In the wake of the critical drubbing endured today by the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, producer Michael Cohl is speaking up in defense of his show – and in contempt of the critics who he says aren’t giving it a fair shot. “Any of the people who review the show and say it has no redeeming value are just not legitimate reviewers, period,” says Cohl, who claims the show’s detractors (The New York Times and The Washington Post both called Spider-Man one of the worst productions in Broadway history) are out of touch. “It’s hard to have people that don’t get pop culture reviewing a pop culture event, isn’t it?” (Cohl isn’t the only Spider-Man insider bashing the critics – the show’s spokesman, Rick Miramontez, released an exclusive statement to EW earlier today about the reviews: “The PILE-ON by the critics was ridiculous and uncalled for. Their actions are unprecedented and UNCOOL.”)
The costliest show ever mounted on Broadway, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has rarely been out of the headlines in recent months, thanks to the recurring safety issues that contributed to a series of postponed opening dates. Cohl insists that the show will still be a work in progress until it officially opens on March 15. But when asked whether critics would be invited to the show’s official opening night, Cohl declined to give a yes or no response, saying only, “We didn’t invite them this week. They clearly don’t need an invite, do they?” Still, he says the reviews haven’t sunk his spirits yet. “I woke up this morning more determined and more positive than ever. I said, ‘Here we go.’”
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