Last night, I was contacted by LBC (London’s Biggest Conversation) – talk radio – to be interviewed about Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. I didn’t know what to expect, but I agreed to be interviewed live on the air. The talk radio host, Cristo Foufas, wanted to know more about Spider-man and why it’s gotten such negative reviews. Now, if you read my original Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark review, you’re aware that I actually didn’t hate the show. It was actually quite thrilling, but I’m definitely not going to say it was my favorite Broadway show. It was more of a spectacle – a Vegas/circus type show. But I don’t believe that the hatred and negativity surrounding the show is warranted.
I personally think that the early press reviews are a big press “stunt” by Ben Brantley (and the rest of the critics) to see who could write the harshest and most scathing review. (If you read Brantley’s review again it doesn’t really review the material or music like he usually does, it just spews hatred toward Julie Taymor.) I also think it was a double-standard for the press to break the “special” press embargo that they’ve called bloggers on (repeatedly). Does anyone remember the NY Times talking about my article about the first preview of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown? Apparently, Brantley and the rest of the critics can change the rules at any point (as long as they do it in a unified front). Regardless on your personal views on press embargoes for critics, it still was a major double-standard they employed and someone has got to call them out on it.
And I won’t even get into Michael Riedel – the New York Post columnist. The Broadway community represents acceptance and tolerance, but Riedel is disrespectful week after week in his column. He is Broadway’s biggest and meanest bully. It’s one thing to write a negative review, but he’s being banking on Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark to be his ride into mass popularity (and it has been). Remember that his job is solely based on page hits he gets on his weekly column. The more page hits, the more job security he has. Of course, he wants Spider-man to be a big disaster. It just guarantees that he’s going to be thrown into the spotlight (again and again) on a national level!
Shame on him.
In any case, I want Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark to succeed. I’m sure that it’s never going to recoup it’s $65 million dollar investment, but I would like it to run on Broadway for awhile. It deserves to be seen.
Check out my interview with Cristo below: