Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Spider-Man stage musical defended

The Edge and Bono of U2 wrote the music for the show

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark producer Michael Cohl has defended the Broadway musical following a slew of bad reviews.

The show, which has a score composed by U2's Bono and The Edge and has suffered a number of set-backs in the run-up to its opening including injuries to four cast members, has been panned by critics.

The producer told Entertainment Weekly that the reviewers were out of touch, saying: "Any of the people who review the show and say it has no redeeming value are just not legitimate reviewers, period. It's hard to have people that don't get pop culture reviewing a pop culture event, isn't it?"

Negative reviews included The Washington Post ("a shrill, insipid mess"), The New York Times ("sheer ineptitude"), and the Los Angeles Times ("an artistic form of megalomania").

Many reviews of the 65 million dollar musical - thought to be the most expensive in Broadway history - have been published even though it doesn't officially open until March 15, a move that violates the time-honoured agreement between producers and journalists.

"This pile-on by the critics is a huge disappointment," said a spokesman for the show. "Changes are still being made and any review that runs before the show is frozen is totally invalid."

Most of the critics have cited as reasons for their impatience the show's record-breaking preview period and the high cost of tickets, which for a single seat can approach 300 dollars.

The producer said he was still intent on putting on a good show telling Entertainment Weekly: "I woke up this morning more determined and more positive than ever. I said, 'Here we go.'"

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