NEW YORK — When last we left Spidey, boy, oh, boy, was he in a pickle. Rampaging super-villains are one thing — they come with the territory. But those reviews! Holy clock-cleaning!
So Spider-Man’s big Broadway support team hunkered down to figure out how to wrestle with this new cosmic kind of archenemy: Call him Mr. Expecting-the-Semblance-of-a-Comprehensible-Musical. In the aftermath, scenes were tossed, numbers rearranged, people jettisoned. (That’s you, General Taymor!)
And now, after a six-month “preview” period replete with saturation news coverage, high-wire accidents, preemptive critic attacks, legal saber-rattling and major rewrites, the $70 million (or maybe even $75 million) “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has executed the one daring step that some predicted it would never take.
What swings from the rafters, springs from the wings and bursts from the stage floor of the Foxwoods Theatre is a definite upgrade from the flailing behemoth on view in February, when I and a bunch of other reviewers, tired of the delays, took a gander at what director Julie Taymor had wrought. Still, in the story set to rock music by Bono and the Edge — of meek Peter Parker’s acquisition of spidery agility and subsequent battle royal with the dastardly Green Goblin — this effects-driven musical is still situated a wide canyon’s distance from good.