Indeed, the scene at the Foxwoods Theatre Wednesday was in marked contrast to the turmoil in the headlines. The line to get into the matinee snaked well down a huge city block, and was filled with tourists, an entire class of schoolchildren and others clearly excited to see the much talked-about flying scenes — including an aerial battle between Spider-Man and his nemesis, the Green Goblin. (At the evening performance, Green Goblin’s steering mechanism froze and the stunt was canceled.)
As of Wednesday night’s performance, “Spider-Man” has had 101 previews. For comparison, among musicals currently on Broadway, “Wicked” had 25 previews, “American Idiot” had 26 and “The Lion King” had 33. Most critics got fed up last month and reviewed it, largely panning it.
There is no official penalty for keeping a show in previews except embarrassment, something with which this show is familiar: It easily beat the 71-show mark for a musical having the most previews, which was held by Arthur Laurents’ “Nick & Nora” in 1991. That may not bode well for the comic book hero — “Nick and Nora” collapsed a week after its official opening.
“Spider-Man” is unusual in that it has been built specifically for the 1,928-seat Foxwoods, meaning a traditional tryout outside New York to fix glitches and smooth out problems wasn’t possible.
Unlike “Wicked,” tickets to “Spider-Man” are now available at the discount TKTS booth — a possible reason that total grosses slipped last week.
Also last week, the show’s production company was issued three violations of workplace safety standards by federal regulators for four separate incidents late last year that resulted in injuries to the cast.
Associated Press writer Matt Moore in Philadelphia, and Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela, AP Television writer Frazier Moore, and news researcher Julie Reed in New York contributed to this report.