Shaky ‘Spider-Man’ Start

A recent sneak preview of Broadway’s upcoming “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” uncovered one hard truth about the long-awaited musical: spending $65 million on the show certainly hasn’t guaranteed a smooth production.

According to several accounts, the Nov. 28 “Spider-Man preview at the sold-out 2,000-capacity Foxwoods Theatre in New York City faced multiple technical problems and ran close to four hours long.

Act I alone reportedly included four pauses, but the worst apparently occurred at the end of the act when lead actor Reeve Carney got stuck in an aerial harness over the audience. Crew members on stage attempted to pull Carney down until intermission was announced, according to the New York Times.

Later, during a pause in Act II, a woman in the audience reportedly shouted, “I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I feel like a guinea pig today – I feel like it’s dress rehearsal.”

Other reviews were mixed. The New York Post called the musical an “epic flop as the $65 million show’s high tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script.” posted a Twitter review that called the production “a cross between Cirque du Soleil, the LXD, Scream (really) and comic books.”

Jack Soldano, a 6-year-old who attended the preview with his parents, gave one of the most favorable reviews of the evening to the Times, explaining that “parts of it were really exciting,” and that he’d “never seen people flying before.”

After several delays, the production is scheduled to open Jan. 11, which could give producer Michael Cohl and his team time to iron out issues.

But for theatre critic Peter Filichia of Newark, N.J.’s Star Ledger, the “Spider-Man” team is facing an uphill battle as the cost of the production continues to mount.

“This seems to be a strange kind of hubris that’s going on here: They cannot admit that they were on the wrong track. To me, it seems as if they’ve been throwing a lot of bad money after good money,” Filichia said.

“I can’t say that this strikes me as something that was wise, but history is littered with fools who just had to continue even when they knew they were doomed, hoping that as long as they were in the race some miracle could happen to save them. And who knows? There may be a miracle that does save them.”