Rocky Start for U2's 'Spider-Man' Show

First preview marred by mishaps

November 29, 2010 10:05 AM ET

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally had its first Broadway preview on Sunday night, in a performance that was stopped by delays five times — and at least one widely reported catcall from an audience member. One of the delays, which left lead actor Reeve Carney dangling above the audience for several minutes, caused the show's first act to end early.

The show, which has cost an estimated $65 million — the most expensive in Broadway history — has experienced financial and technical problems from the start. An aerial-stunt mishap earlier this month injured one of the actors and caused a two-week postponement of the opening performance. The delay caused U2's Bono and the Edge, who wrote the show's score and were heavily involved in its production, to miss Sunday night's performance due to U2's tour dates in Australia.

Video: Bono and the Edge Introduce Spider-Man Song

The show, which ran for more than three hours, began 24 minutes late. The end of the show's first act saw the evening's most awkward delay. Carney was supposed to soar over the audience toward a balcony across the theater, but stopped after traveling just a few yards — and stayed there, suspended above the front rows. Crew members managed to catch him by the foot, and the stage manager called intermission. The intermission lasted for more than half an hour, causing the audience to clap in unison.

The second act suffered just one delay, but it led an audience member to call out, "I feel like a guinea pig today — I feel like it's a dress rehearsal." Her comment was met with boos.

Nonetheless, The New York Times wrote that most of the show's stunts "went off without a hitch, with children and some adults squealing in delight." The New York Post was less charitable in its report, calling the show an "epic flop as the $65 million show's high-tech gadgetry went completely awry amid a dull score and baffling script."

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark's official opening is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2011.

'Spider-Man Takes Off, With Some Bumps [New York Times]

First 'Spider-Man' Preview Filled With Problems [NY Post]

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »