Amazingly, after years of lurching forward and falling back, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Julie Taymor-directed, Bono and The Edge-scored, $65 million-price tagged Broadway musical had its first preview performance last night. The Times sent Patrick Healy, who describes his three-and-a-half hour experience at the Foxwoods Theater mostly in terms of the many delays caused by technical snags and the 1,900 spectators’ reactions to these and other snafus. The mood inside the first public performance seems of mix of hopeful lenience and impatient indignation, with a bit of concrete criticism from a children’s acting school teacher: “The story-telling is really unclear and I found it hard to understand exactly what was going on and why certain things were happening.”
So there you have it: aerial, structural and storytelling problems right out the gate, with six weeks before the scheduled January 11 opening—the Tony eligibility deadline isn’t until April, so opening night is hardly a fixed date. A new TV ad for this Broadway blockbuster offers a few glimpses of what all the technical difficulties might involve.