Broadway Update

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why are all the productions that opened this fall closing come January? And what’s with all the drama in the Spider-Man previews? David Cote, theater editor for Time Out New York, talks Broadway with Elisabeth Vincentelli, chief theater critic at the New York Post.


David Cote and Elisabeth Vincentelli

Comments [13]

Shana from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

It was ridiculous all the people that felt the need to call in and say that this story is not "artistically" good enough to be on Broadway. Julie Taymor is in indeed talented, and there have indeed way too many terrible accidents on this production. But it seems that most of the disdain for this show has less to do with the safety of the cast and more to do with some feeling they are above the material.

Try reading a comic book before claiming they have no plot or character, and open your minds a bit.

Dec. 23 2010 06:04 PM
Burtnor from Manhattan

Good grief. What a lynch mob!

This Lehrer show substitute host was quite poor, degrading Brian's very high standard. But the Broadway segment in particular was outrageously bad. The whole premise was absurd: What do the Spider Man technical problems have to do with the health of theater on Broadway during a recession (which was never mentioned)? And the host's agenda from the start and her badgering of guests to agree with her disdainful remarks was offensive -- i.e., "greed" (What? That wasn't a factor?) and "over-reaching" (Have you not heard of artistic ambition? Ever heard any rock musical for the past 20 years?). She didn't even follow up when a guest (Vincentelli) several times came to the defense of creative ambition.

Julie Taymor is an extraordinary artist. Anyone familiar with her work -- or anyone who had bothered to find out -- knows that all of her work is exuberantly and exotically imaginative with wonderful flights (literal and figurative) of fantasy.

What's wrong with Broadway is that too many theater goers have no imagination whatever and bring nothing to the experience.

Dec. 23 2010 12:36 PM
Diane from Brooklyn

I saw this ADD nightmare with my 5 year old son, one of many pre-schoolers who was kept completely enthralled for over 3 hours. A mind-numbing combination of Ice Capades style costuming and the worst of Ringling Brothers (think motorcycle on high wire with scantily clad young thing hanging by her teeth from the wheel base) accompanied by swooping U2 helicopter noise, this show proves that with great power comes great ego and greatly irresponsible choices. Julie Taymor needs to take a lesson from Uncle Ben.

Dec. 23 2010 12:01 PM

To say off-Broadway shows are not fully artistically realized because of budgetary limitations plays into exactly the false mentality of Spiderman that the size of a budget corresponds with artistic quality. You don't always need money to realize your artistic vision. To hear a critic say that is upsetting.

Dec. 23 2010 11:59 AM
Robert from NYC

These "critics" are no-talent no skills people who can't do anything else but give their opinion and who cares. Oh pleez your choice of guests really stinks. And they lots of money.

Dec. 23 2010 11:59 AM

this is just more disney on broadway just for tourist not moving at all

Dec. 23 2010 11:58 AM
laura from manhattan

Something I think is very important to point out - these performers are NOT professional stuntmen. They are dancers, performing as stunt doubles. I don't know the individual training of each performer, but I doubt they have the aerial and combat training that a stunt man would have. Whether this has contributed to the accidents, I don't know - but I do know that professional modern dancer is not the same thing as a professional film stunt man.

Dec. 23 2010 11:52 AM
Robert from NYC

Baloney, this is greed. Who is this person.

Dec. 23 2010 11:51 AM
Robert from NYC

It should be shut down. It's really a horrible disaster and let the billionaire producers take a loss. It also looked like crap in the pieces I've seen on tv. AND it's the most expensive show ever?!!! No, this is the grossness of making money on anything including crap.

Dec. 23 2010 11:50 AM
dbmetzger from upper west side

Broadway "Spider-Man" Stunt Double Falls to Stage
The troubled Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" was plagued by its fourth accident since it began previews last month when an actor performing an aerial stunt fell about 30 feet.

Dec. 23 2010 11:44 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I fully agree with Lenore. Where is the "theater" in this type of "theater"? Where is character, relationships, plot, & interesting dialogue?

In this day & age, all of the different mediums are becoming interchangeable: comic books, movies, TV, music videos, and now live theater.

To the detriment of all of them. Plays & musicals that have evolved from movies is backwards, except perhaps for rare cases.

Remember when the book "Love Story" was published AFTER the movie was made??

Ridiculous. & cynical.

Dec. 23 2010 11:05 AM
Zach from UWS

Usually, theater critics will see a Broadway show during the final week of previews and run their reviews the day after opening. However, since Spider-Man keep moving back its opening night, do either Elizabeth or David have any plans to review the show before the "official" opening? Gawker already ran their review to coincide with the original opening night, December 21st. It seems like a pretty good racket to run in previews forever, charging audiences $140.00 per ticket, while avoiding the critics.

Dec. 23 2010 11:00 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side

While I wait for this part of the program to come on, I want to say that I think this show and all its troubles are the epitome of everything that is wrong with Bway right now. Actually it all started with Les Miserables.

This show belongs in a circus, say the Big Apple Circus, not on Broadway which is actually supposed to be about plays, musical or nonmusical.Why do some people think that the more spectacular the effects, the better the show?

According to the Post, investors are getting skittish that they will be sued. I hope so!! This show should be SHUT DOWN. It is a danger to humans and to the theater.

Dec. 23 2010 10:14 AM

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