All of the Mean Words in the New York Times Review of the Spider-Man Musical


Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark sounds like a disaster. Practically a national tragedy at this point, the new, super-expensive musical has yet to be officially released, trapped in the purgatory of “previews,” in which a Broadway show works out all of its kinks. This one might be hopeless, if early reviews are any indication, with theater critics getting tired of waiting and proceeding to trash the show before it’s “ready.” Directed by Julie Taymor, the maybe-visionary behind Lion King, Spider-Man features music by Bono and the Edge of U2 and a bunch of high-flying stunts that keep going wrong and hurting people. Today in the New York Times, the highly respectable paper joins every other publication ever in trashing the show. Below are all of the mean or negative words and phrases packed into the review. Warning: it’s a long list.

[Note: repeats are intentional and reflect the review because the show is that bad.]

  • Finally
  • Calamity
  • calamity
  • tedius, confusing tripe
  • seriously depressing disaster
  • mismatched parts
  • honest-to-gosh, show-stopping glitch
  • “mechanical difficulties”
  • deflated
  • starved, listless
  • injuries
  • long (and officially far from over)
  • baffled audience
  • beleagured souls onstage
  • national joke
  • problem-plagued
  • wrong
  • wrong
  • fear factor
  • “I saw ‘Spider-Man’ and slept.”
  • ineptitude
  • loses its shock value early
  • cheap
  • long
  • the worst
  • unending work in progress
  • grievously broken in every respect
  • beyond repair
  • squint charitably
  • never connect
  • poor sap
  • uneasily
  • flat, cardboardish
  • recycled
  • grotesque
  • obscure
  • confused
  • “Free Willy”
  • static
  • persistent headache

For the (probably unnecessary) context, read here. And for even more about the pile-on, the Voice‘s Michael Musto interviews the New York Post‘s theater reporter Michael Riedel about the mess.

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