when the show opens isn't all that useful.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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