Bill Clinton on 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' Musical: It’s 'Fabulous'

10:13 AM PST 06/15/2011 by THR Staff
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The former President gives the show high marks, despite mixed critical reviews the revamped production has received.


Critics and fans have already weighed in on the revamped version of the Spider Man musical, 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark," and now an ex-President has, too.

“What an amazing and historic night on Broadway," former President Bill Clinton said in a statement sent out from the Clinton Foundation Press Office Wednesday.

"New York has never seen anything like 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark," Clinton continued.

"And I am very proud of them for not giving up, it was fabulous.”

While Clinton's "fabulous" endorsement doesn't hurt the production, professional critical reviews have been less kind so far.

Of the show, which underwent several changes since critics' scathing first reviews went out in February, The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney wrote:

"When a show is as misconceived as Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, it’s more realistic to expect cosmetic improvements than miracles. That’s exactly what the new creative team has accomplished in this significantly overhauled but still terminally clunky reworking of the troubled mega-musical, now officially open after a record 183 previews."

New York magazine's Scott Brown said recently of the show's musical score: "No amount of mulch or manure can cover up the music, which is, by far, the show's greatest weakness. (Which is saying something.)"

"It's a vast emptiness, void even of its animating madness,” Brown continued.

“It shuffles and smiles and subsides, like a good inmate, its hummingbird heartbeat slowed to a crawl. Put your head to Spidey's chest, and all you'll hear is the dull smack of a damp wad of cash hitting the boards."

Members of the band U2 defended the score and the show earlier this week in New York.

USA Today, like Clinton and Bono from band, was more enthusiastic about the revamped version of the musical.

"The new Spider-Man is cuter and more cautious than its predecessor, more in line with the winking musical adaptations of famous films and brands that have lined the theater district in recent years," the newspaper's Elysa Gardner said.

"Clearly, producers heeded the critics and fans who hoped to see the title character represented more as he'd ben in comic books and movies."
 

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