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“Spider-Man” producers shout early reviews are “uncool”

By Sean O’Connell Producers and spokesmen associated with the as-yet-unopened Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” are lashing out at the multiple critics who panned the show while its still in previews.

“The PILE-ON by the critics was ridiculous and uncalled for. Their actions are unprecedented and UNCOOL,” spokesman Rick Miramontez said in a statement.

“Spider-Man” producer Michael Cohl also weighed in, stating, “Any of the people who review the show and say it has no redeeming value are just not legitimate reviewers, period. … It’s hard to have people that don’t get pop culture reviewing a pop culture event, isn’t it?”

To be fair to the critics that published reviews, they were adhering to the previously announced Feb. 7 opening date for the “Spider-Man” musical. And they were just trying to catch up on the reams of negative press that already has been published regarding the show. In his Hollywood Reporter review, critic David Rooney said that there’s still time left for “tinkering,” but confessed that “the point at which any savvy producer would have sent for script doctors is long past.”

Now, what would you expect the “Spider-Man” producers to say? They have to defend their product.

But the idea that a Broadway producer would go after the theater-critic establishment about the process of reviews – which has to evolve in the age of immediate media – is an interesting point worth discussing. Do you think critics for The New York Times, Variety, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times,, The Hollywood Reporter, London’s Telegraph and the Washington Post stepped over the line? Or has “Spider-Man” simply dragged its webbed feet long enough, and the production is now fair game?

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